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If the Redskins lose Kirk Cousins, here are 8 possible replacements

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If the Redskins lose Kirk Cousins, here are 8 possible replacements

Reaching a long-term deal with Kirk Cousins should be the top goal for the Redskins this offseason. The top goal. 

The past two offseasons, however, have shown that goal remains elusive. In 2016, Washington low-balled their quarterback and a deal wasn't reached. In 2017, Cousins refused to negotiate long-term with the Redskins, opting to instead play on a one-year, $24 million franchise tag. 

What will happen in 2018? Nobody knows, but it's entirely possible the Redskins won't have Cousins at quarterback. 

With that in mind, here are eight realistic options for Washington at QB. There are plenty of options, but these could all make sense in some capacity. 

  1. Colt McCoy - The only quarterback under contract for the Redskins in 2018, McCoy knows Jay Gruden's offense inside and out. He's been with the Redskins as long as Gruden, and started four games for Washington in 2014. Since Cousins was named starter in 2015, McCoy has been the backup. One of the all-time great QBs in college at the University of Texas, his professional resume has been unimpressive. He played on some bad teams in Cleveland and San Francisco, and took a number of big hits and sustained injuries. He's a different player now than he was then, and the Redskins front office has publicly and privately discussed their faith in McCoy. Will that be enough for him to be QB1 in 2018?
  2. Tyrod Taylor - Few QBs get less respect than Taylor does from the Bills, who inexplicably got benched for rookie Nathan Peterman earlier this year. Taylor is technically under contract for 2018, but with no guaranteed money due, expect Buffalo to release the former Virginia Tech star. Here's the thing: Taylor has been good. In three years in Buffalo, Taylor has a winning record and has completed nearly 63 percent of his passes with 50 touchdowns against 16 interceptions. Additionally, Taylor can run. In 2015 and 2016, he's rushed for nearly 600 yards each year and averaged five TDs on the ground. 
  3. Andy Dalton - The connection between Gruden and Dalton will get talked about plenty. Gruden worked with Dalton in Cincinnati as offensive coordinator for three season before taking over the top job in Washington, and while the two were paired together, the quarterback played well. His best season came in 2013, their last working together. He passed for nearly 4,300 yards and 33 TDs. It's possible the Bengals would release Dalton this offseason to move forward with backup A.J. McCarron. It's unclear if Dalton will become available, but the idea of the QB again working with Gruden could have some merit. 
  4. Case Keenum - For five seasons, Keenum looked like a career journeyman backup quarterback. He played in Houston, St. Louis and L.A., and piled up a 9-15 record as a starter. This season, Keenum has been a rocket, leading the Vikings to 9-3 record as starter in 12 games. He's completing nearly 68 percent of his passes and has thrown 20 touchdowns against seven interceptions. In a November game against the Redskins, Keenum completed 72 percent of his passes for 304 yards and four TDs, though he did throw two interceptions. Keenum has been quite good this year, but how will that translate into the free agent market? It's unclear. 
  5. Sam Bradford - Another Vikings QB set for free agency, Bradford has had one of the weirder NFL resumes ever. The No. 1 overall pick in 2010 by the Rams, Bradford never really delivered upon that promise. In four seasons with the Rams, he started 49 games, often dealing with injuries. In 2015, he moved on to the Eagles and played well. In 2016, he played quite well for the Vikings, completing more than 71 percent of his passes with 20 TDs against five INTs. Bradford started the 2017 season with a bang, going 27 of 32 for 348 yards and three TDs in a big win over the Saints. Then Bradford injured his knee, and hardly played the rest of the season. Bradford has talent, but health has always been a question. 
  6. Lamar Jackson - Before folks ask, Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen won't be available. The Redskins will likely pick somewhere in the middle of the draft, and both the top QB prospects will be long gone. Louisville's Jackson is a different story. The 2016 Heisman Trophy winner again put up video game numbers in 2017. More importantly for NFL scouts, this season Jackson showed increased accuracy, completing 60 percent of his passes, up from 56 percent in 2016. His throwing numbers are strong, 3,489 yards along with 25 TDs against 6 INTs, but on the ground he's just as dangerous. This year Jackson ran for more than 1,400 yards and 17 touchdowns. Some NFL folks wonder if Jackson's accuracy can rise to an NFL level, but there are no doubts about his arm strength or athleticism. Simply put, Jackson is a baller. 
  7. Baker Mayfield -  The most electric player in college football in 2017, Mayfield has Oklahoma in the College Football Playoffs and is the owner of a fresh Heisman Trophy. Similar to Jackson, Mayfield's numbers are crazy. This year he's thrown for more than 4,100 yards while completing 71 percent of his passes to go with 41 TDs against just five INTs. He makes plays downfield, consistently, and has enough shift to escape the pocket and throw on the move. In the NFL, however, many scouts wonder if Mayfield has the size to make it at QB. Plus, there have been questions about maturity and he was arrested in February. 
  8. Josh Allen - The QB from Wyoming was a big buzz candidate before the 2017 college football season started, but his season hasn't gone too great. He's got prototype size and a big arm, but this season has dealt with injuries and a tough schedule. He's thrown for just 1,658 yards and 13 TDs against six interceptions. In games against Oregon, Hawaii and Air Force, he threw for less than 100 yards. Allen looks to be a project for an NFL team that has time to develop. Could that maybe fit if Cousins is back with Washington on a one-year deal?

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Need to Know: Five possible Redskins free agent targets

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USA Today Sports Images

Need to Know: Five possible Redskins free agent targets

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, January 18, 55 days before NFL free agency starts.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL franchise tag deadline (3/6) 47
—NFL Draft (4/26) 98
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 234

Five possible Redskins free agent signings

Yesterday, we took an early look at how the Redskins might improve themselves in the first round of the draft. Free agency is just 55 days away so let’s look at five possible Redskins premium free agent signings.

QB Teddy Bridgewater (Vikings)—The Vikings have one of those “good problems to have” at quarterback. If Case Keenum leads them to the Super Bowl, they might have to hold on to him and let the 25-year-old former first-round pick walk. He didn’t put up huge numbers in his two years as the starter but the Vikings didn’t ask him to do much. He’s a pocket passer with mobility and it would be interesting to see what Jay Gruden could do with him. The devastating knee injury that cost him most of the last two seasons is, of course, a major concern and it would have to be examined closely before any major commitment.

WR Jordan Matthews (Bills)—He struggled some in 2017 after the Bills acquired him from the Eagles. He spent the last five games on injured reserve with a knee injury. But when he was healthy for his first three seasons with the Eagles, he averaged 75 receptions for almost 900 yards and six touchdowns per season. The injury could help the Redskins get a quality receiver at a discounted price.

G Jonathan Cooper (Cowboys)—The seventh overall pick of the 2013 draft has had problems getting a foothold in the NFL. He has spent two years with the Cardinals and two in Dallas. Injuries have hurt him as well. But he is young (27) and if he’s healthy he could be a good alternative to some of the more expensive options to fill the left guard spot.

DL Bennie Logan (Chiefs)—The Redskins wanted to sign him away from the Eagles a year ago but they couldn’t get a deal done. Logan went to the Chiefs on a one-year deal so he’s set to be a free agent again at age 28. He’s just the sort of nose tackle that Jim Tomsula likes (more athletic than heavy) and he could play on other downs as well. The Redskins have the same hole at nose tackle that they had a year ago and making another run at Logan is a no-brainer.

ILB Jon Bostic (Colts)—Logan was a second-round pick of the Bears in 2013 and if he signs with a new team in 2018 it will be his fourth in six NFL seasons. He is more solid than spectacular but the Redskins might just need someone who can play if they lose Zach Brown and/or Mason Foster and Will Compton to free agency.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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Zach Brown's Twitter frustration not aimed at Redskins, per source

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USA TODAY Sports

Zach Brown's Twitter frustration not aimed at Redskins, per source

Redskins fans desperately want Zach Brown back on the roster for the 2018 season, and a Wednesday morning tweet made many Washington fans freak out when the linebacker posted, "I guess the respect level is still low..."

Don't freak out Redskin fans.

The tweet has nothing to do with contract negotiations between Brown and the Redskins, per a source with knowledge of the situation.

Instead, this is about a recent addition to the Pro Bowl. 

MORE: FIVE POTENTIAL FIRST-ROUND PICKS

Tuesday night, the NFL announced Falcons linebacker Deion Jones would replace injured Panthers LB Luke Kuechly in the Pro Bowl. 

Brown made the Pro Bowl in 2016 playing with the Bills, and during Pro Bowl voting earlier this season his Twitter feed had many messages supporting a second straight trip. 

Jones had a strong season for a good Falcons defense, but he finished with just 11 more tackles than Brown despite playing in three more games.

In fact, Brown was the leading tackler in the NFL before missing the final three games of the season with a litany of injuries. Remarkably, Brown kept the NFL tackle lead after he missed Week 15, though the rest of the leauge caught up to him by Week 16. Playing in only 13 games, Brown still finished ninth in the NFL in tackles, and also added 2.5 sacks. 

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!