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


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?

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Free agency frenzy

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Free agency frenzy

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 17, 40 days before the NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington.

Redskins and NFL free agency tracker—I started this a week ago today and it grew to 3,500 words. The problem was there wasn’t much to add by the time that free agency actually started at 4 p.m. on Wednesday. The legal tampering period or, as I dubbed it to avoid an oxymoron being used, the “permitted tampering-like activities period” was when all of the news happened. By the time actual free agency opened on Wednesday afternoon it pretty much was all over. Thanks to those of you who followed along.

Zach Brown agrees to terms with Redskins, per source—Since Kirk Cousins’ departure was a foregone conclusion, Brown was the Redskins’ most important free agent. His retention provides continuity in the defense and that will benefit both the team and Brown. His contract (preliminary numbers three years, $24 million) showed that the Redskins are willing to invest some money in the inside linebacker spot for the first time since Joe Gibbs brought in London Fletcher to play middle linebacker in 2007.

Report: Kirk Cousins to sign epic new deal with Vikings—We heard you, folks. The collective voice of the fans who visit NBC Sports Washington on a regular basis let us know that you were not interested in a lot of posts about the Cousins saga that was unfolding in Minnesota. So this was one of very few articles on Cousins that we posted even though Cousins posts have been popular, but with the vast majority of traffic coming from out of town. So, you’re welcome. It should be noted that we will write about Cousins in the future but infrequently.

Redskins officially announce 5-year deal with WR Richardson—He was the opening act for the Alex Smith press conference, and he handled himself very well. If Richardson is even moderately successful I think he will be a major fan favorite.  

Tweet of the week

Here is what fans need to know—a team can afford to do virtually anything it wants in free agency in a given year. If they wanted to the Redskins could restructure deals and sign all of their free agents to contracts that have very small first-year cap hits, creating room to sign the Honey Badger or Suh. The problems come in later years when the cap space you pushed back starts to pile up. The Redskins generally do squeeze free agent contracts into relatively small cap spaces. For example, Richardson’s deal average $8 million per year but the 2018 cap hit is just $4 million. But they don’t like to restructure deals to push money back into later years. That created problems during the Vinny Cerrato years.

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


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 30
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 132
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 176

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Bashaud Breeland the latest former Redskin to fail a physical; won't be signing with Panthers

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Bashaud Breeland the latest former Redskin to fail a physical; won't be signing with Panthers

The Redskins had to say good bye to several key players as the 2018 NFL free agency period began.

Cornerback Bashaud Breeland was one of those players.

On Tuesday, Breeland reported agreed to a 3-year, $24 million deal with the Carolina Panthers.

But on Friday afternoon it was reported that Breeland failed a physical, which means he won't be signing with the Panthers, per Panthers reporter Bill Voth.


If this sounds familiar, it's because it is familiar.

Redskins wide receiver Ryan Grant intended on signing a four-year, $29 million deal with the Ravens. But a failed physical just a day before his introductory press conference meant a voided contract and back to the drawing board.

According to multiple reports, Breeland's failed physical was due to a recent non-football injury. Breeland and the Panthers could still come to an agreement, but the former Clemson star is now back to being a free agent and will have to pass a physical before officially signing with a new team.

According to ESPN's David Newton, Breeland injured his foot on vacation in the Dominican Republic and will need his skin grafted in order to repair the injury.

The Redskins were one of the NFL's most injured teams in 2017, and that trend appears to have extended to the offseason.