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Need to Know: Many factors involved with Redskins' choices at QB

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Need to Know: Many factors involved with Redskins' choices at QB

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, January 10, 63 days before NFL free agency starts.


Days until:

—NFL franchise tag deadline (3/6) 55
—NFL Draft (4/26) 106
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 242

Answering your questions

Simple question but not a simple answer. If the two of them were just standing there and I could take one to QB the Redskins I’d take Cousins. He’s younger, he has more upside and he knows the system.

But the two guys aren’t just standing there. Neither one of them is under contract with the Redskins for 2018. There are plenty of other factors that will go into deciding which player is the better choice. How much do I have to pay Cousins to stay here? Long-term deal or one year? How much draft capital do I have to give up to get Smith? Since his current contract has just one more year to go can I extend him before making a trade? And how much do I have to pay him?

So, there are lots of factors that would go into making a choice. Multiply that times many other potential QB choices and you can see what a monumental task the Redskins have in front of them.

On one hand, no. I think Gruden would rather have Kirk Cousins here on a long-term deal and handle any pressure that would come with having a four-year starter as his quarterback.

But your question is not completely off base. The chances are that he will have Cousins for a maximum of one more season. Quite simply, if he is going to start over at quarterback he is better off professionally if he does it with three years left on his contract. Gruden may want to move on from Cousins sooner rather than later. You could interpret that as a desire to avoid being on the hot seat or at least postponing it for as long as possible.

There are a lot of moving parts here. The one thing that seems clear is that you are right about Kouandjio. He did a passable job filling in for six starts, but I think they would rather have him as a reserve than as a starter. After all, they did feel OK letting him go in the cut to 53.

I’m not sure that Long, who is an unrestricted free agent, will come back. He has to get healthy first and then the Redskins will see how much they will value him in free agency. But whether it’s Long or someone from another team, I think a free agent will be the Week 1 starter. They might take a guard sometime on Saturday during the draft but I don’t see a player taken outside of the top 100 being a Week 1 starter.  

The days of the “bell cow” running back are fading away. Sure, there are some good ones like Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott but for the most part, it’s by committee. Just look at the four teams playing in the NFC divisional round. The Eagles had three backs gain over 300 yards this year, the Vikings had two over 500. The Falcons have rolled with the duo of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman for a few years now and the Saints just established their two-headed attack with Mark Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara.

So I don’t think that they are all that worried about getting a 20-carry per game guy. I do think that they will look to upgrade the position in either free agency or in the draft but with a complementary type of player and not a “bell cow”.

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.

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In case you missed it

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Let's take a look at how Eagles fans celebrated Sunday's NFC Championship win

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Let's take a look at how Eagles fans celebrated Sunday's NFC Championship win

Eagles fans are known for a lot of things, most tend to not be very positive.

Sunday, the internet made sure to help us all keep track of what was going on in Philly, before, during, and after the Eagles and Vikings played for the NFC Championship.

Let's take a look at how things progressed in the City of Brotherly Love.

In what has become the iconic symbol of Sunday's "celebrations", this poor fellow, according to TMZ, Andrew Tornetta, refused to comply with orders to disperse by police in the parking lot before the game.

Instead, according to the report, Tornetta punched a police horse twice in the right shoulder and then hit the human officer in the face, which is always a terrible decision.

Oh, and it's the second time in two weeks a police horse took a fist from a human in Philly. 

Fans also welcomed anyone wearing Vikings colors with class and, well, brotherly love.

Also before the game, the city decided to be proactive, and keep fans from climbing light poles if the Eagles won.

Of course, we knew what wouldn't stop them.

Sure enough, some fans were up to the Crisco Pole Challenge.

Others though, didn't need grease to have issues with a pole.

Some decided to create a new dance, which we're sure will catch on any day now.

There was also the classic dance-on-a-car move.

Oh, and let's not forget them letting the Vikings know they played a great game. 

Forget the Patriots and Eagles playing eachother in the Super Bowl.

The real matchup, is Patriots fans and Eagles fans.

May the best fanbase win.

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The pros and cons of each of the Redskins' options with Kirk Cousins

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The pros and cons of each of the Redskins' options with Kirk Cousins

The Redskins are pondering the three options they have to start up the process that will either lead to Cousins playing in Washington in 2018 or saying goodbye to their starter for the last three years. These options carry pros and cons that Schaffer, Allen, and Dan Snyder will weigh over the next 46 days until March 6, the deadline for teams to designate transition and franchise tags.

Here are the three most likely options for the Redskins and the pros and cons of each approach:

No tag, let him hit free agency—This would allow Cousins to become a free agent at 4 p.m. on March 14, when the new league years starts. The Redskins could make him an offer and they could ask the Cousins camp to give them an opportunity to match any offer they might be considering. But Cousins would be under no obligation to do so.
Pros: It would end the uncertainty once and for all. When the process is over, Cousins will either be a Redskin in the long term or be playing for another team. This also is the only way the Redskins can qualify for a compensatory draft pick if Cousins does sign elsewhere.
Cons: The most likely outcome is that the Redskins would be starting over at quarterback in 2018, something they are not ready to do. A large segment of the fan base would be angry if the Redskins just let Cousins walk out the door.


Transition tag: This tag carries a salary of $28.8 million and it allows Cousins to talk to other teams. If he gets an offer sheet from one of them, the Redskins would have five days to match it. If they don’t match, Cousins goes to the other team for no compensation. Another possible outcome could be Cousins signing the tag and staying in Washington for the fully guaranteed $28.8 million salary.
Pros: There also would be a good chance of ending the uncertainty, with Cousins either ending up gone at the end of the process or under a long-term contract in Washington. It also would give Cousins what he wants, the ability to test the open market, while giving the Redskins a shot at keeping him at the same time.
Cons: A team with adequate cap space could front load an offer and make it very difficult for the Redskins to match. There would be no compensation if Cousins left because the Redskins declined to match an offer sheet. And there is the possibility that the QB uncertainty could linger for another year if Cousins signs the tag.

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.

Franchise tag: This tag carries a salary of about $34.5 million. Cousins could not negotiate with other teams as there is no non-exclusive option on a third career franchise tag. At his radio event the week after the season ended, Cousins said that he would just sign the tag and play for the Redskins. They could trade Cousins after he signs the tag, although the salary would make that difficult to do.
Pros: It would virtually assure that the Redskins would have Cousins for 2018. They would have until July 15 to try to negotiate a long-term deal with him.
Cons: You can’t make the case that Cousins, or any player not named Brady or Rodgers, could justify a $34.5 million salary for one year. And since a fourth franchise tag is not permitted, it would almost certainly set up a scenario where Cousins plays one more year and then he is done in DC. That’s not how to get the certainty at the position that Jay Gruden desires.

There is a fourth option, which would be to sign Cousins before the deadline. But earlier this month Cousins said that he would not be interested in doing that; his preference is to wait until March. Perhaps things can change but Cousins was quite definitive in what he said.