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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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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 21, five days before the 2018 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

Should the Redskins pursue Dez Bryant? This topic was one like a meteor, very hot for a short period of time before it quickly faded out. It started to heat up as soon as the Cowboys cut Dez (about a month too late) and when it was reported that he wanted to play against Dallas twice a year it really picked up steam. But then people started to actually think and figured out that signing Bryant didn’t make much sense for the Redskins. Add to that the reports that the Redskins had no interest and would not look into signing Dez in the future and the Redskins fans quickly lost enthusiasm for the topic.

Seven-round Redskins mock draft—I think that most Redskins fans would be happy with this mock. Well, I’ll say some Redskins fans, most is a pretty strong word in this case. 

Is the draft pool deep enough for the Redskins to trade back? There is plenty of talk about the Redskins trading down in the first round to recoup the third-round pick they gave up in the Alex Smith trade. But they need to be careful. Many consider the draft to be top heavy and they may lose their chance to pick up an impact player if they trade back too far. The question then becomes one of quality vs. quantity. 

Three questions as offseason workouts get underway—There will be plenty more questions that we can ask about this team. But we don’t really know what to ask before the draft, particularly when it comes to the defensive line and running back. One the personnel settle into place we will know what we don’t know. 

Tweet of the week

On Chris Cooley’s thought that the Redskins might try to trade back and get Da’Ron Payne in the draft and the use the assets obtained to move up to get Derrius Guice. 

This is related to the questions about trading back. On paper it looks like a good idea, assuming the Redskins want Payne. We’re pretty sure they would like to have Guice but we haven’t heard as much about the Alabama defensive lineman. 

I had many reply that Guice won’t be there in the second round. It’s possible, perhaps even likely, but you just don’t know. There was zero chance that Jonathan Allen would be there at No. 17 last year, right? 

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:

—OTAs start (5/22) 31
—Training camp starts (7/26) 96
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 141

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Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

The NFL started taking into account a new factor when putting together its schedule this year. The concept is called rest disparity. It stems from a complaint made by the Giants last year. And, of course, when the Giants have a cold, the NFL sneezes and immediately does whatever it takes to cure the cold. 

Here is how Peter King laid it out this morning on the MMQB:

Last year, I heard the Giants were not pleased with their schedule because they felt they were too often playing teams more rested than they were. In consecutive October weeks, they played teams coming off byes, for instance. The NFL calculated a figure for every team based on the number of combined days of rest for their foes or for the team, calculating, for instance, in those two weeks, the Giants were a minus-14 (minus-seven for each of the foes, Seattle and Denver, coming off byes). In all, by my math, the Giants were a league-worst minus-22 in “rest disparity.”

So the schedule makers worked to minimize the rest disparity this year. According to King, the worst rest disparity in the league this year is minus-11. The Giants are minus-eight. 

The question that Redskins fans will have immediately here is if the Giants’ rest disparity was reduced at the expense of the team in burgundy and gold. The answer that will surprise many is no. 

The Redskins rest disparity in 2018 will be either minus-one or zero. The variance is due to the possibility that their Week 16 game in Tennessee will be flexed to a Saturday game (see details here). If the game stays on Sunday, they will be at minus-one in rest disparity. If it gets moved, they will have had exactly as much rest over the course of the season as did their opponents, in aggregate. 

If you're interested in the nitty-gritty, here is how it breaks down. In eight or nine of their games, they will have had the same amount of rest as their opponents. They play one game coming off of their bye, a Monday night game in New Orleans. The Saints play the previous Sunday, giving Washington a plus-seven in days of rest. That is canceled out when they play the Falcons in Week 9 after Atlanta’s bye. 

Due to their Thanksgiving game, they get three extra days off going into their Week 13 Monday night game in Philadelphia. Two weeks later the Jaguars will have those three extra days of rest when they host the Redskins, having played on Thursday in Week 14.

They lose a day relative to their opponents coming off of those Monday night games against the Saints and Eagles. The Redskins get an extra day prior to visiting the Giants in Week 8 as New York has a Monday night game in Week 7. 

So far, that comes to minus-one in rest disparity. That will remain in place if they play the Titans on Sunday, December 23. If the game is flexed to Saturday, they will gain a day of rest on the Eagles in Week 17, zeroing out the rest disparity for the season. 

More Redskins

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.