Redskins

Quick Links

Need to Know: Will the Redskins be aggressive in free agency?

allen-snyder_usat.png
USA Today Sports Images

Need to Know: Will the Redskins be aggressive in free agency?

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, February 12, 30 days before NFL free agency starts.

Monday musings

—In case it wasn’t clear, my article yesterday wasn’t a prediction that the Redskins will win 10 games. I see that as the level they need to attain to make fans happy and keep FedEx Field from being a home away from home for fans of visiting teams. Whether they get there or not is another matter. We’ll have to see how things shake out as the offseason progresses.

—With about $31 million in salary cap space, how aggressively will the Redskins hit the free agent market? I think that the priority will be to give extensions to Jamison Crowder, Brandon Scherff and perhaps Preston Smith and to re-sign Zach Brown. Extensions of fourth-year players generally carry relatively low first-year cap hits, so even if they get all of that done, they still should have around $18 million left. They probably want to go into the season with about $8 million and they will need a couple of million to sign their draft picks. They can fit a couple of mid-tier players with the other $8 million. So, to answer the original question, not very aggressive.

—I just saw that the Bucs, who stopped playing the same day the Redskins did, fired their defensive line coach over the weekend. It’s a reminder that while the top level of the Washington staff remains intact, it’s not too late to make a change. The possibility that Jay Gruden may decide to make a change is slim but it’s not out of the question. The Colts’ hire of Frank Reich may have ripple effects that reach the Redskins’ staff. All that said, the Redskins should end up seeing what a year of stability will do.

—It will be interesting to see what the Redskins do with RB Kapri Bibbs. You know that Samaje Perine and Chris Thompson will be on the roster. It’s hard to see Gruden favorite Rob Kelley not getting a chance to redeem himself after an injury-plagued 2017 season. They will keep no more than four running backs on their 53-man roster, so if they sign a free agent or draft a running back, Bibbs could be the odd man out. Last year during the draft, Bibbs was traded from the Broncos to the 49ers with San Francisco also getting Denver’s fifth-round pick in that draft and sending their fourth rounder in this year’s draft to the Broncos. So he may have some trade value again, although it should be noted that last year he was on the street from September 1st until the Redskins signed him in late November.

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.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 17
—NFL Draft (4/26) 73
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 208

Tandler on Twitter

In case you missed it

 

Quick Links

As money skyrockets, don't expect Kirk Cousins to give discounts on open market

kirk-cousins-gfx-usat.png
USA TODAY Sports

As money skyrockets, don't expect Kirk Cousins to give discounts on open market

Kirk Cousins repeatedly said his free agent decision will not be just about money. Be clear, however, that money will be a huge factor in this decision. 

After the Redskins traded with Kansas City to acquire Alex Smith before the Super Bowl, it became obvious Washington will move on from Cousins. Whether that means the quarterback simply walks away in free agency or the organization attempts a highly risky tag-and-trade scenario, regardless, Cousins will throw footballs for another franchise in 2018.

Cousins wants to choose where he will play via free agency, and might even file a grievance if the Redskins do deploy a third franchise tag to control his rights.

Assuming Cousins hits free agency, a new report out of New York suggests the Jets will pay "whatever it takes" to land the passer. That could even include a fully guaranteed contract, and will certainly get close to a $30 million a year price tag. 

A notion exists too that Cousins might take less to go to a winner, and many think that could be the Broncos. Denver won five games in 2017, same as the Jets, though the Broncos have a strong defense and have been getting particularly awful QB play. 

The important thing to remember for curious Redskins fans watching the Cousins saga unfold: Don't expect much, if any, discount. 

The quarterback himself made that clear. 

"There’s other quarterbacks that come after you and it would be almost a selfish move to hurt future quarterbacks who get in a position to have a contract," Cousins said last year on 106.7 the Fan.

The quotes came after the 2016 season but before the Redskins again used a franchise tag with Cousins for the 2017 season. Washington wanted to attempt a long-term deal with Cousins at that point, though the quarterback decided to not negotiate and instead play on the tag.

The point remains that Cousins, and his representatives, believe the quarterback has a duty to other players to maximize his earnings. 

"If you don’t take a deal that’s fair to you, then you’re also taking a deal that’s not fair to them and you’re setting them back as well. So there’s different reasons. You just do the best you can."

If he hits free agency, Cousins will likely sign the richest contract in NFL history. Those opportunities don't come around often, and the quarterback should take full advantage. 

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!

Quick Links

Need to Know: Could Ty Nsekhe be the Redskins' answer at left guard?

nsekhe_vs_cardinals.png
USA Today Sports Images

Need to Know: Could Ty Nsekhe be the Redskins' answer at left guard?

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, February 19, 23 days before NFL free agency starts.

Monday musings

—One possible solution to the left guard spot is perhaps being overlooked. Ty Nsekhe played there some last year, starting the game in Dallas and playing there until Morgan Moses got injured, forcing him to move to right tackle. Nsekhe is slated to be a restricted free agent but his return is likely. In December I asked Jay Gruden if Nsekhe might move to guard in 2018. “I think Ty is a big man and a very good tackle, but in the offseason when we have more time, maybe we can feature him at some guard when we’ve got all our guys back,” he said. “Feature him some” doesn’t mean that they will make him a starter; perhaps they want him to be the top option to fill in at four of the five OL positions. But it’s something to keep an eye on if they don’t land a left guard solution in free agency or the draft.

—When I posted about Albert Breer’s report that Kirk Cousins would file a grievance if the Redskins put the franchise tag on him in an effort to trade him, I pulled up a copy of the CBA to see the language on which Cousins could base his case. I read through the Article 10, which deals with the franchise tag twice and I saw nothing of it. But Mike Florio found it in Article 4, the one that deals with player contracts. “A Club extending a Required Tender must, for so long as that Tender is extended, have a good faith intention to employ the player receiving the Tender at the Tender compensation level during the upcoming season.” Since the Redskins clearly have no intention of employing Cousins after the Alex Smith trade, this seems to be a fairly simple case. In reality, it never is.

—I tweeted this last week:

However, possible cap casualties from other teams are not included in that group. That won’t turn the pool of players who will become available to sign into a bunch of potential franchise changers. Still, there could be a number of players in whom the Redskins could be interested in like RB DeMarco Murray, WRs Emmanuel Sanders and Torrey Smith, edge rusher Elvis Dumervil, and DL Brandon Mebane. A plus to signing players who have been waived is that they don’t count in the formula that determines compensatory draft picks. The Redskins have never really paid attention to that in the past but with potential high comp picks at stake if they lose both Kirk Cousins and Bashaud Breeland, this could be a good year to start.

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.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 10
—NFL Draft (4/26) 66
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 202

Tandler on Twitter

In case you missed it