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Redskins intend to let Bashaud Breeland test free agency, per source

Redskins intend to let Bashaud Breeland test free agency, per source

Bashaud Breeland might be back with the Redskins in 2018, but the cornerback will first get the chance to test free agency, per multiple sources close to the situation. 

Drafted out of Clemson in the fourth round in 2014, Breeland has mostly been a starter for the Redskins the last four seasons. At times brilliant in coverage and at times a frustration for coaches, Breeland will likely find multiple suitors in free agency.

Asked on Thursday if the Redskins had engaged in contract talks yet this season, Breeland answered simply, "No."

"I'm not even sure what's going on," Breeland explained to NBC Sports Washington. "I'm just playing ball." 

RELATED: NFC PLAYOFF PICTURE HEADING INTO WEEK 17

This year, Breeland has played in 14 of 15 games, registering 45 tackles, 16 passes defensed and one interception that he ran back for a touchdown. In an early December game against Los Angeles, Breeland was benched early, only to come back and grab a pick six late in the blowout loss. 

Breeland has started 56 games to go with eight interceptions in four seasons with the Redskins. He has talent, size and physicality, yet Washington has repeatedly made moves to supplant their cornerback group. 

In a late November press conference that might explain the Redskins' feelings about Breeland, Washington head coach Jay Gruden said that after some struggles the cornerback had, "bounced back and done some good things... I like the way he plays. I like the way he tackles. He’s a physical corner, so I think he’s in a good position to get a nice contract."

It's telling that the coach expects Breeland to "get a nice contract," but did not make it sound like that contract would come written in Burgundy and Gold. 

In 2016, the team signed Josh Norman to a five-year, $75 million deal in free agency and drafted Kendall Fuller in the third round. In 2017, the Redskins added Fabian Moreau in the third round of the draft. Quinton Dunbar, a restricted free agent in 2018 with good range that the Redskins coaching staff likes, will likely cost significantly less to keep in Washington as well. 

With that depth at corner, it's no surprise if Breeland plays on a new team in 2018.

"I'm just patiently waiting to see whether that's still with the Washington Redskins or with a new family," Breeland said. "I understand the business. There's no hard feelings. I just want to play ball." 

During his tenure with Washington, Breeland has earned about $3.3 million. His payday in free agency could be much more, though he explained during an honest locker room conversation that his next deal will be about more than cash. 

"It's not about the money, it's about the respect level," Breeland said. "Me playing, me leaving, it's about starting to become something that I wanted to be. My vision when I stepped into this league was becoming a dominant corner in this league, someone my team can depend on. I feel like that time is right around the corner."

Breeland switched agents earlier this year, though that's not uncommon for players in a contract year.

RELATED: GRUDEN SAYS COUSINS DOESN'T OWE HIM ANYTHING, BUT HE'S WRONG

For many NFL players, a second contract in the league presents the opportunity to finally choose your own path. The first deal a player gets, a rookie contract, usually comes out of the draft and with a slotted pay scale. 

"Coming into the league you don't really get the option to really pick where you want to go. Now the ball will be in my court," Breeland said. "It is exciting because this is the time you really find out who really wants you."

If those words sound familiar, it's because Redskins quarterback and possible free agent Kirk Cousins has said largely the same thing, a version of wanting to be wanted. 

For Breeland, it's just about the same.  

"If they want you, they'll make you feel wanted."

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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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

Every week during the 2017 Redskins season, NBC Sports Washington found two Redskins fans in the crowd and paired them in a head-to-head matchup on Twitter to determine the fan of the game.

And now that the season is over, it's time to take each of those winners, throw them into a NCAA Tournament-style bracket and let Twitter pick the Redskins Fan of the Year.

Starting on January 8 over on the @NBCSRedskins Twitter account, one matchup a day will be posted at 11 a.m., and fans will have 24 hours to vote for their favorite supporter by retweeting or liking depending on their preference. Week 1's winner will face off with Week 17's, Week 2's will play Week 16's, etc.

The winners will advance, and eventually, one member of the Burgundy and Gold faithful will stand above all the rest, earning the coveted title of Redskins Fan of the Year. 

Check out the results below, which'll be updated every day. To see the tweet that corresponded with each matchup, click the link after the date, but remember, retweets and likes submitted after the 24-hour period won't be counted.

ELITE 8 RESULTS

January 18: Round two, matchup one

The first Elite 8 matchup was... not close:

January 19: Round two, matchup two

Half of the Final 4 is now set:

January 22: Round two, matchup three

This one was a low-scoring, close affair, but went to the Likes side in the end:

January 23: Round two, matchup four

The last Final 4 spot is up for grabs. Vote now:


FIRST ROUND RESULTS

January 8: Round one, matchup one

This was a close one that came down to the last-minute, but at the 24-hour mark, Week 17's winner garnered justtttttttt enough retweets to move on.

January 9: Round one, matchup two

In this tournament, a giant Redskins chain is apparently worth more than a giant football hat.

January 10: Round one, matchup three

In the tournament's third showdown, we have our first winner from the Likes side:

January 11: Round one, matchup four

Was there anyway she wasn't gonna win, especially with the little Hogettes nose?

January 12: Round one, matchup five

Our fifth matchup's winner earned the most retweets of anyone up to this point:

January 15: Round one, matchup six

These three 'Skins fans had to witness Washington's Thursday night flop in Dallas, so it's only fair that they get to advance to the second round:

January 16: Round one, matchup seven

You'd think a turkey hat would be enough to capture a W, but not in this one:

January 17: Round one, matchup eight

The Elite 8 is now set with this showdown going to the retweets side:

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Redskins will eye Vikings' QB decisions with great interest

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Redskins will eye Vikings' QB decisions with great interest

Now that the Minnesota Vikings’ season is over, the team can start sorting out its quarterback situation. The Redskins will be watching the process with great interest.

Minnesota has three quarterbacks who have significant NFL starting experience and all three of them are free agents. It would be difficult for the Vikings to keep more than one of the trio of Sam Bradford (80 NFL starts), Case Keenum (38), and Teddy Bridgewater (28). All three would like to start, or at least have an opportunity to start, in 2018. The Vikings will only be able to accommodate one of them.

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That would leave two experienced quarterbacks on the market. As you may have heard, the Redskins could be parting ways with Kirk Cousins. Would they be interested in any of the three possible ex-Vikings? Let’s take a look at each of them:

Sam Bradford, age 30 at start of 2018 season—After the Rams made him the No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft, he had four up and down years in St. Louis. He was traded to the Eagles for Nick Foles. Philly flipped him to the Vikings after Bridgewater was injured before the 2016 season. Bradford had a career year in his first year there but a knee injury limited him to two starts in 2017.
Fit with the Redskins: He is the most likely of the three to end up on the free agent market and he could end up costing the least. Bradford was very productive in 2016 and he would be a good fit in Jay Gruden’s offense. But the injury bug is a major red flag. He has missed 48 of a possible 128 games with injuries including 14 last season and the entire 2014 season.

Teddy Bridgewater, age 25—He was going to be the Vikings’ franchise quarterback after they drafted him in the first round in 2014. Bridgewater led the Vikings to an 11-5 record and a division title his second season and they were a missed chip shot field goal away from advancing to the divisional round. But a devastating knee injury suffered before the 2016 season has put his future in doubt. It put him on the injury list for all of 2016 and most of last year.  
Fit with the Redskins: The story now is that the organization is torn between keeping Bridgewater or sticking with Keenum. Bridgewater also could fit into Gruden’s offense. Bridgewater is by far the youngest of the three and he could be more of a long-term solution. The knee is the reason why the Vikings can’t move on and there is uncertainty over whether it will ever be 100-percent.

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Case Keenum, age 30—The Vikings are the third stop in his six NFL seasons. He had stints as the starter in Houston and with the Rams before landing in Minnesota as a free agent last March. When Bradford was injured in Week 1 in came Keenum and he had a career year, completing 67.6 percent of his passes with 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions. The Vikings had an excellent defense but it’s unlikely that they reach the NFC championship game without Keenum.
Fit with Redskins: Is Keenum a one-year wonder? Or did his show is ability given a chance? Look at this table to compare his first season as a starter with Kirk Cousins’ 2015 season. Keenum had 62 fewer attempts so the yardage total is lower, but their performances are comparable. But if the Vikings let him go, will the Redskins risk a multi-year deal that probably will be in excess of $20 million per year on a guy with one solid year on his resume? They were unwilling to do it with Cousins a few years ago.

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.