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The Redskins won't draft a quarterback early and here's why

The Redskins won't draft a quarterback early and here's why

Now that the Redskins have Alex Smith in the house, the talk has turned to who’s next at the quarterback position.

Smith will turn 34 in May. That’s middle age for a quarterback these days. The Redskins have him under contract for the next five seasons, which would take him through his age 38 season. While he could still be effective at that age, the Redskins should be prepared for the possibility that he won’t be.

There still is talk out there of the Redskins using a top draft pick on a quarterback this year. While you should never say never, it seems very unlikely that they will make such a move. The reason is the collective bargaining agreement.


Let’s take a hypothetical situation where the Redskins take Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph in the second round. They could groom the lifelong Redskins fan and have him take over for Smith when the time is right.

But here’s the problem with that. While we haven’t seen the details of Smith’s contract yet, it’s a pretty good bet that he and the Redskins will be tied together for at least three seasons. They are taking on the last year of his existing deal, and while we don’t have the details of his four-year extension, it is likely that it ties him to the team for at least two years.

So, you have Rudolph sitting and learning for three years and that’s great, right? I mean, that’s what Aaron Rodgers did in Green Bay. It worked out pretty well for him, didn’t it?

Well, the realities of the collective bargaining agreement would make it difficult to repeat the Rodgers apprenticeship. Rodgers’ rookie contract covered five years. A deal for draft picks these days must be four years, no more, no less. I think you can see where I’m heading here. If Rudolph, or whoever the QB draft this year is, starts in 2021 and shows a lot of promise, the Redskins would be right where they were with Kirk Cousins two years ago. They wouldn’t have much of a sample size to work with, but they would have to make a decision about what to do with the quarterback they drafted. Another round of franchise tags could well ensue.


There is a fifth-year team option on first-round picks so in regard to the timing of the contract, a first-round pick this year would work better. But a team that went 1-5 in the division and has to compete against the Super Bowl champions and a Cowboys team they haven’t beaten in a meaningful game since 2014 really can’t afford to spend the No. 13 pick on an asset that is unlikely to contribute for three years.

If the Redskins are going to take a quarterback during the draft, they are most likely to take one on Saturday, sometime in rounds 4-7. They could groom him to be Smith’s backup when Colt McCoy is gone. If he defies the odds like Kirk Cousins did and becomes a viable starter after Smith, the Redskins will have to deal with the contract situation. Hopefully, they will learn something from their mistakes in the Cousins saga and handle it differently if and when it arises.

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


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!

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

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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 and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.


Days until:

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

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