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As 1-year contracts pile up, are the Redskins going all in for 2017?

As 1-year contracts pile up, are the Redskins going all in for 2017?

After the dismissal of Scot McCloughan in early March, many Redskins fans expected the worst for the team in free agency. Despite McCloughan's ouster, the team has excelled in bringing in new players, and Monday's announcement that the team agreed to terms with Pro Bowl LB Zach Brown adds to the foundation. 

Beyond Brown, Bruce Allen has moved to sign defensive linemen Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee, safety D.J. Swearinger as well as wideout Terrelle Pryor. The moves all address needs, and Brown, Swearinger and Pryor should all excite fans. McClain and McGee bring question marks, but head coach Jay Gruden talked about his excitement for both young player's potential. 

Throughout all the moves in 2017 free agency, a trend has emerged for the 'Skins: One-year contracts. 

Pryor and Brown will play this year on a one-year deal. And, oh yeah, Kirk Cousins is currently only signed to a one-year deal as well. 

It's not just the Redskins. There's a growing trend of one-year deals throughout the NFL this offseason, but the 'Skins will have three of their highest profile players facing free agency after the season. 

Does this mean the 'Skins are going all in on a 2017 title run? Probably not. 

Washington brass has been clear that free agency is not the way to build a team, that comes via the draft. With 10 selections in the upcoming draft, the franchise should be able to do just that.

Free agency is meant to supplement a team, fill in spots of need, and one-year deals allow for that. Another big year for Pryor and Brown and it's entirely possible both players leave the Burgundy and Gold next year, but both guys could also net a compensatory pick for Washington in return. The Cousins situation has been covered in-depth, but the 'Skins can still bring their QB back in 2018 without a long-term deal.  

It's natural to wonder if red flags popped up before a player signs a long-term deal, but more than likely, it's about money. Players want more of it, teams want to give less out.

A one-year deal can be a bridge to a long-term, big-money contract. Ironically, Cousins might be the best example of that in the NFL, and other player are starting to follow the example. 

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Kirk Cousins breaks down the terribleness of FedEx Field grass

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Kirk Cousins breaks down the terribleness of FedEx Field grass

For years, the Redskins struggle with their home field as the fall turns to winter. It's been happening so long it's become an expected passing of the seasons, like the transition from Halloween jack-o-lanterns to Christmas lights dotting people's front yards. 

Well, on Thanksgiving night, the turf at FedEx Field again showed how bad it can be. On a second half interception returned for a New York Giants touchdown, replay showed that Kirk Cousins' foot got stuck on the dirt, and it played a role in his sailing a ball to the sideline. The bad turf was not the only reason for the interception, but it was definitely a reason. 

Beyond the pick, the field was just ugly. Twitter blew up making fun of the Redskins home grass, and the national broadcast showed just how unsightly the long brown patch between the hash marks looked. 

On Friday, the normally diplomatic Cousins opened up about the grass.

"It probably doesn't look like a professional NFL field should," the quarterback said on 106.7 the Fan (full audio here). "If you think the field is rough now on Thanksgiving, we've got two more home games in mid-to-late December. That's probably going to be a bigger challenge."

Asked about the field's impact on the interception on Thursday night, Cousins ignored it. But plenty of other players have suggested the field is a known problem in the second half, and something they just must deal with. 

"I don't know why it is that way or what causes it," Cousins said. "I've kind of learned to accept it and understand it's part of the deal. Playing here on the field has never been that great in the second half of the season for whatever the reason."

[h/t @BenStandig for the Cousins quotes]

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When Samaje Perine got going, so did the Redskins' offense

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Bob Youngentob for NBC Sports Washington

When Samaje Perine got going, so did the Redskins' offense

At halftime of the Redskins’ Thanksgiving night game against the Giants, Samaje Perine had three yards rushing and his team had three points. Washington had racked up all of 113 yards.

Coincidence? Not entirely. Although the Redskins are primarily a passing team they need to run the ball to pass effectively.

“We had to get the running game going,” said Jay Gruden after the game.

In the second half, Perine and the offense did get it going. Perine ran for 97 yards and Redskins put up 210 yards and 17 points. It’s safe to say that it wasn’t a coincidence.

The Redskins didn’t make any halftime adjustments to get the ground game in gear.

“We just had to stay the course,” said Perine. “We knew they were going to come out fired up, they just came off a big win. We just had to stay the course and then things started going our way.”

MORE REDSKINS: MUST-SEE PHOTOS OF THE WIN

Perine was more steady than spectacular. His longest run was 16 yards. He came out of the locker room and ran for six and 10 yards on his first two carries. Later in the third quarter the Redskins were backed up at their own 10. Perine ran four straight plays for 39 yards and the Redskins were near midfield.

Although they didn’t score on that drive they did change field position. That was part of the Redskins’ strategy playing with an injury-depleted offense.

“If you had to punt in a game like this and play field position, it’s not the end of the world because our defense was playing so good,” said Gruden.

Not only did the running game flip the field, it flipped the time of possession. In the first half, the Giants had the ball for 17:40 compared to 12:20 for the Redskins.

“We had to get on the field and control some of the clock,” said tackle Morgan Moses. “We had to give our defense a rest. Samaje put his foot in the ground and got extra yards when needed and we were able to move the chains.”

Moses wasn’t the only one enjoying seeing Perine pile up some yards.

“As a defensive player, you want to see that,” said safety D.J. Swearinger. “We say, keep running it. Keep running him. Let him keep getting those carries, put a dent in the defense. It was a good sight to see.”

RELATED: FIVE KEY MOMENTS IN RESKINS VS GIANTS

Swearinger got to watch a lot of Perine. The Redskins piled up 22:17 in possession in the second half, while Swearinger and his defensive mates had to defend for just 7:43.

Last night was the second time in four days that Perine has rushed for 100 yards or more; he had 117 in New Orleans on Sunday. No Redskin has rushed for 100 yards in consecutive games since Alfred Morris did it in November of 2013.

He will have a chance to extend that streak to three on Thursday against the Cowboys, who are ranked 17th in rushing defense. That would put him in some elite company in Redskins history, including Larry Brown (twice) and Stephen Davis.  A steak of three straight 100-yard games was last done by Morris in 2012.

It may be a little early to look forward, but the Redskins record is five straight 100-yard games, held by Clinton Portis (twice) and Ladell Betts.  

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.