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Art of the Max Deal: Details on Kirk Cousins' weekend round of golf with Donald Trump

Art of the Max Deal: Details on Kirk Cousins' weekend round of golf with Donald Trump

"Hey partner," Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States, beckoned to Kirk Cousins.

"Get in," Trump said, as the Redskins quarterback arrived at Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, N.J. on Saturday, June 10. 

Cousins arrived as a guest of Trump's for a personal round of golf, as first reported by the Washington Post.

The most powerful person in the country wanted the most powerful athlete in the nation's capital to join him for 18 holes.


Eric Shuster, CSN Mid-Atlantic's Director of Strategic Partnerships and close personal friends with the Redskins quarterback — who was acting independently — had a mutual connection with President Trump's golf partner and called Cousins to see if he would be interested. 

President Trump is an an avid golfer and sports fan. Of course he wanted to play a round with a member of the Redskins. Trump wanted to play with someone who is a "great person," a bill which Cousins fits perfectly.

So there was the biggest athlete in Washington, D.C. and the biggest politician in the country, riding together in the President's personal golf cart, engaging in a friendly match against one of Trump's golf partners and another friend. The President and the Redskins quarterback won the match by a lone stroke. 

It was just another day on the golf course, despite the gravitas of the two partners, with President Trump hitting a few long balls and being described as an "excellent putter." Like any weekend golf pair, the two complimented each other on their shots, with President Trump telling Cousins he has a nice form and will be a greater golfer when he retires. 

"Enjoyed the round of golf this past weekend," Cousins told CSN. "Grateful to Eric Shuster of CSN for making it happen. Never thought I would be able to do something like that. Another example of the incredible platform that exists in Washington, D.C."

The round was "as unpolitical as possible." The President, wearing his traditional golf outfit of blue slacks, a white golf shirt and a red "Make America Great Again" hat, was affable, cordial, and interested in getting to know Cousins. 

Despite two secret service members walking alongside the twosome, with multiple secret service members in golf carts flanking the group on every hole, the round was "peaceful" and "incredibly relaxing." 


But the day didn't start that way.  

Cousins wasn't even 100-percent sure that the round was going to happen. Pulling up to the Trump National security gate, the gravity of the day did not hit Cousins until the guards responded to their names with, "Oh, you're the POTUS' guests."

From there, politics was as far away as the White House or Cousins' hometown of Holland, Mich.

After the round, which took well under three hours, the golf group sat down to lunch in the Trump National grill, where a traditional All-American lunch was served. 

As an avid sports fan, the Commander-in-Chief talked to Cousins about everything the average weekend golfer would want to talk about.

He posed the same question everyone in the D.M.V. is asking, wanting to know if Cousins will be back with the Redskins in 2018. 

In typical Kirk fashion, the answer to the President was consistent with what he has been saying to the public, not giving specifics on the status of contract talks and focusing on football. 

The President spoke of his great friendship with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and inquired with the rest of the group on who they believe would win the NBA Finals (The Warriors led the Cavaliers 3-1 at the time). 

The President also asked the same question sports fans around the country are asking, wanting to know if LeBron James is still the best basketball player on the planet, offering up no answer himself.

It was an incredible experience, one Cousins said would love to replicate with former presidents Barack Obama or George W. Bush, both avid golfers themselves. 

After all, who wouldn't love to play a three-hour round of a golf on a beautiful Saturday afternoon?

CSN's Mitch Tischler contributed to this story.

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5 draft scenarios that make sense for the Redskins in the 1st round

5 draft scenarios that make sense for the Redskins in the 1st round

As NFL Draft Week starts in earnest, a million scenarios will get presented. Hypothetical trades, absurd reaches and nonsenical slips will get discussed, most likely to not happen. 

For the Redskins, the team could go a number of different ways, and plenty of them make sense. Let's take a look at those options.

  • Draft Vita Vea or Da'Ron Payne- The Redskins had the worst run defense in the NFL in 2017, and defending the run has been a problem for Washington for some time. Vea would help, immediately, both on the front line and the linebackers making tackles. Washington could make this pick at 13 and nobody would question it. Drafting Payne would be a move for higher potential, rather than immediate performance. Vea has been the more impressive college defensive lineman, but that doesn't mean Payne couldn't be the better professional. Payne could develop pass rushing skills, becoming a valuable interior pass rush disruptor. Vea seems a longer shot to do so. 
  • Draft Minkah Fitzpatrick or Derwin James - Neither of these players should last to 13, but because of the expected run on quarterbacks, it's entirely possible James or Fitzpatrick last until the Redskins' pick. Both players are versatile and highly capable, both could help the Redskins in 2018, and maybe more in the years following their rookie season. Position questions will get sorted out, whether it's at safety or corner or some hybrid of roles. Listen to the folks from Tallahassee or Tuscaloosa, and the word on these two secondary players is elite potential. 
  • Go linebacker - Roquan Smith seems undersized for the NFL, but he will help an NFL team. He is a high floor, low ceiling player. Tremaine Edmunds could be much more. He has outrageous measurables and is only 19 years old (see video above). Smith is an interior linebacker that will make a ton of tackles; Edmunds can rush the passer and be disruptive in pass coverage. It's entirely possible neither make it to Washington at 13, but if either do, that would mark a good option for the Redskins. 
  • Trade down - Bruce Allen made clear speaking with NBC Sports Washington in March that the organization would look for opportunities to trade down, and it would be a wise strategy. Most top draft analysts believe the value in this draft comes from the 30th to 100th best players, not necessarily the Top 30. Washington gave up its third-round pick in the trade to acquire QB Alex Smith. If an opportunity presents itself to move back in the first round and gain additional picks the team needs to give that offer strong consideration. A player like Payne might be had around the 20th pick in the first round, or there are other defensive linemen available. The Redskins also need interior offensive line help, and a number of quality candidates will likely get picked in the bottom third of the first round.
  • Catch a falling star - This plan worked great for the Redskins in 2017. Nobody expected Alabama DL Jonathan Allen to slip to the 17th pick, but sure enough, he did. All Washington had to do was wait for their pick and take easily the best player available. That could happen again. The expected early run on QBs will drive top talent down the board, and if one or two teams make surprise, reach picks, the Redskins could again win out. It seems unlikely, but if a talent like Denzel Ward or Quenton Nelson falls to 13, the Redskins should pounce. 


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: Setting the final odds on the Redskins first-round draft pick

Need to Know: Setting the final odds on the Redskins first-round draft pick

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, April 23, three days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

Setting the odds on the Redskins’ top pick

We have just three days left until the draft and it’s time to make the final predictions. For the last time before this draft, we’re going to break out the $100 in imaginary poker chips and see who is the favorite to be the Redskins’ top pick. 

Before we get started, all of these odds are set with the Redskins staying at No. 13. With a separate stack of chips, I’ll put $20 on them trading down, $80 on them staying put. There just isn’t an obvious team to deal with or a player that would be on the board to make a team want to move up. 

DT Vita Vea, $30—I would have this a little higher but I’m becoming less confident that he’ll be on the board when the Redskins draft at 13. Normally nose tackle isn’t a high-value position, but this is an odd draft and Vea is a freakish talent. He has to get past the Raiders picking tenth and the Dolphins at No. 11 and I’m not sure they will. 

S Derwin James, $20—If Vea is gone then there is a good chance that James will be there at 13, assuming that the four quarterbacks everybody thinks will go in the top 12 are indeed selected. Although the Redskins have D.J. Swearinger and Montae Nicholson at safety, the versatile James could find snaps all over the field, as a third safety to cover tight ends and perhaps even at slot corner. 

DT Da’Ron Payne, $15—It’s starting to look like he’ll be a reach at 13; his real value lays more in the late teens or early twenties. But the analysts’ consensus doesn’t necessarily match up with what the Redskins think. If they believe that Jim Tomsula can coach some pass rushing ability out of him, they could well have him graded high enough to go ahead and fill the need with the first-round pick. 

LB Roquan Smith, $10—His size may concern enough teams to leave him on the board until the Redskins are on the clock. I’m not sure that the Redskins would take him because they just re-signed Mason Foster and Zach Brown. But he is fast, hard hitting, and he may be too good to pass up. 

DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, $10—Many project him to be a slot corner in the NFL. A few years ago, many teams would hesitate to take a nickel corner in the first-round. But today, with teams lining up with three or more wide receivers on 63 percent of the snaps a slot corner is much more than a role player. Add Fitzpatrick’s ability to move back to safety and you have a player the Redskins should covet if he drops to 13. 

CB Denzel Ward, $10—I don’t give much of a chance of being on the board when the Redskins pick but stranger things have happened. He would be a steal at 13.

RB Derrius Guice, $5—I don’t think that this will happen, but I can’t look at all of the attention the Redskins have given to him and believe that there is a zero chance of them taking a running back this high in an RB-rich draft.  

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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Days until:

—Rookie minicamp (5/11) 18
—OTAs start (5/22) 29
—Training camp starts (7/26) 94

The Redskins last played a game 113 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 139 days. 

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