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Kirk Cousins ranks favorably in list grading all 32 backup quarterbacks


Kirk Cousins ranks favorably in list grading all 32 backup quarterbacks


Saying Kirk Cousins has had a roller coaster of a career with the Redskins would be an understatement. Even the bravest thrill seekers would balk at the idea of taking a ride on that coaster if it were real, considering all the insane highs and vicious lows he's experienced since being drafted by the team in 2012. 

Some of the peaks: Coming in for an injured RG3 and orchestrating a fourth-quarter comeback and overtime win against the Ravens as a rookie, beating the Browns the very next week in his first career start, and replacing Griffin again in Week 2 of 2014 and dominating the Jaguars.

Some of the valleys: Posting a 52.3% completion rate during a three start audition at the end of the 2013 season, turning the ball over five times against the Giants in a Thursday night game last year, and getting benched in favor of Colt McCoy after struggling mightily against the Titans a few weeks later.

With all that being said, even with Cousins's wild inconsistency -- he's just as capable as throwing a perfectly placed 50-yard pass as he is a head-scratcher of an interception -- the Redskins should have at least a decent amount of confidence in their chances of winning with Cousins as their backup if the need arises. The feeling is that he's better than a lot of No. 2 passers around the NFL, and one analyst over at believes that, too.

Marc Sessier, a writer at the site, released a list ranking all 32 backup quarterbacks while saying that the position is as important as ever, considering 54 signal callers started a game last year. He said his criteria for the rankings was choosing the "32 presumed backups in the order I would pick them to start a game today. Playing experience and recent game tape were primary factors, but team situation also played a part."

As for where Cousins fell? Well, Sessier is pretty high on the Michigan State product as well: He named the Redskins quarterback the sixth best backup in the NFL.

"For the sake of this exercise, I'm taking Cousins over Colt McCoy for Washington's No. 2 gig, but both could start games this season if RGIII crumbles," Sessier said. "The shine is off Cousins after five of his nine picks last season came in the fourth quarter. Still, both Kyle Shanahan and Jay Gruden have raved about him."

Cousins has become somewhat of a polarizing figure amongst Redskins fans: many think he deserves a chance to be a starter, while others think he's better suited to hold a clipboard. And while one analyst's favorable opinion of Cousins won't do much more than provide another talking point for his supporters, it is always interesting to see how high people value him.


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Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

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Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, February 24, 18 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The five highest-paid Redskins in 2018

Originally published 1/12/18

This is how the five highest-paid Redskins per their 2018 salary cap numbers stack up as of now. The list could change, of course during free agency and if a particular quarterback returns. Cap numbers via Over the Cap.

CB Josh Norman, $17 million—The Redskins do have a window which would allow them to move on from Norman. His $13.5 million salary for this year doesn’t become guaranteed until the fifth day of the league year so it would be “only” a $9 million cap charge to move on from Norman, who turned 30 in December. Don’t look for that to happen but the possibility is there.

OT Trent Williams, $13.86 million—He is one of the best left tackles in the business. Those of you out there who have advocated moving him to left guard should look at this cap number, which is way out of line for what a team can afford to pay a guard. At his pay, he needs to be playing on the edge.

OLB Ryan Kerrigan, $12.45 million—He has delivered double-digit sacks in each of the two seasons that his contract extension has been in effect. That’s good value in a league that values the ability to get to the quarterback.

TE Jordan Reed, $10.14 million—The Redskins knew that he might have a year like last year when he played in only six games when they agreed to Reed’s five-year, $50 million extension. They can live with one such season. If he has another one in 2018 they may rethink things.

G Brandon Scherff, $6.75 million—The fact that a rookie contract is No. 5 on this list is a good sign that, as of now, the Redskins’ cap is not top heavy like it was last year. The top three cap hits from Norman, Williams, and Kirk Cousins totaled $59 million, which was about 35 percent of the cap. This year the total cap numbers of the top three come to $43.3 million, 24.3 percent of the estimated $178 million salary cap.

Next five: OT Morgan Moses ($5.4 million), TE Vernon Davis ($5.33 million), DL Stacy McGee ($4.8 million), DL Terrell McClain ($4.75 million), S D.J. Swearinger ($4.33 million)

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) 5
—NFL Draft (4/26) 61
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 197

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Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price


Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price

A 2017 midseason trade for Martavis Bryant made no sense for the Redskins. A 2018 offseason trade for Martavis Bryant, however, might make sense for the Redskins. 

Bryant is on the trade block, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, and will be an intriguing prospect for receiver-needy teams across the NFL. In parts of three seasons with the Steelers, Bryant has 17 touchdowns and a 15.2 yards-per-reception average. 

A big play threat from any place on the field, Bryant would immediately make the Redskins receiving unit more athletic and explosive. 

It's not all good news with Bryant, though.

He was suspended for the entire 2016 season after repeated drug violations and caused some distraction for Pittsburgh during the 2017 season when he asked for a trade via social media. 


Is the talent enough to overcome the off-field distractions? Many would say it is. 

Last year, in just eight starts, Bryant grabbed 50 catches for more than 600 yards and three TDs. In their lone playoff loss to the Jaguars, Bryant caught two passes for 78 yards and a TD. 

Remember, too, the Steelers have an explosive offense, and Bryant is coupled with Antonio Brown on the receiver front along with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback and Le'Veon Bell at running back. The Pittsburgh offense is loaded. 

Washington's offense is not nearly the prolific unit that the Steelers send out, but Jay Gruden does design a good offense. 

The real question surrounding any talk of trading for Bryant is the cost.

The Redskins are not in a position to send away any more draft picks this offseason after giving up a third-round pick, in addition to Kendall Fuller, to acquire Alex Smith. Bruce Allen and the Redskins front office need to improve their team in plenty of spots, and the team's draft picks are quite valuable. 

Bryant only has one year remaining on his rookie deal, and it's hard to balance that sort of short-term investment with the value of adding a rookie committed to the team for at least four years. Perhaps a late-round pick would make sense, but it would need to be a sixth-rounder. 

This could be one of those rare situations in the NFL where a player for player swap could work, though pulling that type of maneuver requires a lot of moving parts. 

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!