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Kirk Cousins on stress: You’ve got to play well through whatever’s going on

Kirk Cousins on stress: You’ve got to play well through whatever’s going on

Stressed out or not, Kirk Cousins knows he needs to play his best for the Redskins to get wins, regardless of the pressure he feels.

Speaking with the media on Wednesday, Cousins explained that he has been in high-stress situations already in his career, and was able to deliver.

"There were games that I played very well last year. If you were to say ‘Kirk, against the Eagles with the division title on the line on the road, were you at all stressed? I’d say yeah. I mean, my heart’s racing in that game. I took a knee, right? Right before halftime, I mean, do you think I was feeling happy go lucky going into the locker room at halftime on the road having just taken a knee to cost my team three points or a possible touchdown? No," Cousins said. 

"The point is you’ve got to play well through whatever’s going on."

RELATED: NEW CONTRACT ISN'T MESSING WITH COUSINS' MOJO

The quarterback has a point: That game in Philadelphia last season secured the NFC East for the Redskins, and, despite the awkward knee, Cousins played fantastic. He completed 31 of 46 passes for 365 yards and four touchdowns. 

Washington coach Jay Gruden has repeatedly said how tough it is to play quarterback in the NFL. He's right. Each game carries with it immense pressure, and while Cousins is certainly feeling that pressure with the Redskins at 0-2, he also felt that pressure last season.

"When the consequences are a little greater, the mistakes feel a little more painful," Cousins said. "But I’ve missed throws in the past in games that I’ve played really, really well."

Cousins has missed throws in the Redskins two games. The team likely could have scored touchdowns on deep passes to Jamison Crowder and DeSean Jackson in the first half of last week's loss to the Cowboys, not to mention a very bad interception Cousins threw in the end zone in the second half against Dallas.

"You’re going to miss a few," he said. "It’s just been in some spots where you say, man, it had an effect on the outcome of that series or of that game."

Despite the misses, and three interceptions on the year, the quarterback remains confident.

"This game, playing this position, it comes with the territory. There’s going to be pressure, there’s going to be expectations, there’s going to be failures, I’m going to throw picks. The key is going to be can I continue to just keep grinding and keep pushing, and that’s really all I know to do and all I’m going to do, and we’ll just let the chips fall where they may."

RELATED: HOW MUCH BLAME SHOULD COUSINS SHOULDER?

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Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

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Usa Today Sports Images

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 Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

Timeline  

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

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USA TODAY Sports

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. 

MORE: CAN YOU GUESS THESE REDSKINS BASED ON THEIR COMBINE NUMBERS?

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. 

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