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More fan Twitter questions: Trent Murphy, improvements on D, 10 wins for the Redskins?


More fan Twitter questions: Trent Murphy, improvements on D, 10 wins for the Redskins?

In case you missed it, we got so many good questions we split the Twitter mailbag into two parts. Here is Part 1 from yesterday; let's get rolling right here with Part 2:
@Rich_TandlerCSN #RedskinsTalk Is Moses' handling of Murphy in minicamp more good or bad?

— L. Allen (@L_Allen_) May 20, 2014
You need a "none of the above" choice in your question there. There are some things you can tell when players are working out in shorts and helmets with not pads, but how one individual might "handle" another when anything is one the line is not one of them. I would caution anyone against reading too much into what you might hear about line play during the upcoming OTAs and minicamp. Let's talk Morgan Moses vs. Trent Murphy in Richmond in August, not in Ashburn in May.
@Rich_TandlerCSN how well positioned are the skins to develop players? Seems like the big differentiator. #RedskinsTalk

— Brandon Moore (@habimaki88) May 20, 2014
The organization has recognized that the team has fallen short when it comes to developing draft picks. Both Bruce Allen and Jay Gruden said that the goal was to draft players with strong work ethics and high football IQ in order to increase the chances that they will improve. This sometimes means that you don't always get the biggest, fastest, and most athletic players. The prime examples of this type of player are Trent Murphy, Spencer Long, and, in the later rounds, Ryan Grant. They also brought in some coaches who are good teachers, coaches like outside linebackers coach Brian Baker. We won't know for a couple of years if this plan will work, if it will result in players who are better in their third years than they were as rookies. But there does appear to be a plan in place and fans should take some encouragement in that.
@rich_tandlercsn what will it take for redskins to get top10 defense again like 05'.coaching? players?was upset they didn't bring back GW.

— joshua aguilar (@krunchySHART) May 20, 2014
I'm not sure they are aiming to be in the top 10 when it comes to yards given up, the traditional measure of defense. The game has changed. I think they want to be in the top 10 in sacks and takeaways; that type of defense wins games. But that doesn't change the larger point of your question. I'm a believer in Harry's and Joes winning games, not X's and O's. They need better players. When they get enough of them they will be an effective defense.
@Rich_TandlerCSN How big is M Brown loss, will Skins replace? Where will Trent Murphy play most and in which situations?

— Fight On (@rickoharrison) May 20, 2014
Normally it's one to a customer but Rick is a long time Twitter follower and commenter so he gets a two-for-one special here. I wrote about Brown on Tuesday so you can get the details there. But the bottom line is that the job will need to be filled but it doesn't necessarily have to be one person. As far as how big the loss is, it's never good to lose good football people in the front office but in the shorter term, Jay Gruden and RG3 are much more important to the success of the team on the field than is Brown. Murphy's role will be sorted out between now and Sept. 7. Look for him in pass rush situations. Not sure if he'll be an extra linebacker, a linebacker while Ryan Kerrigan lines up with his hand in the dirt, or if he'll line up as an end. If he can handle it, he'll do all three in various packages.
@Rich_TandlerCSN with the improvements we have made this offseason, is it crazy to think we can win 10 games this year?#RedskinsTalk

— rich depaul (@peyton03) May 20, 2014
Crazy? No, teams do the worst to first thing all the time and the Redskins could be particularly well positioned to do it for the second time in three years. But thinking 10 wins could be overly optimistic. With a new coaching staff, as many as 25 new players, and some questionable areas like the secondary and the offensive line, it could take a season for things to gel.
@Rich_TandlerCSN Does the June 1st date have any effect on the possibility of cutting Bowen or Chester? #RedskinsTalk

— Ziggy Valbrun (@Ziggy2126) May 21, 2014
Not really. The CBA allows teams to release up to two players prior to June 1 and designate them as June 1 cuts for salary cap purposes (meaning that any prorated signing bonuses remaining on the contract will not accelerate onto the present year's cap but will go onto the following season). So there is no reason for the Redskins to wait if they want to release Chester, Bowen, or any other player. In fact, if they know they want to release one or both players it would be better to do it immediately. If they wait and the player gets injured while working out on team property, they could end up being on the hook for the player's salary for the entire year. The fact that both players are still on the roster indicates that the team plans to keep them at least through training camp.


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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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