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Moss for Lavar?

Moss for Lavar?

I really thought that Dan Daly knew better than this. In a recent column he wrote:

The word out of Minnesota is that the Vikings might be ready to part ways with Randy Moss, their never-a-dull-moment wide receiver. Some people in the organization, important people, are 'exasperated with him,' my friend Kevin Seifert wrote in the Minneapolis Star Tribune earlier this week. 'At the very least, they plan to initiate a substantive internal discussion about Moss and his future with the franchise this offseason.'

It's hard to read that sentence without a picture of Moss in a Redskins uniform popping into your head. I mean, think about it: If the pre-eminent pass catcher in the NFL became available, could Dan Snyder possibly resist taking a run at him?

I doubt it.

[deletia]

Dan the Man has always had a weakness for the Big Splash (see Deion Sanders, Bruce Smith et al.), and trading for Moss would be, well, the Cannonball to End All Cannonballs.

Uh, Dan, the Deion/Smith/George fiasco was five years ago. Even before the grownups, led by Joe Gibbs, came onto the scene Snyder had learned that chasing after big money, big attitude players wasn't they way to go. There is not much chance of a) Snyder asking Gibbs if he could try to cut a deal for Moss and b) Gibbs giving it the green light. It's worse than the odds of Rod Gardner not dropping an easy pass, worse than those of Mark Brunell threading a rope between to defenders 35 yards downfield.

But, we're all allowed to speculate, I guess. But Daly didn't stop there. He proposed a deal that simply could not be done and I'm amazed that he didn't realize it.

So imagine, if you will, this scenario: The Vikings send Moss to the Redskins for their No. 1 pick (ninth overall), a No. 2 (either this year or next) and LaVar Arrington (without whom the Washington defense did just fine this season, ranking third in the league).

[deletia]

The trick would be to make the numbers work. The Redskins would be hit with a huge cap charge if they traded Arrington so early in his deal, but they could alleviate some of it by releasing Mark Brunell, their grossly overpaid backup quarterback.The numbers don't work, Dan. The cost of trading Arrington and releasing Brunell (the cap consequences are the same in either case) prior to June 1 would be prohibitive. The dead cap for Arrington would be just a shade over $12 million and for Brunell it would be about $3.7 million. Add in Moss' salary of $7.25 million and you have about $23 million, or over a quarter of the cap, tied up in the acquisition of one player.

Again, prohibitive.

Daly does start to redeem himself towards the end of the column, pointing out the obvious reasons why Gibbs would not want to trade for a player that he saw walk out on his team with time still left on the clock. Guys like Gary Clark and John Riggs marched to a different drummer, but they never marched out of the stadium early.

And if he could find a way to be unhappy in Minnesota, where he scored 90 touchdowns in seven seasons, he could certainly find a way to be unhappy in Washington, where the leading receiver scored only one TD in 16 games this year. Like most serial screw-ups, he'd be on his best behavior with the Redskins until he wasn't — and then, heaven help them.Despite this and despite the financial roadblocks the size of the Hoover Dam, in the end, Daly insists that it still could happen.

But desperate teams do desperate things. They'll even trade for players with more baggage than a 767 — if they're good enough. I guess if you're a columnist desperate for material you'll come up with something like this.

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Need to Know: Should the Redskins draft Vita Vea in the first round?

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Need to Know: Should the Redskins draft Vita Vea in the first round?

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, January 24, 51 days before NFL free agency starts.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL franchise tag deadline (3/6) 41
—NFL Draft (4/26) 92
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 228

Fan questions—Surprise cuts, finding a playmaker

I put out a call for questions on social media and I got so many good ones that I’m splitting them up. Here are Facebook questions today and I’ll hit the best Twitter questions later this week.

 

Spencer Long could be gone but he is a free agent, so he could not be cut. As far as players under contract, a lot will depend on who they draft and sign in free agency. If they go heavy on the defensive line, Ziggy Hood and Terrell McClain could be in danger of being cut. An influx of defensive back might have Josh Holsey and Deshazor Everett headed out of town.

There won’t be any cuts that save a major amount of cap space. Thek players with the top 15 cap numbers per Over the Cap are all vital to the operation with the possible aforementioned exception of McClain.

The rub is that if you want an instant “bona fide” playmaker you are going to have to invest either a lot of cap dollars or high draft pick. They have invested cap dollars in Reed and, to a lesser extent, Thompson and a No. 1 draft pick in Reed. The plan needs to be to make sure that Reed stays healthy (as best you can) and hope you get 12-14 productive games out of him, get Thompson back in the swing of things, and continue to work with Doctson. Perhaps they can get a mid-round find like the Saints did with Kamara to add to the mix. But for the most part, the Redskins will have to make do with what they have.

The way things stand right now, I’m seeing Vea regarded as more of a late first-round pick than a player who should go in the top half of the round. That could change as the draft process goes on. I think the Redskins need to continue to strengthen their defensive line and if Vea moves up to a high first-round grade or slides to a second they should take a long look at him.

The player I’m keeping my eye on is Jordan Matthews, who spent three years with the Eagles before being trade to Buffalo. He had over 800 yards receiving in each of his three seasons in Philly before a knee injury hampered him last year. He’s 6-3 and still young (26 in Week 1). Sammy Watkins of the Rams is intriguing but he had just 593 receiving yards in 15 games in a Sean McVay’s very productive offense. An older but less expensive option might be Eric Decker of the Titans, who had just 30 fewer receiving yards than Watkins and would be much a much less expensive acquisition albeit as a stopgap.

I see them addressing other needs in the first round. That could change if there is someone there who is just too good to pass up.

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.

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No tension between Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins, but the coach wants improvement 

No tension between Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins, but the coach wants improvement 

MOBILE -- Jay Gruden is making jokes about Kirk Cousins again, and that's good news for Redskins fans that worried about a fracture between coach and quarterback. 

It all started in the weeks following the Redskins dreadful Week 17 loss to the Giants as Gruden and Cousins seemed to be throwing slight jabs at one another.

Gruden, in his end of year press conference, explained that while Cousins "showed flashes" in 2017, when the team goes 7-9, the coach can't say any player was outstanding: 

You know when you’re 7-9, you know it’s hard to say, ‘Wow, this guy really was outstanding.’ You know there’s a few guys obviously that jump out, Pro Bowlers like Ryan Kerrigan had a solid year. Obviously Trent when he played was Pro Bowl type, Brandon when he was healthy was Pro Bowl type guy. Kirk had his flashes where he was really good. From a consistent standpoint, over the course of 16 games, you know we’re 7-9. He did some great things, threw for over 4,000 yards and 29 touchdowns I believe. So, I think he’s a very, very good quarterback without a doubt, but as far as getting us over the hump from 7-9 to winning a division with all the injuries that we had, I think he competed and did some good things.

Cousins, in his year-end radio appearance with 106.7 the Fan, explained that he wants the team to do better but doesn't think the 7-9 record should fall on his shoulders alone. (Quote via Washington Post)

What I gathered from the comment was 7-9 and the quarterback play are causally related and that quarterback play is 7-9, 7-9 is the quarterback play. I saw that and I thought, ‘I think it’s slightly more complicated than that.’ I think there’s a few more dynamics in play as to what your final record is. … At the same time, his job is to evaluate. That’s a big part of his role and his position. In that comment, he’s just doing his job, he’s evaluating the position and he has the right to say what he wants to say.

Both comments were fairly innocuous, but also clearly at odds. Combine that dialogue with the undercurrent of another offseason contract negotiation, and it seemed things between coach and quarterback weren't quite right. 

On Tuesday, speaking at the Senior Bowl, Gruden cleared the air. Asked directly about tension between he and Cousins, the coach was blunt. 

"No." 

Gruden went on to explain his answer about Cousins 2017 play, the now infamous 7-9 line.

"When I say 7-9, if I say one player played great that means I'm saying everybody else was not very good," the coach explained (full video above). "I think we all have to stick together, we all have to improve from a 7-9 season, coaches, players, everybody."

Cousins was good in 2017, throwing for more than 4,000 passing yards for the third straight season. He also showed that he can produce offensively without a great supporting cast, as injuries robbed the Redskins of many of their best passing game threats and seriously damaged the offensive line. 

The quarterback did play two terrible games in the last month of the season, however, including a three interception stinker in the Week 17 finale.

It's possible that Gruden had that fresh in his mind when he spoke in early January, and with the benefit of a little time, his assessment mellowed by late January. 

Either way, Gruden joked about Cousins deserving a vacation, and even said the QB needs a tan. Gruden often uses humor to defuse touchy situations with Redskins players, and maybe he just did it again. 

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