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Need to Know: Answering fan questions—Crowder, resting Reed, and respect

Need to Know: Answering fan questions—Crowder, resting Reed, and respect

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, September 29, three days before the Washington Redskins play Chiefs in Kansas City.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 1 p.m.; Jay Gruden press conference and open locker room after practice, approx. 2:45  

Days until:

—49ers @ Redskins (10/15) 16
—Monday night Redskins @ Eagles (10/23) 24
—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 30

Answering your Redskins questions

I got this question from a number of you. I chose Andrew’s because he is one of my early-morning Twitter pals and a top-notch meteorologist at the NBC affiliate in Richmond. I think that they are improved from last year with the additions on defense. They could improve more if Kirk Cousins can get things going with Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson. But they are not going to hold an offense like the Raiders have to 128 yards with Cousins completing 80 percent of his passes for over 350 yards every week. So what it looks like now is that the Redskins have jumped up a notch or two, from the middle of the pack into a spot somewhere in the top dozen or so. If that’s your definition of “good” it seems that they are there.

You apparently didn’t listen to me and JP on our #RedskinsTalk podcast this week. With a player like Reed, you don’t “rest” him when he can play. You only get 16 games and teams don’t generally let a player who is healthy enough to participate sit, especially one who has the impact of Reed. I thought Spaight played well.

I’m not sure what Brown has done to deserve “more of a go”. He has played well in the preseason the last couple of years but almost always late in the game when the last string was in the game. In both of his regular season looks, against the Bears last year and Sunday against the Raiders, he was in against tired defenses who were on the wrong end of a blowout. Don’t get me wrong, I like Brown but I have to say I just don’t get all of the calls for him to start or get more carries. The Redskins are in the top six in the NFL in rushing attempts, yards, and average per carry. It’s not like the Rob Kelley, Samaje Perine, and Chris Thompson aren’t getting the job done.

Gruden said on Sunday that they have no plans to make a change. Crowder went for two years without losing a fumble on punt returns and the coaches see no reason to pull the plug on him now. A third muff in the next few weeks might change their minds but for now, Crowder is the returner.

One thing—consistency. So far this year they have played, in order, a poor game, a solid game, and a great game. They need to make the bad games the exception and play solid games week in and week out with the occasional great effort thrown in there. If the Redskins want that respect they can’t lose a division game at home unless they go on the road and win the return match. And it will take some time. People still remember what happened at the end of last year so perceptions are not going to turn around very quickly.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Costly cornerbacks, offseason blueprint

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Costly cornerbacks, offseason blueprint

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, February 17, 25 days before NFL free agency starts.

The Redskin week that was

My weekly look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics on RealRedskins.com and NBCSportsWashington.com.

An offseason blueprint for the Redskins—Should the Redskins focus their free agency money on keeping their own? In addition to unrestricted free agents Zach Brown and Trent Murphy, they need to consider extensions for Brandon Scherff, Preston Smith, and Jamison Crowder. That could chew up a bunch of the approximately $31 million of cap space that they have. They may get some help on the market but most of their improvement should come from the draft and from within.

Redskins offseason will hit warp speed soon—With the exception of the Alex Smith trade, which actually hasn’t happened yet, there hasn’t been much going on with the Redskins. That is going to change soon, check out the post for the calendar and how the events matter for the Redskins.

No mixed messages from Alex Smith—In a radio interview, Alex Smith said that he was “jacked” to be a part of the Redskins. Now, the phrase often repeated here is that you shouldn’t listen to what they say, you should watch what they do. And the moment that he signs the reported four-year extension that he has negotiated with the team, a deal that likely would put him in Washington for the rest of his career, we will see his actions backing up his words. Then we will know.

What we know, and what we think, of the Su'a Cravens situation—This will be a true test of the acumen of the front office. It’s a very tricky situation. The Redskins have to decide if they want to keep Cravens. Should they decide to keep him, there will be a lot of smoothing over of ruffled feelings that would need to be done over and trust in Cravens would have to be restored. If they don’t want him around, they have to make it look like they are willing to go into the season with him in order to be able to trade him. Otherwise, teams may just wait for them to cut him and sign him as a free agent. Again, don’t listen to what they say, watch what they do.

Tweet of the week

Quarterback is not the only NFL position with rising salaries. The players teams hire to try to stop opposing QBs, cornerbacks, are getting expensive, too. Bashaud Breeland is a good cornerback, not a great one. His coverage skills are solid, he’s a good team player (if a bit of a hothead at times) and his work ethic is not questioned. For a fourth-round pick who everybody thought left Clemson a year too early, he has done well for himself But he hasn’t made a Pro Bowl and he hasn’t even come close enough to be considered a snub. Breeland has eight interceptions in four years in the league with a high of three in 2016.

The price tag for good at cornerback is likely to be in the vicinity of $10 million per season. And good for him if he gets it. But with the Redskins employing Josh Norman, who has cap hits in the range of $14.5 million-$16.9 million over the next three years, it would be difficult to fit him in. Truth be told, Breeland has probably been destined to leave as a free agent ever since Norman signed his contract in April of 2016.

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) 12
—NFL Draft (4/26) 68
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 204

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Cousins would reportedly look to file grievance if Redskins use franchise tag on him

Cousins would reportedly look to file grievance if Redskins use franchise tag on him

The Redskins might try to franchise tag quarterback Kirk Cousins to try to get some compensation for him as he leaves. But Cousins’ camp might not let that happen without a fight.

According to Albert Breer of the MMQB, Cousins might file a grievance if he is tagged, saying that the Redskins would be violating the spirit of the rules regarding the use of the franchise tag. He would be seeking to have the tag voided because the team clearly isn ’t interested in reaching a long-term deal with him given the acquisition of Alex Smith. The tag is supposed to be used to buy time to get an agreement done, not to squat on a player’s rights in order to trade him.

There is precedent for the tag being used in order to facilitate a trade. In 2009, the Patriots tagged quarterback Matt Cassel. They clearly had no intention of keeping him as they had Tom Brady on the roster. But New England pulled it off, shipping Cassel and linebacker Mike Vrabel to the Chiefs for a second-round pick.

But it is up to the player to object to being tagged and for whatever reason Cassel and his agent went along with the tag and trade rather than fighting for free agency.

It looks like Cousins ’camp won’t go as quietly.

It’s up to the Redskins to make the first move. The window to be able to tag a player opens on Tuesday with the deadline coming on March 6. We will see how things play out after that.

MORE REDSKINS: THE EXPECTATIONS GAME

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