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Need to Know: Cousins coaching DB's, Gruden’s hot seat, Redskins on the clock

Need to Know: Cousins coaching DB's, Gruden’s hot seat, Redskins on the clock

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, February 4, 33 days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.  


Days until:

NFL Franchise tag deadline (3/1) 25
—NFL Draft (4/27) 82
First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 218

The Redskins week that was

Crazy finish at the Pro Bowl for Kirk Cousins—By now you’ve seen Kirk Cousins chase down Aquib Talib to knock the ball out after he threw an interception late in the game. Was it great hustle to be cheered or a dangerous and unnecessary play that a pending free agent who has a hundred million bucks or so on the line just should not make? I think it’s both but I do know one thing—we haven’t seen a Redskins defender chase down a ball carrier and successfully execute a classic chop like that in years. Maybe if Cousins comes back he can spend a little time showing the defense how it’s done.

RELATED: Tandler's all-time Redskins Super Bowl team--Offense

Is Gruden really on the hot seat in 2017?—We keep hearing about this but there is nothing coming out of Redskins Park that this is a “win or else” season for Jay Gruden. If the Redskins collapse and go, say, 5-11 things could get uncomfortable, assuming there is no big, apparent issue like Kirk Cousins not being behind center. But one thing to consider is the fact that Dan Snyder has not let go of a coach following a season of less than double-digit losses since he fired Marty Schottenheimer in 2001 after going 8-8. Snyder is not anxious to get back on the coaching carousel.

Assessing five Redskins mock draft selections—When I did this, I dismissed the idea that Ohio State safety Malik Hooker would be available when the Redskins are on the clock with pick No. 17. But then a couple of days later news that Hooker has undergone two surgeries, one to repair a torn labrum and another to fix a hernia. Will that push his draft stock down to where the Redskins would have a shot at him? And, if he is there, will they want him or be concerned that he is damaged goods? In any case, it just goes to show you that there is no point is getting too locked in on the draft at this point. A lot will happen between now and April 27.

More Redskins: New #RedskinsTalk Podcast - Barstool Nate wants Kirk Cousins back

With John Lynch now GM, does 49ers interest in Kirk Cousins change?—I don’t think that Cousins is going anywhere but if he does go to the 49ers the No. 2 overall pick will not be part of the package. Sure, the Vikings gave up a No. 1 pick for Sam Bradford. But Minnesota thought the pick would be in the twenties after they made the playoffs and it turned out to be No. 15. But even that pick is not close to the No. 2 pick in terms of value. Per the draft pick trade chart, it would take two No. 15 overall picks plus an early second-round pick to equal the point value of pick No. 2. It’s hard to see that happening even if the Redskins do agree to deal Cousins away.

The numbers are in: The 2016 Redskins faced a very tough schedule—Were the Redskins substantially better last year than then were in 2015 despite finishing a half game worse and missing the playoffs? It’s possible to say that they were considering that they played a fairly soft schedule two seasons ago and one of the toughest slates in the league in ’16, especially in terms of opposing defenses. I get that you are what your record says you are. But you can’t ignore strength of schedule when it comes to evaluating a team’s season.

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Pernell McPhee reportedly on visit with Redskins


Pernell McPhee reportedly on visit with Redskins

NFL free agency doesn't care about your brackets. 

While you were watching UMBC, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported that Bears linebacker Pernell McPhee is currently on a visit with the Redskins:

Pernell, 29, was drafted in 2011 out of Mississppi State by the Baltimore Ravens. He played there for three years before spending the last two seasons with the Chicago Bears. 

Pernell has 182 career tackles and 31 career sacks. 


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The 2018 salaries of five Redskins become fully guaranteed today

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The 2018 salaries of five Redskins become fully guaranteed today

It may be the 18th of March but today could be like Christmas for five Redskins players.

The Redskins decided to use today, four days after the start of the league year, for some contract triggers. In this case, the triggers are all 2018 salary guarantees (some teams will pay out roster bonuses on trigger dates, but the Redskins rarely use that type of structure).

Here are the players whose have guarantees that kick in today 4 p.m. All data is via Over the Cap.


CB Josh Norman, base salary of $13.5 million becomes fully guaranteed—This was a window for the Redskins to move on from Norman if they were not happy with his performance after two seasons. He is 31 and he had no interceptions last season, leaving some to wonder if the Redskins might think about releasing him. But it never was a consideration.

TE Jordan Reed, $8 million of his $8.25 million salary becomes fully guaranteed—No, I’m not sure why they are leaving that $250,000 out there non-guaranteed. Fans thought that the Redskins might move on from Reed due to his injury issues. But, as with Norman, it never was a consideration.

S D.J. Swearinger, $3 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed—This is a mere technicality, Swearinger wasn’t going anywhere after helping to solidify the safety position.


RB Chris Thompson, $1.996 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed—His rehab is going well and after last year Thompson’s two-year, $7 million contract extension signed last September looks like a good deal for the team.

DE Terrell McClain, $3.25 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed—If the Redskins sign a top free agent D-lineman or draft on early in the draft they could be in a numbers crunch. That new acquisition would be guaranteed a roster spot along with Jonathan Allen, Matt Ioannidis, Stacy McGee, and Anthony Lanier. That makes five and the Redskins kept six last year. Ziggy Hood is a favorite of the coaching staff but he has no guaranteed money left on his contract. That could tip the sixth spot in favor of McClain if he is on the roster at the close of business today. If they release McClain after today, they would take a cap charge of over $2 million. It seems unlikely that anything will happen but it’s something to keep an eye on.

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.