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Need to Know: With Cousins' future uncertain, should the Redskins take a QB in the first round?

Need to Know: With Cousins' future uncertain, should the Redskins take a QB in the first round?

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, March 3, 6 days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.  

Timeline

Days until:

—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 45
—NFL Draft (4/27) 55
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 134
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 191

A quarterback in the first round?

The Redskins made an initial contract offer to Kirk Cousins and it appears that they have a long way to go before will be able to get a deal done. In fact, they need to be prepared for the possibility that they won’t get a deal done and he will be gone in 2018. Life without Kirk Cousins may become a reality.

One NFL analyst thinks that the Redskins may begin to prepare for the possible departure of Cousins when the draft comes around. In fact, he thinks that they will do so very early in the April 27 draft.

Bucky Brooks of NFL.com has just posted a mock draft. With the No. 17 pick he has the Redskins taking North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky. His comment:

“If the Redskins can't get Kirk Cousins signed to a long-term deal, they could opt to take a young QB to serve as an apprentice until he is ready for the starting job in 2018.”

Let’s set aside the choice of QB for a moment. It’s a pretty simple concept, right? Instead of waiting until your quarterback is gone, you prepare for the inevitable by drafting your 2018 starter and giving him a season under his belt in 2017.

You could argue that the team has a lot of needs and that one of those should be address rather than taking a player who may not take a snap in 2017. Last year they took Josh Doctson in the first round and the wide receiver played in just two games and was shut down due to a persistent Achilles issue. Having a scenario where the first-round pick contributes little for a second straight year would hamper the team’s progress.

But if you don’t have a quarterback you don’t have anything. If the Redskins have a chance get someone who they believe can be a quality starter they almost have to take it.

If they do go in that direction, is Trubisky the right guy? He had an impressive 2016 season, completing 68 percent of his passes with 30 touchdowns and six interceptions. He looks the part, and the official measurements at the combine proved that he is actually 6-2. But last year was his only season as a starter so there isn’t not a lot to go on.

The name, however, is not important. You could fill in Deshaun Watson or DeShone Kizer or another quarterback you think is better and it’s the same idea.

I’m not saying that the will draft a quarterback in the first round. But if negotiations with Cousins aren’t going well when the draft rolls around they should seriously consider it.

In case you missed it

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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Kirk Cousins breaks down the terribleness of FedEx Field grass

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Kirk Cousins breaks down the terribleness of FedEx Field grass

For years, the Redskins struggle with their home field as the fall turns to winter. It's been happening so long it's become an expected passing of the seasons, like the transition from Halloween jack-o-lanterns to Christmas lights dotting people's front yards. 

Well, on Thanksgiving night, the turf at FedEx Field again showed how bad it can be. On a second half interception returned for a New York Giants touchdown, replay showed that Kirk Cousins' foot got stuck on the dirt, and it played a role in his sailing a ball to the sideline. The bad turf was not the only reason for the interception, but it was definitely a reason. 

Beyond the pick, the field was just ugly. Twitter blew up making fun of the Redskins home grass, and the national broadcast showed just how unsightly the long brown patch between the hash marks looked. 

On Friday, the normally diplomatic Cousins opened up about the grass.

"It probably doesn't look like a professional NFL field should," the quarterback said on 106.7 the Fan (full audio here). "If you think the field is rough now on Thanksgiving, we've got two more home games in mid-to-late December. That's probably going to be a bigger challenge."

Asked about the field's impact on the interception on Thursday night, Cousins ignored it. But plenty of other players have suggested the field is a known problem in the second half, and something they just must deal with. 

"I don't know why it is that way or what causes it," Cousins said. "I've kind of learned to accept it and understand it's part of the deal. Playing here on the field has never been that great in the second half of the season for whatever the reason."

[h/t @BenStandig for the Cousins quotes]

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When Samaje Perine got going, so did the Redskins' offense

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Bob Youngentob for NBC Sports Washington

When Samaje Perine got going, so did the Redskins' offense

At halftime of the Redskins’ Thanksgiving night game against the Giants, Samaje Perine had three yards rushing and his team had three points. Washington had racked up all of 113 yards.

Coincidence? Not entirely. Although the Redskins are primarily a passing team they need to run the ball to pass effectively.

“We had to get the running game going,” said Jay Gruden after the game.

In the second half, Perine and the offense did get it going. Perine ran for 97 yards and Redskins put up 210 yards and 17 points. It’s safe to say that it wasn’t a coincidence.

The Redskins didn’t make any halftime adjustments to get the ground game in gear.

“We just had to stay the course,” said Perine. “We knew they were going to come out fired up, they just came off a big win. We just had to stay the course and then things started going our way.”

MORE REDSKINS: MUST-SEE PHOTOS OF THE WIN

Perine was more steady than spectacular. His longest run was 16 yards. He came out of the locker room and ran for six and 10 yards on his first two carries. Later in the third quarter the Redskins were backed up at their own 10. Perine ran four straight plays for 39 yards and the Redskins were near midfield.

Although they didn’t score on that drive they did change field position. That was part of the Redskins’ strategy playing with an injury-depleted offense.

“If you had to punt in a game like this and play field position, it’s not the end of the world because our defense was playing so good,” said Gruden.

Not only did the running game flip the field, it flipped the time of possession. In the first half, the Giants had the ball for 17:40 compared to 12:20 for the Redskins.

“We had to get on the field and control some of the clock,” said tackle Morgan Moses. “We had to give our defense a rest. Samaje put his foot in the ground and got extra yards when needed and we were able to move the chains.”

Moses wasn’t the only one enjoying seeing Perine pile up some yards.

“As a defensive player, you want to see that,” said safety D.J. Swearinger. “We say, keep running it. Keep running him. Let him keep getting those carries, put a dent in the defense. It was a good sight to see.”

RELATED: FIVE KEY MOMENTS IN RESKINS VS GIANTS

Swearinger got to watch a lot of Perine. The Redskins piled up 22:17 in possession in the second half, while Swearinger and his defensive mates had to defend for just 7:43.

Last night was the second time in four days that Perine has rushed for 100 yards or more; he had 117 in New Orleans on Sunday. No Redskin has rushed for 100 yards in consecutive games since Alfred Morris did it in November of 2013.

He will have a chance to extend that streak to three on Thursday against the Cowboys, who are ranked 17th in rushing defense. That would put him in some elite company in Redskins history, including Larry Brown (twice) and Stephen Davis.  A steak of three straight 100-yard games was last done by Morris in 2012.

It may be a little early to look forward, but the Redskins record is five straight 100-yard games, held by Clinton Portis (twice) and Ladell Betts.  

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.