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Need to Know: Cousins was right when he said a lot of Redskins are on one-year deals

Need to Know: Cousins was right when he said a lot of Redskins are on one-year deals

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, May 19, four days before the Washington Redskins start OTAs on May 23.

Timeline

It’s been 138 days since the Redskins played a game. Their season opener against the Eagles at FedEx Field is in 114 days.

Days until:

—Redskins OTAs start (5/23) 4
—Training camp starts (7/27) 69
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 83

21 Redskins are on one-year contracts

“There’s so many guys on this team who are on one-year deals,” quarterback Kirk Cousins told Larry Michael on Redskins Nation earlier this week. 

Cousins was not exaggerating. Between players like Cousins, whose franchise tag contract is in essence a one-year contract, and players who are on multi-year deals that expire after this season, there are 21 players who are not under contract in 2018 and eligible to become unrestricted free agents.

Not all these players are vital to the success of the Redskins. Some of them will not even make the team this year. But the Redskins would like to bring back some of them. Let’s look at the list of UFAs and break them down by how important it will be to re-sign them.

High priority: Cousins, RB Chris Thompson, WR Terrelle Pryor, ILB Zach Brown, C Spencer Long

The importance of retaining Cousins is obvious. Thompson is valuable as the third-down back. If Long makes progress in his fourth NFL season he could be the best young center the team has had in years. If Pryor and Brown perform like they did with other teams last year they will be key members of the offense and defense, respectively.

Moderate priority: CB Bashaud Breeland, OLB Trent Murphy, ILB Will Compton, K Dustin Hopkins, ILB Mason Foster, OLB Junior Galette

The Redskins have prepared for Breeland’s possible departure by drafting third-round cornerbacks in each of the past two seasons. Galette and Murphy could be an either/or situation with the team making an effort to sign one or the other. Same with Compton and Foster, assuming that Brown is back. Hopkins should be back but only at the right price.

Low priority: WR Ryan Grant, S Josh Evans, S DeAngelo Hall, S Will Blackmon, G Shawn Lauvao, LB Chris Carter, TE Niles Paul, WR Brian Quick, TE Derek Carrier, NT Phil Taylor

There are a couple of categories here. There are some older players and the Redskins likely will want to go younger and cheaper—Hall, Blackmon, and Lauvao. Then there are players who are on the bubble for making this year’s team in Grant, Evans, Carrier, Paul, Quick, Carrier, and Taylor.

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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Redskins leave Philadelphia with more injuries than they came in with, somehow

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AP Images

Redskins leave Philadelphia with more injuries than they came in with, somehow

The Redskins went into Lincoln Financial Field somewhat banged up. They left in worse shape than they were when they arrived.

The most significant injury seemed to be to guard Brandon Scherff. Coach Jay Gruden said that he had an MCL injury and that he will get an MRI on Tuesday. He left the game late in the third quarter and did not return. Scherff rarely takes plays off and the feeling is that he could have a significant injury. He headed to the team bus to the airport with a brace on the knee.

OT Trent Williams came into the game with a patella injury in his knee and he aggravated it late in the game, missing the Redskins’ last couple of possessions. He did not practice all week to rest the injury. We will see as the week goes by if the injury will allow Williams to continue to play.

OT Morgan Moses sprained both ankles and he returned to the game after each injury. He undoubtedly will be very sore tomorrow and we will see how he recovers.

MORE: FIVE TAKEAWAYS FROM A DISCOURAGING LOSS

The other reported injuries were more minor in nature, although they could cost the players some games. CB Fabian Moreau had a hamstring strain and he left the game. OLB Preston Smith, who has been one of the team’s best pass rushers this year, left the game with a groin strain. He attempted to return but he had to go back out. CB Josh Holsey had a chest contusion and he returned after going to the locker room to be examined.

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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Five takeaways from the Redskins' discouraging 34-24 loss vs. the Eagles

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USA TODAY Sports

Five takeaways from the Redskins' discouraging 34-24 loss vs. the Eagles

Here are my five takeaways from the Redskins’ 34-24 loss to the Eagles:

The Redskins have to keep the hammer down—They scored the first time they had the ball and then they had a few empty possessions. Washington took a 10-3 lead but the Redskins then got into the cycle of short, ineffective offensive possessions getting their defense back on the field too soon. The way Carson Wentz is playing, if you give him enough chances you will pay for it.

They won’t win if they don’t run—The running backs carries 14 times. Sure, the game got away in the second half, reducing their opportunities, but the rushing game was an issue throughout. In the first half they had a pair of third and ones and a third and two and they passed all three times. All three were incomplete, which led to the issues in the first item here. If the Redskins have a balanced offense they have a shot at beating almost anyone. If they don’t run the ball enough the odds are against them.

MORE: REDSKINS OFFENSIVE, DEFENSIVE MVP FOR PHILLY GAME

Redskins fans have the Cleveland Browns to thank for 10 years of Wentz—The Browns played Moneyball and traded the rights to draft Wentz to the Eagles. Like just about everything the Browns do, it didn’t work out. Now the Redskins, Giants, and Cowboys will pay for the Browns’ mistake for years to come. That run out of the pack of rushing linemen was both amazing and critical. It turned a punt back to the Redskins, who were down by seven, into a first down and an eventual touchdown.

The defense needs to get itself off the field—It’s easy to blame the offense for the problems with possessing the ball. But the defense could do its part, too, by getting itself off the field. At times, it feels like the Redskins’ defense is better than it has been in years but they gave up touchdown drives of 81, 80, 80, and 75 yards. At some point you have to show you’re better and get a takeaway or just make a stop to get off the field. Until then, the group has not improved in a meaningful way. I should note that the injuries have something to do with it, for sure. Dunbar did not play poorly but they pay Josh Norman $15 million per year for a reason.

There is a lot of season left to be played—The Redskins are 3-3 and two games away from the midway point to the season. They would have to rely on an Eagles’ collapse to win the NFC East but it’s entirely possible that they could. All but one other second-place team has three losses and the Redskins get their shot at the Seahawks in a couple of weeks. Fans have every right to feel frustrated after this loss but it’s not the end of the line. There still is plenty for this team to play for. Some of the injured players aren’t coming back but if they can round into reasonably good health in the next few weeks they still have a lot that they can accomplish.

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.