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Need to Know: How will the Garcon-Jackson saga play out for the Redskins?

Need to Know: How will the Garcon-Jackson saga play out for the Redskins?

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, January 5, 112 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL free agency starts 63
NFL draft 112
First Sunday of 2017 season 248
 

Both stay, one stays, or both go—What happens at WR?

Besides the Kirk Cousins contract saga, which we’ll address here at some point soon, the free agency talk of the town centers on the Redskins’ two veteran wide receivers. Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson are both going to be free agents on March 9. They have other things in common as they both turned 30 last year and they both made big contributions to the offense with each of them gaining over 1,000 yards receiving in 2016.

Will the Redskins keep both of them? One of them? Neither of them? Let’s break out the $100 in imaginary casino chips and bet them on the chances of each of the possible scenarios coming to pass.

Both: $10 The Redskins have the cap space to pull this off. They will have around $60 million to work with, possibly more if they move on from some veterans and create more space. But each player is going to command a contract with an average annual value of at least $8-$10 million, maybe more. It simply would be bad cap management to invest some $16-$20 million a year in multiyear deals for two receivers who are over 30 years old.

Jackson only: $15 He can do things that nobody else can do. The combination of Jackson’s speed and uncanny ball-tracking ability (see the long catch in Philadelphia) makes him a unique talent. But it is starting to look like he has worn out his welcome due to his inconsistency on the field and some of his actions (and non-actions) outside the white lines. In short, he does not fit Scot McCloughan’s definition of a “football player”. There is a chance they might make a push for him if Garçon leaves and Jackson is still unsigned but it’s unlikely he’s in a Redskins uniform in 2017.

Garçon only: $40 On the other hand, Garçon was cited as an example of a “football player” by McCloughan in an interview last year. He was the model of consistency in 2016, compiling his 1,041 receiving yards while gaining under 50 yards receiving in a game just three times and going over 100 once. Garçon also is the model teammate, working hard and rarely missing practice. Despite all of that, there is a limit to how much the Redskins will pay him; there are other options to find a receiver who averages five catches per game. And while Garçon has talked of wanted to stay in the area, this is his last shot at a big contract and he may well choose to give a very small hometown discount if any at all.  

Neither: $35 I might be overplaying this a bit, having it just behind keeping Garçon only as an option. But the early chatter is that it is a real possibility. The interest in bringing back Jackson is limited and Garçon could easily be lured away. There are reports that the Redskins could be interested in Kenny Britt, who also posted 1,000 receiving yards this year and he was handicapped by playing in the Rams’ “junior high” offense. They could go with Josh Doctson and Jamison Crowder as the two primary receivers and get a lower-priced free agent to work the slot. It might be a rough transition but it may be the route they will have to take.

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As money skyrockets, don't expect Kirk Cousins to give discounts on open market

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As money skyrockets, don't expect Kirk Cousins to give discounts on open market

Kirk Cousins repeatedly said his free agent decision will not be just about money. Be clear, however, that money will be a huge factor in this decision. 

After the Redskins traded with Kansas City to acquire Alex Smith before the Super Bowl, it became obvious Washington will move on from Cousins. Whether that means the quarterback simply walks away in free agency or the organization attempts a highly risky tag-and-trade scenario, regardless, Cousins will throw footballs for another franchise in 2018.

Cousins wants to choose where he will play via free agency, and might even file a grievance if the Redskins do deploy a third franchise tag to control his rights.

Assuming Cousins hits free agency, a new report out of New York suggests the Jets will pay "whatever it takes" to land the passer. That could even include a fully guaranteed contract, and will certainly get close to a $30 million a year price tag. 

A notion exists too that Cousins might take less to go to a winner, and many think that could be the Broncos. Denver won five games in 2017, same as the Jets, though the Broncos have a strong defense and have been getting particularly awful QB play. 

The important thing to remember for curious Redskins fans watching the Cousins saga unfold: Don't expect much, if any, discount. 

The quarterback himself made that clear. 

"There’s other quarterbacks that come after you and it would be almost a selfish move to hurt future quarterbacks who get in a position to have a contract," Cousins said last year on 106.7 the Fan.

The quotes came after the 2016 season but before the Redskins again used a franchise tag with Cousins for the 2017 season. Washington wanted to attempt a long-term deal with Cousins at that point, though the quarterback decided to not negotiate and instead play on the tag.

The point remains that Cousins, and his representatives, believe the quarterback has a duty to other players to maximize his earnings. 

"If you don’t take a deal that’s fair to you, then you’re also taking a deal that’s not fair to them and you’re setting them back as well. So there’s different reasons. You just do the best you can."

If he hits free agency, Cousins will likely sign the richest contract in NFL history. Those opportunities don't come around often, and the quarterback should take full advantage. 

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Need to Know: Could Ty Nsekhe be the Redskins' answer at left guard?

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Need to Know: Could Ty Nsekhe be the Redskins' answer at left guard?

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, February 19, 23 days before NFL free agency starts.

Monday musings

—One possible solution to the left guard spot is perhaps being overlooked. Ty Nsekhe played there some last year, starting the game in Dallas and playing there until Morgan Moses got injured, forcing him to move to right tackle. Nsekhe is slated to be a restricted free agent but his return is likely. In December I asked Jay Gruden if Nsekhe might move to guard in 2018. “I think Ty is a big man and a very good tackle, but in the offseason when we have more time, maybe we can feature him at some guard when we’ve got all our guys back,” he said. “Feature him some” doesn’t mean that they will make him a starter; perhaps they want him to be the top option to fill in at four of the five OL positions. But it’s something to keep an eye on if they don’t land a left guard solution in free agency or the draft.

—When I posted about Albert Breer’s report that Kirk Cousins would file a grievance if the Redskins put the franchise tag on him in an effort to trade him, I pulled up a copy of the CBA to see the language on which Cousins could base his case. I read through the Article 10, which deals with the franchise tag twice and I saw nothing of it. But Mike Florio found it in Article 4, the one that deals with player contracts. “A Club extending a Required Tender must, for so long as that Tender is extended, have a good faith intention to employ the player receiving the Tender at the Tender compensation level during the upcoming season.” Since the Redskins clearly have no intention of employing Cousins after the Alex Smith trade, this seems to be a fairly simple case. In reality, it never is.

—I tweeted this last week:

However, possible cap casualties from other teams are not included in that group. That won’t turn the pool of players who will become available to sign into a bunch of potential franchise changers. Still, there could be a number of players in whom the Redskins could be interested in like RB DeMarco Murray, WRs Emmanuel Sanders and Torrey Smith, edge rusher Elvis Dumervil, and DL Brandon Mebane. A plus to signing players who have been waived is that they don’t count in the formula that determines compensatory draft picks. The Redskins have never really paid attention to that in the past but with potential high comp picks at stake if they lose both Kirk Cousins and Bashaud Breeland, this could be a good year to start.

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) 10
—NFL Draft (4/26) 66
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 202

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