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Need to Know: No logic for Redskins Monday night issues but they are real

Need to Know: No logic for Redskins Monday night issues but they are real

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, December 21, three days before the Washington Redskins visit the Chicago Bears.

Timeline

Today's schedule: No media availability  

Days until: Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 3; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 11; Wild card playoff round starts 17

Injuries of note:
Injured reserve:
LB Bates (knee)
To be monitored: OLB Kerrigan (elbow), CB Dunbar (concussion)
Injury report

Last look at Redskins vs. Panthers

Who’s to blame? I’ll say this again—those who are blaming the loss on the defense should take their buckets of tar and bags of feathers elsewhere. No, they did not play great. But they were good in the red zone and good on third down. Had the offense not turned the ball over twice in Redskins territory, one of those at the one-yard line, they would have given up 16 points. That is a winning effort.

Monday, Monday: It’s impossible to explain the futility of the Redskins on Monday nights at FedEx Field. Their 1-16 record there spans seven head coaches, about a dozen quarterbacks, and multiple different heads of player personnel. There is simply no reason why a 45-10 loss to the 49ers in 1998 by a team that was coached by Norv Turner, quarterbacked by Trent Green, and featured Terry Allen as the lead running back has any link to what happened two days ago. Yet unless and until the Redskins string together a few Monday night wins at home they will continue to be part of either a simple run of bad luck or a massive jinx.

Are there Cam rules? I don’t know if a personal foul should have been called against Trent Murphy for hitting Cam Newton in the head while he was sliding or not. I do know that I have seen similar contact flagged before and I would not have had much of a beef if they have penalized Murphy. For that matter, Jay Gruden said yesterday that he thought the flag might go against Murphy when it was thrown. After seen that and some other hits on Newton not called, particularly hits in the pocket, I think it’s fair to ask if Newton does get treated differently than others.

Snap judgements: Jordan Reed almost doubled his snap count from the Eagles game, playing 19 snaps, but he still caught the same number of passes—one . . . Martrell Spaight got his first NFL start and played all 73 defensive snaps . . . DeSean Jackson led the offensive skill position players in snaps with 58

This ‘n’ that: Kory Lichtensteiger was inactive after being activated, suiting up, but not playing in the Eagles game. We may have seen the last of him in a Redskins uniform . . . Although the safety play was bad on Monday and has been bad this year it’s actually been improved over the last few seasons. That doesn’t mean that the organization should stand pat there. To the contrary, they need to blow it up completely and find some safeties instead of continuing to try to convert cornerbacks.

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

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USA Today Sports Images

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