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Need to Know: Ross' fast 40 may put him out of Redskins' reach

Need to Know: Ross' fast 40 may put him out of Redskins' reach

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, March 5, four days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.  


Days until:

—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 43
—NFL Draft (4/27) 53
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 132
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 189

Sunday morning six pack

1. It appears that we finally have some movement on the Chris Baker front.

Now, if I’m Baker I probably would wait until free agency actually starts and see if he gets any other offers and get a little bidding going. But that’s his choice. He seems to want to stay and if he doesn’t accept the offer and the Redskins find a D-lineman who will, they could pull the offer and Baker would be looking for work elsewhere. If the Redskins don’t try to lowball him the chances are good he’ll be back.

2. Washington WR John Ross has been mocked to the Redskins frequently as a potential DeSean Jackson replacement. I never thought it would happen and what happened yesterday seals it. After speeding into the combine record books in Saturday, he’ll probably be gone by the time pick No. 17 comes around.

3. I got a question about how much cap space the first-round draft pick will consume:

Again, I don’t expect the pick to be Ross but the contract will be the same regardless of what position the draft selection plays. It will be a four-year deal worth $11.5 million. The first-year cap hit will be $2.1 million and it will gradually rise to $3.7 million in the fourth year. The Redskins will have a fifth-year option in their first-round pick. The cost of that will be determined by the position the player plays.

4. The Redskins being involved in a blockbuster trade would have made my job easy for a long while, but there were just too many red flags that made the supposed proposal make no sense at all.

5. I am firmly on record as saying that the Redskins need to get Kirk Cousins signed to a new contract. But they can’t mess around too long with offers like the $20 million average annual value deal that was reported recently. Such proposals are simply a waste of time. If the Redskins are looking for the Cousins camp to come down off of $24 million, which seems to be their number, they need to make a substantial leap in their offer, maybe up to $22 million. That might persuade the Cousins camp to do some actual negotiating. Otherwise they could just run out the clock until likely unrestricted free agency in 2018. If it looks like things are headed in that direction it’s time to call Kyle Shanahan and play let’s make a deal.

6. Michigan State defensive lineman Malik McDowell would fill a huge need for the Redskins and he could well be available at pick No. 17. But it appears that he may have some, uh, coachability problems.

That won’t fly in the NFL.

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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 @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Need to Know: Redskins to face Eagles’ clutch Carson Wentz, productive Zach Ertz

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Need to Know: Redskins to face Eagles’ clutch Carson Wentz, productive Zach Ertz

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, October 20, three days before the Washington Redskins visit the Philadelphia Eagles for Monday night football.


Today’s schedule: Practice 1 p.m.; Jay Gruden and Greg Manusky news conferences, open locker room, after practice approx. 3 p.m.

Days until:

—Cowboys @ Redskins (10/29) 9
—Redskins @ Seahawks (11/5) 16
—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 34

Injuries of note:
Not practicing
: OT Trent Williams (knee), OT Ty Nsekhe (core muscle)
Limited: CB Josh Norman (rib), CB Bashaud Breeland (knee), S Deshazor Everett (hamstring), RB Rob Kelley (ankle), OLB Ryan Anderson (back), S Stefan McClure (knee). OL Tyler Catalina (concussion protocol).
It was encouraging that Breeland and Norman practiced although Jay Gruden noted that they both took place only in individual drills. See the full injury report here.  

First look at Redskins vs Eagles

Number that pops out—LeGarrette Blount, who had a career average of 4.4 yards per carry coming into the year, is averaging 5.6 yards per carry, fourth in the NFL. Not bad for a guy who is supposed to be a lumbering power back. The key to stopping him is the same as it always has been, getting the north-south runner to go east-west. The Redskins did a solid job against him in Week 1, limiting him to a 3.3-yard average on his 14 carries.

The clutch gene? Carson Wentz is the MVP favorite right now and the thing is that his stats are very good but not very impressive. He ranks 10th in net yards per attempt, 25th in completion percentage, eighth in yards per game, and seventh in passer rating. But he gets it done when it counts. Seven of his 16 touchdown passes have come on third down. His passer rating of 130 on third down is 10 points better than the second-best in that category, a guy named Tom Brady. As a result, the Eagles get first downs on 53 percent of their third-down passes, also best in the league.

Third down passing the key—The Redskins allow conversions on 35.7 percent of third-down passes, 16th in the NFL. If this game ends up with third downs near the Redskins’ season performance they will be in good shape. If the Eagles convert half of their third downs or more, the visitors will be in trouble.

Protecting Kirk Cousins—The Eagles have 14 sacks on the year. They got four against the Redskins in the season opener so they have 10 in their five games since. Their leading sacker is Brandon Graham, who has four on the season. Two of those came in the opener so he has two in the other five games. He will again be lined up against Morgan Moses, who had one of his worst games since becoming a starter against Philly. If Moses plays as well as he has since Week 1 Cousins could have time to have one of his usual big games against the Eagles.

Yes, Ertz is a pain— This is kind of hard to believe but Zach Ertz, who has been in the league since 2013, is third all-time in tight end receptions against the Redskins with 54. He’s behind only Jason Witten and Jackie Smith and ahead of Jeremy Shockey, Mark Bavaro, and Jay Novaeck. Ertz has played nine games against Washington; Witten has played 28 and Smith played 27. So if it seems like Ertz is always a thorn in the Redskins’ side, it’s because he is.

Potpourri: Wentz is the Eagles’ second-leading rusher with 133 yards on 32 carries . . . The Eagles have the third-best special teams DVOA in the league. On punt returns, they are averaging 16 yards per and giving up an average of 5.6 yards. That’s a lot of hidden field position.

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.

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From the locker room

Josh Norman talking about how it felt when he put some stress on his broken rib during practice on Thursday.

Posted by Rich Tandler on Thursday, October 19, 2017

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Kirk Cousins is real nice - and 3 other things we learned from the 49ers game


Kirk Cousins is real nice - and 3 other things we learned from the 49ers game

Kirk Cousins got mic'd up during the Redskins win over the 49ers last Sunday, and well, it confirmed a few things Washington fans already knew about their quarterback. 

For starters, Cousins is a nice guy. A real nice guy.

On one play, Cousins completes a pass downfield while facing a bit of pressure. As soon as he throws the ball, he starts shouting to his offensive line, "Good pocket! Great pocket!"

He keeps going, "Hey that was you guys. I took forever, I took forever. Hey nice job."

NFL quarterbacks like to thank their offensive lines, but not always immediately, even while the play is going on. Kirk is a nice guy.

Some other things learned from the mic'd up session:

  • Josh Doctson has a nickname. It's "Papa Doc." No idea if that's an 8 Mile reference. 
  • Trent Williams believes Kirk Cousins' shoulder is worth $200 million. And he might be right. 
  • Kirk Cousins wants to stay aggresive. He laid it out to QB coach Kevin O'Connell. Cousins explained during the Redskins early lead:

"Sometimes I get in a weird place, you get a lead like this. Where you start playing conservative, not to lose. It’s smart to do that but it also kinda hinders your ability to just go play."


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