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Need to Know: Do the Redskins need to lock up Cousins before Luck signs?

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Need to Know: Do the Redskins need to lock up Cousins before Luck signs?

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, June 26, 32 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 168 days ago. It will be 78 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Franchise tag contract deadline 19; Preseason opener @ Falcons 46; Final roster cut 69

Should the Redskins get Cousins signed before Luck gets done?

The news, such as it was, on Kirk Cousins’ contract last week was not encouraging. It was reported that there has been little substantial progress towards getting a long-term deal done. In fact, according to Albert Breer’s of MMQB, both sides were working on the assumption that Cousins will play out the 2016 with the $19.95 million franchise tag salary.

And it should be noted that this is the proper stance for Cousins’ camp and the Redskins to take at this phase. Neither should seem desperate to get a deal done. With almost three weeks to go there is no reason for one side to show signs of panic to the other.

But the Redskins have to have one thing in the back of their minds that may create some desperation as the deadline gets closer. Breer mentioned the ongoing Andrew Luck contract extension talks. Colts owner Robert Irsay has said that the deal will be “a big number”, which in today’s quarterback market is something in the neighborhood of $25 million per year.

So let’s paint the nightmare scenario for the Redskins, at least in financial terms. The July 15 deadline passes with no deal and Cousins plays on the tag in 2016. Then just before training camp starts the blockbuster deal for Luck is announced at six years, $150 million with $75 million guaranteed.

Suppose Cousins clearly outperforms Luck in 2016. Not necessarily because he’s a better, more talented quarterback than Luck but because he has better weapons and an offense that fits him perfectly.

If that entirely plausible scenario unfolds Mike McCartney, Cousins’ agent, will want to start negotiations in 2017 with Luck’s deal. The Redskins, who could lock up Cousins now for something in the neighborhood of $20 million per year right now, maybe even a bit less, may end up paying more—a lot more.

According to the old adage, patience is a virtue. But perhaps not in this case. Making sure that Cousins gets locked up in the next three weeks might cost them a couple of million more per year than they really want to pay. If they wait it out and Luck resets the market they might end up paying $40 million more over the life of the contract than they might if they act now.

What Luck may or may not do should not dictate what the Redskins and Cousins do. But it is a factor that needs to be considered.

 

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 21, five days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington

Should the Redskins pursue Dez Bryant? This topic was one like a meteor, very hot for a short period of time before it quickly faded out. It started to heat up as soon as the Cowboys cut Dez (about a month too late) and when it was reported that he wanted to play against Dallas twice a year it really picked up steam. But then people started to actually think and figured out that signing Bryant didn’t make much sense for the Redskins. Add to that the reports that the Redskins had no interest and would not look into signing Dez in the future and the Redskins fans quickly lost enthusiasm for the topic.

Seven-round Redskins mock draft—I think that most Redskins fans would be happy with this mock. Well, I’ll say some Redskins fans, most is a pretty strong word in this case. 

Is the draft pool deep enough for the Redskins to trade back? There is plenty of talk about the Redskins trading down in the first round to recoup the third-round pick they gave up in the Alex Smith trade. But they need to be careful. Many consider the draft to be top heavy and they may lose their chance to pick up an impact player if they trade back too far. The question then becomes one of quality vs. quantity. 

Three questions as offseason workouts get underway—There will be plenty more questions that we can ask about this team. But we don’t really know what to ask before the draft, particularly when it comes to the defensive line and running back. One the personnel settle into place we will know what we don’t know. 

Tweet of the week

On Chris Cooley’s thought that the Redskins might try to trade back and get Da’Ron Payne in the draft and the use the assets obtained to move up to get Derrius Guice. 

This is related to the questions about trading back. On paper it looks like a good idea, assuming the Redskins want Payne. We’re pretty sure they would like to have Guice but we haven’t heard as much about the Alabama defensive lineman. 

I had many reply that Guice won’t be there in the second round. It’s possible, perhaps even likely, but you just don’t know. There was zero chance that Jonathan Allen would be there at No. 17 last year, right? 

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:

—OTAs start (5/22) 31
—Training camp starts (7/26) 96
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 141

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Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

The NFL started taking into account a new factor when putting together its schedule this year. The concept is called rest disparity. It stems from a complaint made by the Giants last year. And, of course, when the Giants have a cold, the NFL sneezes and immediately does whatever it takes to cure the cold. 

Here is how Peter King laid it out this morning on the MMQB:

Last year, I heard the Giants were not pleased with their schedule because they felt they were too often playing teams more rested than they were. In consecutive October weeks, they played teams coming off byes, for instance. The NFL calculated a figure for every team based on the number of combined days of rest for their foes or for the team, calculating, for instance, in those two weeks, the Giants were a minus-14 (minus-seven for each of the foes, Seattle and Denver, coming off byes). In all, by my math, the Giants were a league-worst minus-22 in “rest disparity.”

So the schedule makers worked to minimize the rest disparity this year. According to King, the worst rest disparity in the league this year is minus-11. The Giants are minus-eight. 

The question that Redskins fans will have immediately here is if the Giants’ rest disparity was reduced at the expense of the team in burgundy and gold. The answer that will surprise many is no. 

The Redskins rest disparity in 2018 will be either minus-one or zero. The variance is due to the possibility that their Week 16 game in Tennessee will be flexed to a Saturday game (see details here). If the game stays on Sunday, they will be at minus-one in rest disparity. If it gets moved, they will have had exactly as much rest over the course of the season as did their opponents, in aggregate. 

If you're interested in the nitty-gritty, here is how it breaks down. In eight or nine of their games, they will have had the same amount of rest as their opponents. They play one game coming off of their bye, a Monday night game in New Orleans. The Saints play the previous Sunday, giving Washington a plus-seven in days of rest. That is canceled out when they play the Falcons in Week 9 after Atlanta’s bye. 

Due to their Thanksgiving game, they get three extra days off going into their Week 13 Monday night game in Philadelphia. Two weeks later the Jaguars will have those three extra days of rest when they host the Redskins, having played on Thursday in Week 14.

They lose a day relative to their opponents coming off of those Monday night games against the Saints and Eagles. The Redskins get an extra day prior to visiting the Giants in Week 8 as New York has a Monday night game in Week 7. 

So far, that comes to minus-one in rest disparity. That will remain in place if they play the Titans on Sunday, December 23. If the game is flexed to Saturday, they will gain a day of rest on the Eagles in Week 17, zeroing out the rest disparity for the season. 

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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.