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Need to Know: Five Redskins vs. Seahawks questions

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Need to Know: Five Redskins vs. Seahawks questions

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, October 2, four days before the Washington Redskins host the Seahawks on Monday night football.

Five questions on Redskins vs. Seahawks

Can the Redskins hang with Seattle? Looking at their last game, a 45-14 blowout loss to the Giants, who are at best a middling NFL team, the simple answer would be no. But this is the NFL and strange things happen from week to week. It would be shocking for the Redskins to win this game but only mildly surprising if they can keep the game respectable.

Can Washington get to Russell Wilson? The Redskins got 10 sacks in their only win and there is certainly some cause and effect there. They won’t get that many against Seattle QB Russell Wilson. But the shifty, intelligent Wilson has been sacked six times in Seattle’s three games so it’s not impossible to get to him. The more Jason Hatcher, Ryan Kerrigan and company can pressure him, the better the Redskins’ chances will be.

Will Marshawn Lynch run wild? Two weeks ago in Philadelphia, the Redskins handled the speedy, shifty LeSean McCoy, holding him to 22 yards on 19 carries. But the Giants’ Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams, who are more powerful backs, combined to gash the Redskins for 121 yards on 28 carries. Lynch, of course, is in the power back category and controlling him will be a major challenge for the Redskins.

How will Kirk Cousins’ confidence be? Cousins appeared to be down in the dumps after throwing four picks and losing a fumble against the Giants. Just when he needs a major confidence boost, however, along comes the Seattle secondary with Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, and Kam Chancellor. That’s not the recipe for having a big day passing. Add in a pass rush that features Michael Bennett (3 sacks) and you have the formula for a long day.

Can Alfred Morris get some traction? A good strategy this game might be a heavy dose of Alfred Morris to take the pressure off of Cousins. But the Seahawks have been ultra stingy against the run, giving up an average of 2.8 yards per carry, best in the league. It won’t do much good if Morris just runs up against a brick wall all day.

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. I'll answer all questions as soon as I can get to them. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Timeline

—Former Redskins quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien was born on this date in 1962.

Today’s schedule: Kirk Cousins news conference 11:10; Open locker room 11:15; Practice 1:00 (closed to reporters after first 30 minutes); Jay Gruden news conference after practice (approx. 3:00)

Days until: Monday night Seahawks @ Redskins 4; Redskins @ Cardinals 10; Monday night Redskins @ Cowboys 25

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

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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