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Need to Know: If the Redskins get an offer for Cousins should they trade him?

Need to Know: If the Redskins get an offer for Cousins should they trade him?

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, April 16, 14 days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock at the NFL draft.

Should the Redskins trade Cousins if they get an offer?

I heard an interesting report from Kevin Sheehan on ESPN 980 yesterday. He said that there is a belief around Redskins Park that the team could get as much as a third-round pick for backup quarterback Kirk Cousins.

That would represent an increase in his value. Last year it was widely reported that the Browns offered a fourth-round pick for Cousins. The Redskins apparently wanted no worse than a second for him. The Browns would not up their offer and/or the Redskins would not lower their demand so no deal was made.

It appears that supply and demand may be driving Cousins’ value up. Last year there were three quarterbacks taken who appear to be their teams’ future at the position (Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater, and Derek Carr) and another one who could hold that status (Zach Mettenberger). Plus there was Johnny Manziel, taken in the first round by the team that didn’t want to pay a second for Cousins.

This year the supply is lean. Jameis Winston is a character question mark, Marcus Mariota is a scheme question mark, and beyond those two there are projects. If a team needs a quarterback who can start this year or one that can serve as the primary backup, the trade market is likely to be a the way to go.

So, after a season where he played well at times but got a reputation for being a turnover machine, and one who didn’t react well after those turnovers, the short supply of quarterbacks in the draft could drive up the value of Cousins even though he has just one year left on his contract.

The question is, should the Redskins trade him? Are they better off with a third-round pick, Robert Griffin III as the starter, Colt McCoy as the backup, and a rookie or other inexperienced player as the third-string QB or with the status quo?

The answer depends on if Scot McCloughan and Jay Gruden believe that Cousins is a viable long-term starter for the Redskins if for whatever reasons they decide to let Griffin walk at the end of the year. If they don’t think he can be the starter, or at least a viable stopgap until they can find a franchise quarterback, then they absolutely have to hang on to him. A third-round pick isn’t worth it if they think there’s a chance Cousins could be the starter if Griffin falters.

But remember that Gruden buried Cousins on the bench the last half of the season. Perhaps he doesn’t believe the Cousins would be a good alternative to Griffin. In that case they should trade him for whatever they can get for him.

Timeline

—It’s been 109 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 150 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 4; 2015 NFL Draft 14; Redskins minicamp starts 61

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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No tension between Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins, but the coach wants improvement 

No tension between Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins, but the coach wants improvement 

MOBILE -- Jay Gruden is making jokes about Kirk Cousins again, and that's good news for Redskins fans that worried about a fracture between coach and quarterback. 

It all started in the weeks following the Redskins dreadful Week 17 loss to the Giants as Gruden and Cousins seemed to be throwing slight jabs at one another.

Gruden, in his end of year press conference, explained that while Cousins "showed flashes" in 2017, when the team goes 7-9, the coach can't say any player was outstanding: 

You know when you’re 7-9, you know it’s hard to say, ‘Wow, this guy really was outstanding.’ You know there’s a few guys obviously that jump out, Pro Bowlers like Ryan Kerrigan had a solid year. Obviously Trent when he played was Pro Bowl type, Brandon when he was healthy was Pro Bowl type guy. Kirk had his flashes where he was really good. From a consistent standpoint, over the course of 16 games, you know we’re 7-9. He did some great things, threw for over 4,000 yards and 29 touchdowns I believe. So, I think he’s a very, very good quarterback without a doubt, but as far as getting us over the hump from 7-9 to winning a division with all the injuries that we had, I think he competed and did some good things.

Cousins, in his year-end radio appearance with 106.7 the Fan, explained that he wants the team to do better but doesn't think the 7-9 record should fall on his shoulders alone. (Quote via Washington Post)

What I gathered from the comment was 7-9 and the quarterback play are causally related and that quarterback play is 7-9, 7-9 is the quarterback play. I saw that and I thought, ‘I think it’s slightly more complicated than that.’ I think there’s a few more dynamics in play as to what your final record is. … At the same time, his job is to evaluate. That’s a big part of his role and his position. In that comment, he’s just doing his job, he’s evaluating the position and he has the right to say what he wants to say.

Both comments were fairly innocuous, but also clearly at odds. Combine that dialogue with the undercurrent of another offseason contract negotiation, and it seemed things between coach and quarterback weren't quite right. 

On Tuesday, speaking at the Senior Bowl, Gruden cleared the air. Asked directly about tension between he and Cousins, the coach was blunt. 

"No." 

Gruden went on to explain his answer about Cousins 2017 play, the now infamous 7-9 line.

"When I say 7-9, if I say one player played great that means I'm saying everybody else was not very good," the coach explained (full video above). "I think we all have to stick together, we all have to improve from a 7-9 season, coaches, players, everybody."

Cousins was good in 2017, throwing for more than 4,000 passing yards for the third straight season. He also showed that he can produce offensively without a great supporting cast, as injuries robbed the Redskins of many of their best passing game threats and seriously damaged the offensive line. 

The quarterback did play two terrible games in the last month of the season, however, including a three interception stinker in the Week 17 finale.

It's possible that Gruden had that fresh in his mind when he spoke in early January, and with the benefit of a little time, his assessment mellowed by late January. 

Either way, Gruden joked about Cousins deserving a vacation, and even said the QB needs a tan. Gruden often uses humor to defuse touchy situations with Redskins players, and maybe he just did it again. 

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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Redskins have begun contract talks with Zach Brown, but free agency looms

Redskins have begun contract talks with Zach Brown, but free agency looms

Redskins fans want Zach Brown back. Bad. And for weeks there had been no news about contract talks between Washington and Brown. 

Now that's changed.

"We've been talking to his agent," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said on Tuesday. 

Gruden, speaking from the Senior Bowl, explained that the team would like Brown back in 2018 but Washington also understands that the linebacker might want to explore the free agent market. 

"It’s a process," Gruden said (full video above). "These guys have a chance to be a free agent, they had a good year and they want to check what the market is sometimes. If we can get them before they get to free agency, great, but if not, the bidding wars will begin."

For Brown, free agency will look different in 2018 than it did last season when he signed a one-year. bargain deal with the Redskins. 

Prior to injuries forcing him to miss the final three games of the season, Brown led the NFL in tackles. For two straight years, 2016 in Buffalo and 2017 in Washington, Brown has proved to be a tackling machine and arguably the fastest linebacker in the NFL. Brown also signed new representation last offseason, Jason and Michael Katz of CSE Football, and should Brown hit the free agent market the Katz brothers will aggresively market their client. 

Washington Senior Vice President of Football Operations Eric Schaeffer will handle the contract discussions for Washington, and is known as a shrewd negotiator. 

Like many business deals, this will come down to money. Brown established himself as a fit in Washington, both on the field and in the locker room. Interior linebackers do not command top dollar like pass rushers do, but Brown will still expect to be compensated appropriately. 

Further complicating matters for Washington, the Redskins only have Josh Harvery-Clemmons, Zach Vigil and Martrell Speight under contract for 2018. 

It's too early to predict what "it's a process" means from Jay Gruden, but Redskins fans should draw some encouragement that talks have begun with Brown. 

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!