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Need to Know: Knighton's new contract indicates limited interest from Redskins

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Need to Know: Knighton's new contract indicates limited interest from Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, April 8, 20 days before the NFL Draft.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 89 days ago. It will be about 156 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 10; 2016 NFL draft 20; Redskins training camp starts 111

Hot topic

The Redskins made a late bid to try to retain nose tackle Terrance Knighton before the Patriots signed him last week. But a look at the contract that Pot Roast ended up signing with New England indicates it wasn’t a very serious effort to retain his services, at least if money was a significant factor (and it usually is).

When word that Knighton was on the move to Foxboro came out, the top-line numbers reported by the media said that Knighton got a one-year, $4.5 million deal. It appeared that the Redskins were simply substantially outbid as their offer was reported to be much lower.

But the details of the contract came out on Wednesday and, as is usually the case, the deal isn’t quite as sweet as it looked at first.

So it’s really a $1.1 million deal with incentives that could add another $3.4 million. According to Overthecap.com the 2016 cap charge is just over $2 million, meaning that only about $900,000 of the bonus money is considered likely to be earned. That means he will have to accomplish things that he didn’t accomplish in 2015 in order to collect.

Assuming that Knighton didn’t turn down more money from the Redskins, it would appear that they didn’t value him enough to at least match New England’s offer. They stuck with their original decision to go in another direction. We will see how it works out.

Fan question of the day

I’m not sure if you are in need of some professional therapy, @dafoota. I’m not qualified for that. But I would suggest that before you make an appointment with a shrink you should take a look at Morris’ stats since he had his memorable breakthrough as a rookie.

It’s rare to see such a steep, persistent decline in a player’s rushing stats. Here is the difference in the three major categories from 2012 through 2016.

If you’re concerned that he has gone to Dallas, well, look at the numbers again. Not that he can’t bounce back at the age of 27 but you also have to look at your calendar. It’s 2016. In the free agency era players can and do move from rival to rival. The Redskins did the right thing in letting him walk; it would have been counterproductive to continue to invest in a declining asset.

(Hit me up on Twitter with #NTK @Rich_TandlerCSN or here in the comments to submit a question)

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Scot McCloughan simply said what plenty of others think about Kirk Cousins

Scot McCloughan simply said what plenty of others think about Kirk Cousins

Redskins fans were frenzied when Scot McCloughan said that Kirk Cousins is a good quarterback, but not a special one. The #KirkHive shuddered and the Kirk Haters celebrated.

McCloughan, the former Redskins GM who's wildly popular with fans, explained what few people will say publicly: Cousins is a skilled player but probably not deserving of the money he might make in free agency. 

Let's start with the obvious: Cousins is good.

He's a durable passer in a league that doesn't have enough of them. He's started the last 49 games for the Redskins and thrown for more than 4,000 yards each of the past three seasons. 

Now more obvious: He isn't great.

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Bleacher Report's Chris Simms, speaking on the #RedskinsTalk podcast, said Cousins ranks about 12th among NFL passers. It's top half of the league, but it's not Top 5 or even Top 10. 

Cousins has had tremendous games with the Redskins, like a near perfect performance against Oakland in 2017 or a dominant performance against Green Bay in 2016. 

Cousins has also been awful, as recently as Week 17 in New York a few weeks ago, or an equally stinky Week 17 game against the Giants two seasons ago. 

While some might view McCloughan's statement as controversial — "He’s a good player. Is he special? I don’t see special," he told Denver radio station 104.3 the Fan — it's not. 

Plenty of people agree with McCloughan, including some in Redskins Park. Last year, a source told NBC Sports Washington that the team believed they could get nearly as much production from Colt McCoy as Cousins provided. 

Even this year, Washington head coach Jay Gruden offered lukewarm praise of his quarterback.

When the season ended, asked to evaluate Cousins' play, the coach said, "When you’re 7-9, it’s hard to say, ‘Wow, this guy really was outstanding.’ There’s a few guys obviously that jump out, Pro Bowlers like Ryan Kerrigan had a solid year. Obviously Trent [Williams] when he played was a Pro Bowl-type and Brandon [Scherff] when he was healthy was a 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."

That quote made headlines when Gruden said it, much like McCloughan's comments now are circulating faster than Beltway traffic. 

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Truth is, it's not new. And it's not news.

There are coaches that think Cousins is only scratching the surface of his capabilities. Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay come to mind, but both of those coaches have other QBs likely for the long-term future. 

Cousins might end up being paid like a Top 3 quarterback in the NFL, and that might be the right move given the demand at the position. Will that make him a special passer?

Not if special is defined as Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees. Even Cousins wouldn't argue with that.

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

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Redskins Fan of the Year bracket: Which Washington supporter deserves the title?

Every week during the 2017 Redskins season, NBC Sports Washington found two Redskins fans in the crowd and paired them in a head-to-head matchup on Twitter to determine the fan of the game.

And now that the season is over, it's time to take each of those winners, throw them into a NCAA Tournament-style bracket and let Twitter pick the Redskins Fan of the Year.

Starting on January 8 over on the @NBCSRedskins Twitter account, one matchup a day will be posted at 11 a.m., and fans will have 24 hours to vote for their favorite supporter by retweeting or liking depending on their preference. Week 1's winner will face off with Week 17's, Week 2's will play Week 16's, etc.

The winners will advance, and eventually, one member of the Burgundy and Gold faithful will stand above all the rest, earning the coveted title of Redskins Fan of the Year. 

Check out the results below, which'll be updated every day. To see the tweet that corresponded with each matchup, click the link after the date, but remember, retweets and likes submitted after the 24-hour period won't be counted.

ELITE 8 RESULTS

January 18: Round two, matchup one

The first Elite 8 matchup was... not close:

January 19: Round two, matchup two

The Elite 8's second tilt is underway. Vote now:


FIRST ROUND RESULTS

January 8: Round one, matchup one

This was a close one that came down to the last-minute, but at the 24-hour mark, Week 17's winner garnered justtttttttt enough retweets to move on.

January 9: Round one, matchup two

In this tournament, a giant Redskins chain is apparently worth more than a giant football hat.

January 10: Round one, matchup three

In the tournament's third showdown, we have our first winner from the Likes side:

January 11: Round one, matchup four

Was there anyway she wasn't gonna win, especially with the little Hogettes nose?

January 12: Round one, matchup five

Our fifth matchup's winner earned the most retweets of anyone up to this point:

January 15: Round one, matchup six

These three 'Skins fans had to witness Washington's Thursday night flop in Dallas, so it's only fair that they get to advance to the second round:

January 16: Round one, matchup seven

You'd think a turkey hat would be enough to capture a W, but not in this one:

January 17: Round one, matchup eight

The Elite 8 is now set with this showdown going to the retweets side: