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Need to Know: The Redskins' 5 leading kickers of the past 20 years

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Need to Know: The Redskins' 5 leading kickers of the past 20 years

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, May 15, one day before the Redskins’ hold their rookie minicamp.

Nickel coverage

The Redskins drafted a kicker last week and the subject of the Redskins’ futility in finding a long-term solution at the position came up. Here are their top five scoring kickers of the last 20 years.

Shaun Suisham, 329 (2006-2009)—He never could kick them very long (4-13 career on kicks of 50+ yards) but he is very reliable from shorter distances. Well, usually. He was released after missing a 23-yard field goal in an overtime loss to the Saints. The Steelers picked him up and he’s been their man ever since. What’s surprising here is not that he’s the leading scorer of the last 20 years but that he is by such a wide margin.

John Hall, 237 points (2003-2006)—You had to like Hall’s mentality; the guy wore a burgundy practice jersey, the color worn by defensive players. Unfortunately, Hall came at the end of his career. After six seasons with the Jets during which he missed just one game, Hall was often injured when with the Redskins.

Graham Gano, 236 points (2009-2011)—Gano replaced Suisham and had his moments but hit just 73.8 percent of his field goals in Washington. Ever since he signed with the Panthers he has been nailing field goals (86.8 percent) and booming kickoffs into the end zone.

Brett Conway, 234 points (1998-2002)—He was the only one out of this group who was drafted, taken in the 3rd (!) round by the Packers. Conway never played for Green Bay. His NFL debut came with the Redskins in 1998. The cut him in 2000, he bounced around a bit, and came back in 2001.

Scott Blanton, 210 points (1996-1998)—So this is where the Redskins are, such mediocrity at the kicker position that someone who kicked on teams with mediocre offenses for two seasons plus two games can be the fifth-leading scorer on kicks over the last two decades. At least he didn’t catch on and star elsewhere after he was released.

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Timeline

—It’s been 137 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be 115 days until they play the Texans in the 2014 season opener.

Days until: Rookie minicamp 1; Training camp starts 69; Preseason opener Patriots @ Redskins 84

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As money skyrockets, don't expect Kirk Cousins to give discounts on open market

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As money skyrockets, don't expect Kirk Cousins to give discounts on open market

Kirk Cousins repeatedly said his free agent decision will not be just about money. Be clear, however, that money will be a huge factor in this decision. 

After the Redskins traded with Kansas City to acquire Alex Smith before the Super Bowl, it became obvious Washington will move on from Cousins. Whether that means the quarterback simply walks away in free agency or the organization attempts a highly risky tag-and-trade scenario, regardless, Cousins will throw footballs for another franchise in 2018.

Cousins wants to choose where he will play via free agency, and might even file a grievance if the Redskins do deploy a third franchise tag to control his rights.

Assuming Cousins hits free agency, a new report out of New York suggests the Jets will pay "whatever it takes" to land the passer. That could even include a fully guaranteed contract, and will certainly get close to a $30 million a year price tag. 

A notion exists too that Cousins might take less to go to a winner, and many think that could be the Broncos. Denver won five games in 2017, same as the Jets, though the Broncos have a strong defense and have been getting particularly awful QB play. 

The important thing to remember for curious Redskins fans watching the Cousins saga unfold: Don't expect much, if any, discount. 

The quarterback himself made that clear. 

"There’s other quarterbacks that come after you and it would be almost a selfish move to hurt future quarterbacks who get in a position to have a contract," Cousins said last year on 106.7 the Fan.

The quotes came after the 2016 season but before the Redskins again used a franchise tag with Cousins for the 2017 season. Washington wanted to attempt a long-term deal with Cousins at that point, though the quarterback decided to not negotiate and instead play on the tag.

The point remains that Cousins, and his representatives, believe the quarterback has a duty to other players to maximize his earnings. 

"If you don’t take a deal that’s fair to you, then you’re also taking a deal that’s not fair to them and you’re setting them back as well. So there’s different reasons. You just do the best you can."

If he hits free agency, Cousins will likely sign the richest contract in NFL history. Those opportunities don't come around often, and the quarterback should take full advantage. 

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Need to Know: Could Ty Nsekhe be the Redskins' answer at left guard?

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Need to Know: Could Ty Nsekhe be the Redskins' answer at left guard?

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, February 19, 23 days before NFL free agency starts.

Monday musings

—One possible solution to the left guard spot is perhaps being overlooked. Ty Nsekhe played there some last year, starting the game in Dallas and playing there until Morgan Moses got injured, forcing him to move to right tackle. Nsekhe is slated to be a restricted free agent but his return is likely. In December I asked Jay Gruden if Nsekhe might move to guard in 2018. “I think Ty is a big man and a very good tackle, but in the offseason when we have more time, maybe we can feature him at some guard when we’ve got all our guys back,” he said. “Feature him some” doesn’t mean that they will make him a starter; perhaps they want him to be the top option to fill in at four of the five OL positions. But it’s something to keep an eye on if they don’t land a left guard solution in free agency or the draft.

—When I posted about Albert Breer’s report that Kirk Cousins would file a grievance if the Redskins put the franchise tag on him in an effort to trade him, I pulled up a copy of the CBA to see the language on which Cousins could base his case. I read through the Article 10, which deals with the franchise tag twice and I saw nothing of it. But Mike Florio found it in Article 4, the one that deals with player contracts. “A Club extending a Required Tender must, for so long as that Tender is extended, have a good faith intention to employ the player receiving the Tender at the Tender compensation level during the upcoming season.” Since the Redskins clearly have no intention of employing Cousins after the Alex Smith trade, this seems to be a fairly simple case. In reality, it never is.

—I tweeted this last week:

However, possible cap casualties from other teams are not included in that group. That won’t turn the pool of players who will become available to sign into a bunch of potential franchise changers. Still, there could be a number of players in whom the Redskins could be interested in like RB DeMarco Murray, WRs Emmanuel Sanders and Torrey Smith, edge rusher Elvis Dumervil, and DL Brandon Mebane. A plus to signing players who have been waived is that they don’t count in the formula that determines compensatory draft picks. The Redskins have never really paid attention to that in the past but with potential high comp picks at stake if they lose both Kirk Cousins and Bashaud Breeland, this could be a good year to start.

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) 10
—NFL Draft (4/26) 66
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 202

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