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Need to Know: Who is the Redskins' biggest surprise through three games?

Need to Know: Who is the Redskins' biggest surprise through three games?

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, October 2, two days before the Redskins host the Eagles.

Ten Tandler Redskins ramblings 

1. As I noted earlier this week, the Redskins gave Jamison Crowder a good run of playing time against the Giants. Apparently the coaching staff likes what they saw; he is likely to be in for more playing time going forward, per my man John Keim of ESPN and some others.

2. Eagles QB Sam Bradford hasn’t been very good getting the ball very far downfield. His line on passes over 10 yards: 7 of 25 (28%), 153 yards (6.1 YPA), 1 TD, 3 INT, 26.3 QB rating. Expect to see the cornerbacks playing tight coverage until Bradford makes them pay.

3. Even though Chris Culliver missed practiced on Thursday, the word is that he will be on the field come game time on Sunday. It’s more of a pain issue that anything structural with his knee. Players usually don’t miss games if the issue is pain.

4. With all of the talk of Kirk Cousins’ interceptions this year and how Robert Griffin III generally protects the ball better, it should be noted that Cousins had more touchdowns passes last year (10) than interceptions (9); Griffin did not (4 TD, 6 INT).

5. This is just a gut feeling, but I think that DeAngelo Hall will end up being out longer than the 3-4 week estimate we got from Jay Gruden. It would not surprise me at all if he needs surgery on it, which could end his season. Again, just a feeling.

6. The surprise of the season so far is Morgan Moses. Nobody was sure what his future was when training camp started. Having successfully rehabbed from a Lisfranc injury, he moved into the starting right tackle job as top draft pick Brandon Scherff went to right guard. In three games Moses has allowed no sacks and just two hurries.

7. Is the fullback disappearing? Darrel Young has played just 21 of the team’s 228 snaps this year. He remains valuable on special teams but he certainly would like to have a bigger role on offense.

8. Another player with a surprisingly low snap count is Stephen Paea. He’s been in for just 56 of the 177 defensive plays. That’s a pretty light workload for a player who got a contract worth $21 million over four years with $7.85 million guaranteed.

9. I’m sticking to what I said before the season—if the Redskins are improved this year, Jay Gruden’s job is safe. Despite all the talk about his itchy trigger finger Dan Snyder has yet to fire a coach after he improved the team’s record from the year before.

10. There is virtually no chance that DeSean Jackson plays against the Eagles, as much as he might like to. His hamstring pull was fairly serious and three weeks after it happened is too much to ask. Jackson admitted that his leisurely pace of rehabbing after his shoulder injury early in camp may have had something to do with his injury. He is approaching 30 (turns 29 on December 1) and he needs to figure out that you need to work harder as you get older, not rest on your laurels. Santana Moss figured it out, I’m not so confident that Jackson will.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 11:15; Jay Gruden, Sean McVay news conferences and player availability after practice, approx. 12:45

Days until: Eagles @ Redskins 2; Redskins @ Falcons 9; Redskins @ Jets 16

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

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USA TODAY Sports

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. 

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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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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