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With no long-term deal for Cousins, Redskins meet Hackenberg a 2nd time


With no long-term deal for Cousins, Redskins meet Hackenberg a 2nd time

All reports say the Redskins and Kirk Cousins are far apart on a long-term deal, and in the meantime, Washington is meeting for the second time with former PSU QB Christian Hackenberg.

Hackenberg - who the Redskins have already met with at the combine - is one of the more interesting quarterbacks in the 2016 NFL Draft. He was hailed as a savior for the Penn State program when he decided to commit to coach Bill O'Brien. During his freshman year, playing under O'Brien, Hackenberg was impressive, throwing for nearly 3,000 yards with 20 TDs against 10 interceptions. 

In two subsequent seasons after the departure of O'Brien, Hackenberg never quite looked the same. The Penn State offensive line underperformed and the QB took a lot of hits, not to mention some interesting back and forth comments between Hackenberg and his new coach James Franklin.


The question for talent evaluators will be who is Hackenberg - the freshman phenom or the sophomore and junior who struggled with ball placement and showed hints of immaturity. After his freshman year, Hackenberg was viewed as a potential No. 1 overall pick. Now, his draft stock varies widely depending where you look, but he is no longer projected to be drafted in the first or even early in the second round, and if he fell to the third day of the draft would not register as a shock. Then again, once teams start drafting quarterbacks, sometimes a panic sets in for other QB-needy teams and passers jump higher than projections. 

What does it mean that Redskins brass is meeting with Hackenberg again? Scot McCloughan and the 'Skins have made it clear they would like to draft a developmental QB if possible, and depending where Hackenberg is available, he could represent a good option if the value is there. At 6'4" and 220 lbs, Hackenberg is an ideal size for an NFL QB and certainly has a strong arm. 

Consider Cousins is only on a one-year deal, with the potential of another one-year deal next season if the 'Skins went that way, a player like Hackenberg sitting and learning for a few seasons would be sound football decision making. How the Cousins' camp might feel about the move, however, could be looked at differently.


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Good news Redskins fans: Jason Pierre-Paul shipped out of NFC East


Good news Redskins fans: Jason Pierre-Paul shipped out of NFC East

The Giants shipped out Jason Pierre-Paul for life as a Buccaneer, and in turn, Tampa will send a third and fourth round draft pick to New York.

Moving Pierre-Paul comes at a curious time for the Giants. The team will eat $15 million of dead money in the move, and New York also sent a fourth-round pick to Tampa as part of the transaction. 

What it definitely signals is that Big Blue looks to be moving from a 4-3 base defense to a 3-4 look. Additionally, with the second overall pick in the NFL Draft in April, maybe the Giants will seriously look at NC State defensive lineman Bradley Chubb. 


For the Redskins, seeing Pierre-Paul leave the NFC East is welcome news. He has 12.5 career sacks against Washington QBs, the same amount he has against the Eagles and Cowboys combined. 

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Looking at the details of Zach Brown's contract with the Redskins

Looking at the details of Zach Brown's contract with the Redskins

The Redskins and linebacker Zach Brown agreed to a three-year contract that will require Brown to continue to play at a high level if he is going to collect all of the $21 million the deal contains.

Brown’s camp reportedly was shopping for a contract that had some $20 million in guaranteed money. The actual deal fell well short of that.

Brown, who was leading the league in tackles before an assortment of injuries forced him to sit out the last three games, got a total of $5.5 million in fully guaranteed money. He got a $4.5 million signing bonus and his $1 million salary for 2018 is fully guaranteed.


After that, the remaining two seasons essentially are team options. In 2019 he has a $6.75 million salary and $4.5 million of that is guaranteed for injury. His 2020 salary is $7.5 million with no guarantees of any kind.

The contract also has per-game roster bonuses available at a rate of $15,625 for each game he is on the 46-man game day roster in 2018 (total of $250,000 for the year) and $31,250 per game in 2019 and 2020 ($500,000 total).

The salary cap hits per year are as follows:

2018: $2.75 million
2019: $8.75 million
2020: $9.5 million

The average annual value of $7 million ranks ninth among inside linebackers.

Brown will need to continue to play well to collect on the contract. The team will be able to save $5.75 million on the 2019 cap if they terminate the deal after one season and $8 million if they do it in 2020.


Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.