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Questions emerge about who has Redskins final say in Kirk Cousins contract talks

Questions emerge about who has Redskins final say in Kirk Cousins contract talks

With just over 24 hours before the negotiation deadline to make a long-term deal with Kirk Cousins, questions have emerged about who has the final say for the Redskins. Adam Schefter, speaking on ESPN980 on Wednesday, explained that the contract talks are stalled because decision makers have determined Cousins' value, and will not exceed that certain dollar figure.

 From Schefter:

All I can say is the most powerful voice or voices have ruled that [Cousins] is worth only a certain amount of money. I mean you tell me who’s got the most powerful voice or voices there, because whoever that is, whoever controls the purse strings so to speak, has deemed Kirk Cousins to be worthy of a number that is significantly less then what would be the two year franchise tag, which is essentially, if you put two years in the franchise tag would be $44 million, and I don’t think they have come anywhere close to that in terms of guaranteed money.

Schefter's analysis comes at an interesting point with the Redskins running out of time to negotiate with Cousins and both sides very much at an impasse. Depending what stories you believe, some reports suggested that Washington GM Scot McCloughan wanted to work out a multi-year deal with Cousins midseason last year, but that notion was brushed aside higher up the 'Skins food chain. 

MORE REDSKINS: COUSINS DEAL, OR NOT, WILL BRING UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES

Regardless of what may or may not have happened last year - the reality is without a new deal, Cousins will enter the 2016 season on a one-year deal, and if he performs well, the Redskins will be forced to pay much more in 2017 than they will now. It is also possible Cousins could underperform this fall, saving the Skins money next year. 

Schefter, however, doesn't expect that.

"What are the chances he is appreciable worse? That’s not going to happen, he’s going to be as good as he was last year, if not better," Schefter said.

Washington may be deploying a strategy here, trying to see if the Cousins camp might blink and accept lesser money or guarantees. Contract negotiations often move swiftest near deadlines, and last year four long-term contracts were signed on franchise deadline day.

No matter what happens, unfortunately, Schefter's comments raise questions about the Redskins that fans don't want to hear. McCloughan has impressively rebuilt the 'Skins roster in just two seasons, and if the GM wants to bring back Cousins, the deal ideally should get done. 

"Credit to those men, Scott McCloughan, Sean McVay, Jay Gruden they did the right thing, they made a smart decision," Schefter said of last year's call to start Cousins over Robert Griffin III. "But again if you are Kirk Cousins, you’re going to do what’s best for you in the future. He rewarded those people for their decision last year, they won a division title, right? So he expects to be rewarded for what he’s done."

Friday at 4 pm is the deadline. Stay tuned. 

 

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Need to Know: Five Redskins who must step up in 2018

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Need to Know: Five Redskins who must step up in 2018

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, February 25, 17 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

Five Redskins who will have to step up in 2018

Originally published 12/26/17

WR Josh Doctson—This list is in no particular order but if it was, Doctson would be right here at the top. The watchword for Doctson is consistency. He makes some incredible catches and then there are throws that he drops or doesn’t quite seem to make enough of an effort to catch. There is promise there. The first-round pick has shown his ability and his teammates say he has a chance to be elite. But the potential must translate into production on the field, week in and week out.  

RB Samaje Perine—There is plenty of chatter about the Redskins’ need to sign or draft a top running back. But a look at this team’s recent history tells us that they are unlikely to invest major assets in the position. That means that Perine, a fourth-round pick in 2017, will have to become a more consistent runner. It’s not all his fault that he hasn’t done much since he had back-to-back 100-yard games in Weeks 11-12; tough defense, offensive line issues, and game score situations have slowed his production. But he needs to be consistently productive in 2018 no matter who he lines up against.

CB Josh Norman—Unless he gets a pick against the Giants, he will go through the year without any interceptions. Sure, they don’t throw his way all that often and INT’s don’t give you the complete picture of his play. But a CB taking up $20 million in cap room needs to get a couple of picks almost by sheer accident. Norman battled some injury problems and if he wants to justify the final two years and $23 million of salary remaining on his contract, his age 30 2018 season needs to be more impactful.

OLB Preston Smith—The third-year player started strong, with at least half a sack in the first five games. And he’s finishing strong, with three sacks, an interception, and a forced fumble in the last two games. But in between, he had a total of just half a sack in eight games. This follows the pattern he displayed his first two years in the league of being dominant in some games and invisible in others. If he can develop some consistency in his 2018 contract year, he could cash in huge in free agency the following year.

Head coach Jay Gruden—Normally I only include players on lists like this one but if Gruden doesn’t do something to get the Redskins out of their near-.500 rut then nothing else will matter. He needs to change up something, whether it’s pushing the players hard in training camp or perhaps fine tuning his friendly approach to the players. Sure, better luck regarding injuries and a schedule that right now appears to be a bit less challenging will help. But Gruden needs to look at what he can change, too.

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) 4
—NFL Draft (4/26) 60
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 196

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Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

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Usa Today Sports Images

Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, February 24, 18 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The five highest-paid Redskins in 2018

Originally published 1/12/18

This is how the five highest-paid Redskins per their 2018 salary cap numbers stack up as of now. The list could change, of course during free agency and if a particular quarterback returns. Cap numbers via Over the Cap.

CB Josh Norman, $17 million—The Redskins do have a window which would allow them to move on from Norman. His $13.5 million salary for this year doesn’t become guaranteed until the fifth day of the league year so it would be “only” a $9 million cap charge to move on from Norman, who turned 30 in December. Don’t look for that to happen but the possibility is there.

OT Trent Williams, $13.86 million—He is one of the best left tackles in the business. Those of you out there who have advocated moving him to left guard should look at this cap number, which is way out of line for what a team can afford to pay a guard. At his pay, he needs to be playing on the edge.

OLB Ryan Kerrigan, $12.45 million—He has delivered double-digit sacks in each of the two seasons that his contract extension has been in effect. That’s good value in a league that values the ability to get to the quarterback.

TE Jordan Reed, $10.14 million—The Redskins knew that he might have a year like last year when he played in only six games when they agreed to Reed’s five-year, $50 million extension. They can live with one such season. If he has another one in 2018 they may rethink things.

G Brandon Scherff, $6.75 million—The fact that a rookie contract is No. 5 on this list is a good sign that, as of now, the Redskins’ cap is not top heavy like it was last year. The top three cap hits from Norman, Williams, and Kirk Cousins totaled $59 million, which was about 35 percent of the cap. This year the total cap numbers of the top three come to $43.3 million, 24.3 percent of the estimated $178 million salary cap.

Next five: OT Morgan Moses ($5.4 million), TE Vernon Davis ($5.33 million), DL Stacy McGee ($4.8 million), DL Terrell McClain ($4.75 million), S D.J. Swearinger ($4.33 million)

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) 5
—NFL Draft (4/26) 61
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 197