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Redskins have plenty of 2018 cap room to make or match a possible Kirk Cousins offer

Redskins have plenty of 2018 cap room to make or match a possible Kirk Cousins offer

It seems like Monday's franchise tag deadline will come and go without much news between Kirk Cousins and the Redskins. The quarterback is currently slated to play on a one-year, $24 million deal in 2017, and unless a contract breakthrough takes place over the weekend, that looks to be the plan for this season. 

The intrigue then all begins again in 2018.

Washington will have three options with Cousins then: 

  1. Make a deal - Get a new contract signed in the time after the season ends and before the team must decide to use another tag, either franchise or transition.
  2. Tag you're it - The team can again tag Cousins, for a third straight season. The transition tag carries a $28 million price tag and lets the QB market his services around the league, which the Redskins can then match. Another franchise tag would cost $34 million, and Cousins' options for talking with other teams are either non-existent or much more limited than the transition tag. Not to mention, $34 million guaranteed for one season is unheard of, it's hard to imagine a scenario where that money gets turned down. 
  3. So long - The final option in 2018 is Cousins hits free agency unfettered and can go to the team of his choice. This seems the least likely option, but the entirety of the Cousins contract saga has been bizarre so who knows what will happen. 

It is important to note, however, that the Redskins will have plenty of cap room in 2018. $54 million to be exact. That much money would allow them to match just about any offer that might come for Cousins should he be given the transition tag. 

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

One report suggested that two NFL general managers are prepared to front-load offers for Cousins in 2018 to make it hard for the Redskins to match. 

Immense speculation points to the 49ers wanting Cousins, especially given the ties between new coach Kyle Shanahan and the Washington quarterback. San Francsico projects to be about $50 million under the 2018 salary cap, meaning they actually have less available money than the Redskins. Those figures can change, and San Francisco could have a lot of money roll over from the 2017 cap. 

For Redskins fans worried about the 49ers spending recklessly to sign Cousins, know that the actual cap numbers might not support the theory. Would the Niners pay Cousins as much as the franchise tag in 2018? Maybe, but that's a prohibitive figure. 

Realize too, however, that Washington has now had two offseasons to try and work out a multi-year deal with Cousins. It hasn't happened, and hasn't really even appeared close to happening. 

It's entirely possible that should Cousins find a major dollar offer next year in free agency, the Redskins won't match it. That doesn't mean they can't. 

Salary cap figures courtesy Overthecap.com.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Where's Galette, Cousins' future

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Where's Galette, Cousins' future

NEW ORLEANS—Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, November 18, one day before the Washington Redskins play the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes Benz Superdome.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: AM walkthrough and then travel to New Orleans. No media availability.

Days until:

—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 6
—Redskins @ Cowboys Thursday night (11/30) 13
—Redskins @ Chargers (12/19) 23

Quick Redskins news hits

C Spencer Long tried to play last week and he couldn’t make it more than a dozen snaps before sitting down for the rest of the day. He is out against the Seahawks tomorrow.

With Brian Quick and Ryan Grant questionable with concussions and Terrelle Pryor out with an ankle injury, the Redskins are down to three healthy wide receivers. While Quick and Grant might play, the depth chart could have Doctson, Crowder, and Harris on it.

The Redskins week that was

2 reasons Redskins didn't trade Terrelle Pryor—If you want to know why the deal with the Browns didn’t happen, follow the money. Between his signing bonus and the half of the year’s salary, the Redskins have already paid $4.5 million. Although he hasn’t been nearly as productive as they hoped he would be, there was no point in letting him go to save $1.5 million unless they got a second-day draft pick, or maybe a fourth, in return. See that Jay Gruden said that he didn’t hear of the proposed trade, talks must not have become too serious.

Remember Junior Galette? The Redskins don't seem to—As with Pryor, everyone is waiting for Galette to break out. But unlike Pryor, he’s not an expensive unproductive player. He’s making the veteran minimum. Against the Vikings, he played just 19 snaps. Perhaps a return to New Orleans for a game against his old team will spark a sack or two.

Recent comments from Cousins may hint at future in D.C.—Cousins has been big on making statements about the long-term future with the Redskins (read the post for specifics). That doesn’t mean that it’s a lock that he stays in town. But it should give some pause to those who believe that it is a lock that he will be in another uniform when 2018 or, at the latest, 2019 rolls around. He has never been inclined to go to the highest bidder and if the Redskins make a competitive offer that delivers what he wants he could well stick around.

How the Vikings scored 21 unanswered points against the Redskins—The 21-0 run in about seven minutes of game time that the Vikings used to make a competitive game at FedEx Field a rout was a combination of good offense by the Vikings and bad defense and offense by the Redskins. They couldn’t cover Adam Thielen on either drive. Cousins threw an interception off of his back foot and that set up the middle of the three touchdowns. If the Redskins end the season a game out of a playoff spot that seven-minute stretch will be one of the big reasons why they failed to make it.

Player one-liners, defense— Usually, the offensive edition of the player one-liners tends to be the most popular but this week it was the defense that drew the most interest. The defensive player I’m going to keep an eye on the most in the last seven games is rookie safety Montae Nicholson. He has the speed and hard hitting ability that the secondary needs. When asked what will happen when Nicholson is healthy, Jay Gruden said without hesitation that he is the starter. Nicholson’s health will be important for the defense down the stretch. DeAngelo Hall is better suited to a part-time role at this stage of his career.

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.

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Redskins getting thin at receiver with two more injured wideouts out on Sunday

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Redskins getting thin at receiver with two more injured wideouts out on Sunday

In August, Redskins fans would freak out if they heard Jordan Reed and Terrelle Pryor would both miss a November game.

In November, that news doesn’t carry much worry.

Washington coach Jay Gruden announced that Reed and Pryor, along with center Spencer Long, won’t play Sunday against the Saints.

RELATED: KEYS TO VICTORY AGAINST THE SAINTS

Reed hasn’t played in a few weeks as he is dealing with a hamstring injury. It seemed he might have returned last week before a setback slowed down his progress.

In his place, Vernon Davis has proved to be a sturdy backup capable of some big games.

Long injured his knee and while he played last week, he did not practice this week.

Not having Pryor is a bit of a surprise. His ankle injury popped up this week and he will see a specialist next week to examine the joint. In the middle of a disappointing season, the Redskins offense won’t lose much with his absence.

Elsewhere on the injury list, a number of players will be questionable for Sunday’s contest against the 7-2 Saints.

Perhaps most important, Trent Williams is questionable but will probably play.

MORE ON THE REDSKINS: FIVE PLAYERS UNDER PRESSURE

Receivers Ryan Grant and Brian Quick are expected to play after undergoing concussion protocol, but that will leave the Redskins with only three fully healthy wideouts: Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson and Maurice Harris.