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Redskins will have 11 key players going into the final year of their contracts

Redskins will have 11 key players going into the final year of their contracts

With all the talk of the one-year contracts the Redskins have been handing out lately, here is a look at the Redskins who are slated to be unrestricted free agents in 2018.

We’ll divide them into three categories with the caveat that a lot could happen to change this outlook between now and early March of 2018. One will be core players and others the Redskins are likely to want to re-sign next year. Then there are players who are likely to on the roster this year but the Redskins might want to let walk in 2018. The third category is players who are on the bubble for making the roster this year.

Core players (11)

  • RB Chris Thompson
  • ILB Will Compton
  • ILB Mason Foster
  • ILB Zach Brown
  • WR Terrelle Pryor
  • QB Kirk Cousins
  • K Dustin Hopkins
  • OLB Trent Murphy
  • OT Morgan Moses
  • C Spencer Long
  • CB Bashaud Breeland

The key player here, of course, is Cousins. If he is around it will either be on a tag that will cost from $28-$34 million or on a long-term contract that could take up about $15-$20 million in cap space. In either case a deal would squeeze their ability to pay some of the other players.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 7.0

The draft is likely to have an affect here. One or two of the inside linebackers could be removed from the “core” list if the Redskins take one early in the draft. A wide receiver taken in the first two days of the draft could make Pryor a lower priority.

The Redskins could reduce the number of names on this list prior to 2018. They have until July 15 to get a long-term deal done with Cousins. Thompson and Compton have not signed their restricted free agent tenders and they could negotiate multiyear contracts rather than playing on their one-year tenders. Murphy, Moses, Long, and Breeland were drafted in 2014 and they are now eligible to get their deals redone.

2018 bubble (7)

  • OLB Junior Galette
  • G Shawn Lauvao
  • WR Brian Quick
  • TE Niles Paul
  • DB Will Blackmon
  • DB DeAngelo Hall
  • WR Ryan Grant

There are a few of sub-groups in this category. Galette and Paul must demonstrate that they can stay healthy and could be 2018 core players if they do. Quick and Grant have not produced much in their careers and the Redskins might want to move on if their careers don’t start to blossom. Hall, Blackmon and Lauvao will all be over 30 and the team may want to go younger and cheaper.

MORE REDSKINS: Will McCaffrey be there at No. 17?

2017 bubble (6)

  • NT Phil Taylor
  • TE Derek Carrier
  • LB Chris Carter
  • CB Tharold Simon
  • S Josh Evans
  • OL Vinston Painter

This list pretty much explains itself. These are players who will have to battle hard to avoid being free agents after the Redskins cut their roster to 53 on September 2.

Salary cap space

How much money will the Redskins have to work with? With so many free agents they will have a lot of cap space. With the contracts they have as of this moment they are about $67 million under the projected $178 million cap. The only major addition that we know will happen here is the salaries of their 2017 draft picks. Depending on how many of their 10 picks they keep that will add about $5-$7 million to their expenditures. Barring contract extensions to veterans they should go into 2018 with roughly $60 million in cap space.

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

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Kirk Cousins is real nice - and 3 other things we learned from the 49ers game

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Kirk Cousins is real nice - and 3 other things we learned from the 49ers game

Kirk Cousins got mic'd up during the Redskins win over the 49ers last Sunday, and well, it confirmed a few things Washington fans already knew about their quarterback. 

For starters, Cousins is a nice guy. A real nice guy.

On one play, Cousins completes a pass downfield while facing a bit of pressure. As soon as he throws the ball, he starts shouting to his offensive line, "Good pocket! Great pocket!"

He keeps going, "Hey that was you guys. I took forever, I took forever. Hey nice job."

NFL quarterbacks like to thank their offensive lines, but not always immediately, even while the play is going on. Kirk is a nice guy.

Some other things learned from the mic'd up session:

  • Josh Doctson has a nickname. It's "Papa Doc." No idea if that's an 8 Mile reference. 
  • Trent Williams believes Kirk Cousins' shoulder is worth $200 million. And he might be right. 
  • Kirk Cousins wants to stay aggresive. He laid it out to QB coach Kevin O'Connell. Cousins explained during the Redskins early lead:

"Sometimes I get in a weird place, you get a lead like this. Where you start playing conservative, not to lose. It’s smart to do that but it also kinda hinders your ability to just go play."

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Maybe the Redskins aren't as banged up on defense as we thought they were

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Associated Press

Maybe the Redskins aren't as banged up on defense as we thought they were

The Redskins’ defense may not be as banged up as we thought it was.

On Thursday, the first day of serious preparation for their Monday night game in Philadelphia, injured defenders CB Josh Norman (rib), CB Bashaud Breeland (knee), and S Deshazor Everett (hamstring) all practiced on a limited basis.

Norman was inactive against the 49ers after suffering a broken rib against the Chiefs on October 2. Breeland injured his knee against San Francisco. They are the starters, and if they both can play against the 5-1 Eagles it would be a huge boost to the defense.

MORE REDSKINS: MUST-SEE PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS 26, 49ERS 24

It should be noted that both cornerbacks only took part in individual drills, so it is no sure thing that either will be ready to play in Philadelphia. But having them at practice was a good start.

Everett is a reserve safety and a key special teams contributor. His presence in the latter area could be important as the Eagles’ performance on special teams is among the best in the league.

LB Ryan Anderson (back) and S Stefan McClure (knee) both practiced on a limited basis.

Also practicing was S DeAngelo Hall. He has been on the physically unable to perform list since the start of training camp rehabbing a torn ACL he suffered in 2016. The team now has a 21-day window during which they can activate him. However, he must sit out at least one more game.

On offense, Trent Williams (knee) did not practice. That is not ideal but he was able to play last Sunday after being out of practice all last week.

RELATED: IN A MUDDLED NFC WHY NOT THE REDSKINS?

Jay Gruden announced roster moves that had been reported previously, with K Dustin Hopkins (hip) and DE Jonathan Allen (foot) going on injured reserve. First-year player Nick Rose will handle the place kicking duties and A.J. Francis will take Allen’s roster spot.

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.