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RT's 5: Interesting O-line battles ahead

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RT's 5: Interesting O-line battles ahead

Rich Tandlers five things that may or may not be related to the Washington Redskins and other matters.5. To give you a sneak preview our Draft Talk Live review show on CSNwashington.com today, I really like the pick of linebacker Keenan Robinson. For the next two years hell be a special teams contributor who will come up with a big hit on a regular basis. After that, hell be all over the field as London Fletchers replacement at Mike linebacker. The Redskins were caught without a succession plan for Fletcher and were over a barrel during their recent contract negotiations with their defensive captain. They checked that item off of their to-do list on Saturday.4. One thing we will be breaking down here during the upcoming OTAs is how the offensive line is going to shake out after the Redskins drafted three O-linemen to add to nine who had game experience for the Redskins in 2011. Third-round pick Josh LeRibeus could get a look at first-team guard during OTAs while Kory Lichtensteiger continues to rehab his knee. That is, if he can stay ahead of fourth-round guard Adam Gettis and Maurice Hurt, the 2011 seventh-round choice who started half of the season at left guard. Sixth-round pick Tom Compton will battle with Willie Smith to be the heir apparent to Jammal Brown at right tackle. The end result here will be some interesting competition in training camp and some players with some significant game experience might not make the roster.3. It was somewhat surprising that the Redskins didnt take a wide receiver at some point during the draft if only because it was one of the stronger positions available. But, then again, there already is an overload of bodies at the position. Most of the year the Redskins carries six or, if you count returner Brandon Banks as a receiver, seven wide receiver on the 53-man roster. They were able to do that in part because they carried only two quarterbacks. The addition of QB Kirk Cousins in the fourth round makes it very likely that there will be three quarterbacks on the roster in 2012 with Robert Griffin III and Rex Grossman joining Cousins. That could well squeeze a receiver roster spot out and we could see an interesting scramble for the last two jobs behind Pierre Garon, Joshua Morgan, and Leonard Hankerson.2. The Redskins will have 13 players who were rookies last year (12 draft picks plus the undrafted Willie Smith) joining the nine 2012 draft picks on the offseason roster. Lets say that 10 of last years rookies and seven of this years selections make the 53-man roster. If that happens, nearly one third of the roster would be first- and second-year players. That would be a remarkable transformation as the Redskins were the oldest team in the league just two years ago. Of course, youth doesnt do you any good if the kids cant play and with the exception of Ryan Kerrigan we dont know if any of them can. And the unknowns include Griffin, who is over four months away from taking his first NFL snap. But the transformation to youth was a stated goal of Mike Shanahan and we will see what they can do.1. Griffin was impressive as he met with a media throng at Radio City Music Hall after he was drafted on Thursday. There arent many press conferences that Ive been to that Ill remember for a long time but this one of them. It will rank right up there with the return of Joe Gibbs to Redskins Park in January of 2004 in my book. The most impressive part Thursday was when he went to a smaller room behind the main interview area and dealt with numerous one-on-one sessions as well as some small groups. He answered every question sincerely whether it was the first time he has been asked it or the sixth time. If he can play at even a competent level he will become one of the most popular sports figures in the country.Days until: Rookie minicamp 4; OTAs start 21; Preseason opener 101; Redskins at Saints 132Rich Tandler blogs about the Redskins at www.RealRedskins.com. You can reach him by email at RTandlerCSN@comcast.net and follow him on Twitter @Rich_Tandler.

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Need to Know: Redskins' Junior Galette will be a valued free agent

Need to Know: Redskins' Junior Galette will be a valued free agent

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, February 20, 22 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.

Galette to be a valued free agent

Originally published 12/13/17

Like the Redskins, the Broncos are no longer relevant in 2017. Both teams’ fan bases have started to look towards the coming offseason.

To give their readers what they want, the Denver Post published an article by Mike Renner of Pro Football Focus that discussed some of the top pending free agents who have done the most to increase their values in the past year. There were two Redskins named, one you would expect to see on such a list and one that might surprise some people.

Kirk Cousins is at the top of the list. “The Washington signal-caller is grading as a top-10 quarterback (82.8), and soon he’ll have the long-term contract of one,” Renner wrote. “Only this time its value will be exponentially higher than any one he would have signed back when he first became a free agent in 2016.”

But the surprising name is that of Junior Galette. After missing the last two seasons with two torn Achilles tendons, he played this year on a one-year, $800,000 deal. And while he hasn’t been on fire in the sack department with just two on the year, he has been getting pressure on the passer.

“He’s accumulated the 27th-highest pass-rushing grade of any edge defender this season, but in only 264 snaps,” wrote Renner. “At 29 years of age, it’s doubtful he ever gets back to the level of the contract that he once had on the table with New Orleans. With how he’s played this season though, some pass-rush-needy team will pay handsomely for his services.”

One team that could be considered to be pass rush needy is the Redskins. Preston Smith is the starter and supposedly one of the Redskins’ top pass rushers. But in 100 fewer pass rush snaps this year, Galette has only three fewer quarterback hits than Smith and six more hurries.

And after missing those two seasons, Galette has remained healthy. Although he was limited with a hamstring during much of the preseason, he has not missed a practice or appeared on an injury report this year.

But would the Redskins be willing to pay him “handsomely”? Perhaps a good comp would be Connor Barwin, who moved from the Eagles to the Rams this past offseason at the age of 31. He had five sacks in Philly in 2016. That got him a one-year deal worth $3.5 million.

Barwin likely will have more sacks on his ledger going into free agency so let’s say Galette could command around $3 million. Perhaps he could offer Washington a bit of a hometown discount and agree to something in the $2.75 million range. If that is the case, the Redskins would be smart to keep him around for another year.

Plenty of things could alter the equation. If Galette gets hot in the last three games and posts a few more sacks his price could rise. With Smith and Ryan Kerrigan both back next year, perhaps Galette will want to go somewhere that he might get more playing time.

The details need to be sorted out but don’t be surprised if Galette gets a lot of attention in free agency, as much as teams need pass rush, and if the Redskins have to make a very tough decision about how much he is worth.

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) 9
—NFL Draft (4/26) 65
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 201

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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. 

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