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Should the Redskins have been more patient in getting Goldson?

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Should the Redskins have been more patient in getting Goldson?

The Redskins filled a need in trading for free safety Dashon Goldson and that’s certainly a plus for the team. However, the deal cost them a good chunk of their remaining salary cap space, bringing them down from $10 million left to spend to around $6.5 million. Part of that cost perhaps could have been avoided if Scot McCloughan had been a little more patient.

It was pretty well known that the Bucs had no intention of paying Goldson, who will turn 31 in September, the $8 million in salary and workout bonus that he was due in 2015. They were trying to trade him but if they were unable to do so they were going to cut him and eat the $4 million in guaranteed salary that was part of the free agent deal Goldson signed in 2013.

The Redskins came in and gave them something for Goldson even if it was only a swap of late-round 2016 draft picks. The Bucs will pay the $4 million in guaranteed salary so Washington isn’t on the hook for that.

However, Washington is still responsible for the remaining $4 million due Goldson this year. That’s a pretty hefty sum for a player who is coming off of two bad seasons. Last year was particularly awful for Goldson. In 14 games he had no interceptions and defensed just one pass.

Compare what the Redskins are paying Goldson to the one-year, $2 million deal that Tyvon Branch signed with the Chiefs or the one-year, $2.25 million contract Louis Delmas got to stay with the Chiefs. For that matter, Rahim Moore, the second-ranked free agent safety this offseason, got a three-year deal averaging $4 million per year.

On the open market, Goldson would have been offered a deal much closer to what Branch and Delmas got. All the Redskins had to do was wait for the Bucs to cut him.

How long would the Redskins have had to wait? Probably not long. The Bucs’ offseason workout program starts two weeks from Monday. With a $500,000 workout bonus on the line, you can be sure that Goldson would have been at the team facility bright and early. At that point the Bucs would have been taking a big risk. If Goldson had been injured during the voluntary workouts, the team could have been on the hook for his entire 2015 salary. It would have been a dumb risk for the Bucs organization to take considering the low return they got in the trade.

So if the Redskins had waited another two weeks or so it’s likely that Goldson would have been cut. Then they could have negotiated a deal with him that was much closer to his market value and saved themselves at least $2 million in cap space.

It needs to be noted that if Goldson had hit the open market there is no guarantee that the Redskins would have been able to sign him. They might have gone into their own offseason workouts without a legitimate free safety. So knowing that you have Goldson’s services secured is worth something. But is it worth $2 million or more?

Bottom line, it's not a good contract considering what the player has done the last two seasons. And it can't be a good deal for the team if it comes with a bad contract.

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An ankle injury has ended Terrelle Pryor's first, and probably last, season with the Redskins

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USA TODAY Sports

An ankle injury has ended Terrelle Pryor's first, and probably last, season with the Redskins

As high hopes for the Redskins season seem to be slowly slipping away, the high hopes for wide receiver Terrell Pryor can now officially end.

Jay Gruden announced Monday that Pryor will undergo ankle surgery and be placed on the injured reserve. That means Pryor will not be eligible to play for at least eight games, and considering it’s already late November, that closes the book on Pryor’s 2017 season.

When Pryor signed with Washington this offseason, fans grew quite excited. The 6-foot-5, 240 lbs. wideout went for more than 1,000 receiving yards last year on a terrible Browns team, and most expected that production to increase playing with Kirk Cousins.

It never happened.

MORE: KIRK COUSINS ISN'T THRILLED WITH NFL'S APOLOGY FOR MISSED CALL

In nine games for Washington, Pryor grabbed only 20 catches for 240 yards and one touchdown. What made matters worse for the former quarterback-turned-receiver, Pryor displayed subpar hands, and drops plagued him throughout the season. He was targeted 37 times, and barely caught more than 50 percent of those passes.

As things deteriorated for Pryor, he maintained a respectful professionalism. Eventually his ineffective play led him to the bench and reduced snaps, and in his final game of the season against the Vikings, Pryor did not even land a target.

Signed to a one-year deal, Pryor rolled the dice on a season in Washington to boost his free agent profile in 2018. It didn’t work, and now after surgery, it seems unlikely either the player or the organization would pursue a second contract.

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After awful collapse, NFL apology on bad call little more than hollow gesture for Kirk Cousins, Redskins

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After awful collapse, NFL apology on bad call little more than hollow gesture for Kirk Cousins, Redskins

NEW ORLEANS — Collectively, the Redskins squandered a great road win on Sunday.

The team coughed up a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter, and allowed Drew Brees and the Saints to pull off an incredible, unbelievable comeback win. 

The Redskins deserve the blame. The players and coaches. But they're not alone. 

The referees made a terrible intentional grounding call late in the fourth quarter that cost the Redskins precious time and real estate.

Kirk Cousins very obviously threw the ball away to stop the clock, and the quarterback was very obviously not under duress from the Saints pass rush.

In no fashion was the throw grounds for a flag.

None. 

RELATED: WHAT WE LEARNED FROM LOSS TO SAINTS

Yet, the refs penalized Cousins and the Redskins. As much as replay bogs down the sport, Jay Gruden had no recourse, the flag could not be challenged, and the 'Skins were thrust out of field goal position.

Late Sunday night, a report showed that NFL officials contacted Redskins team president Bruce Allen to say the call was wrong. Whoop de do. That means nothing, and Cousins knows it. 

"Whatever they do to say, ‘we’re sorry, wrong call,’ it’s tough because there’s nobody bringing that up in February or March when we're making decisions about which direction to go with the organization. We appreciate the clarification but you know it really doesn’t do much.," Cousins said Monday speaking on 106.7 the Fan

And he's right.

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"This is our careers, this is our livelihood," Cousins said. "It is frustrating when a letter is really all you get when it has such a major impact on the direction of our lives."

Cousins' future, Gruden's future, countless other players and coaches, they don't get to hang a sign that says, "The NFL blew a call."

For the third straight offseason, Cousins will be without a contract, and a long-term deal remains anything but certain. This loss, and that call, could impact those contract talks. 

This loss, and that call, could impact coaching changes or draft strategy too. By dropping to 4-6, the Redskins seem unlikely to push for a playoff spot now. Might the organization think differently of their franchise QB if the team fails to make the playoffs for consecutive seasons? Sure, that could definitely happen. Should it happen? Probably not. Could it happen? It could. 

Don't misunderstand: The Redskins blew a 15-point lead in three minutes. That's abysmal. That's absurd. One penalty flag didn't change that. 

But it was a huge penalty, and it was a terrible call. 

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Cousins played nearly flawless in New Orleans, connecting for three touchdowns and more than 300 yards. His most important pass, however, was one that was harmlessly into the ground, with no intended receiver. 

"I'm thinking, well [Jamison] Crowder and [Josh] Doctson are over there. If I literally throw it over their heads, they're in the area, they're eligible receivers. Not to mention, if I'm not under pressure, it's not intentional grounding," Cousins said. 

It's not intentional grounding. Cousins knows it. The NFL knows it. But it doesn't matter now. 

"The difference between a team that’s patting everybody on the back at the end of the season and a team that everybody gets fired, the difference can be a few plays, it can be a call by a referee," Cousins said. "It's a very fragile thing."

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