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With Wade Phillips gone, will new names emerge in Redskins D-coordinator search?

With Wade Phillips gone, will new names emerge in Redskins D-coordinator search?

When the Redskins fired Joe Barry, it seemed the team had a logical list of possible replacements.

As the coaching carousel has turned, many candidates have taken other jobs. 

Notably, reports show that Wade Phillips will join Sean McVay with the Rams, and it seems quite possible that Gus Bradley will take over as defensive coordinator for the Chargers.

Neither defensive coach was a sure thing for Washington, but Bradley had already interviewed with the team and Phillips met with the team in 2015 ectensively, and his son is already on the coaching staff. There was also some interest in Steve Wilks, but he's been named defensive coordinator in Carolina. 

Bradley appeared to be the Redskins' No. 1 priority at defensive coordinator, as he had ties to Bruce Allen, Jay Gruden and Scot McCloughan. If he takes the Chargers job, as many expect, that will leave the Redskins with Mike Pettine, who the team already interviewed, and internal candidate Greg Manusky left on their notable list of possible replacements for Barry. 

Unless there are other names that could emerge. 


One name gaining buzz around the NFL is Texans linebackers coach Mike Vrabel. In fact, Vrabel was supposed to interview for the Rams head coaching job, but his Houston team won their first playoff game last weekend and he would not be able to interview until the playoffs conclude. In the meantime, the Rams decided McVay was their guy, and cancelled the interview with Vrabel.

Considered by many a future star, Vrabel even has the endorsement of his former coach Bill Belichick. 

"Mike does a tremendous job. As a player he was very astute, had a great understanding of his position and technique and how to play his spot and corresponding positions from an overall standpoint," Belichick said via The Houston Chronicle. "He had a very good grasp of the overall defensive and offensive concepts and how they would attack different fronts."

Vrabel won three Super Bowls with the Patriots, and was named All-Pro in 2007. His work as a player is clearly defined, but his potential as a coach seems to be just beginning. Last year, Vrabel declined an offer to go run the San Francisco defense, instead getting a raise from the Texans.

Houston finished this season with the No. 1 defense in the NFL. 

There are no high-level connections between Vrabel and the Redskins. The former Ohio State linebacker also played for the Steelers and the Chiefs, but never in Washington. There has also been little to suggest Washington has identified Vrabel as a potential candidate.


It is possible the Redskins are waiting for the opportunity to speak with candidates after the Divisional Round of the playoffs this weekend, and that could include Vrabel.

If Houston loses in New England this week - and the Texans are massive underdogs in that game - then 'Skins brass could reach out. It's also unknown if Vrabel would be interested in the Washington defensive coordinator position. 

Even if it's not Vrabel, some fans are overreacting to the news of Phillips officially and Bradley quite possibly signing on to coach elsewhere. Pettine is highly qualified to run a defense, as is Manusky, and other candidates could also emerge. 

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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As money skyrockets, don't expect Kirk Cousins to give discounts on open market


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. 

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Need to Know: Could Ty Nsekhe be the Redskins' answer at left guard?

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Need to Know: Could Ty Nsekhe be the Redskins' answer at left guard?

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, February 19, 23 days before NFL free agency starts.

Monday musings

—One possible solution to the left guard spot is perhaps being overlooked. Ty Nsekhe played there some last year, starting the game in Dallas and playing there until Morgan Moses got injured, forcing him to move to right tackle. Nsekhe is slated to be a restricted free agent but his return is likely. In December I asked Jay Gruden if Nsekhe might move to guard in 2018. “I think Ty is a big man and a very good tackle, but in the offseason when we have more time, maybe we can feature him at some guard when we’ve got all our guys back,” he said. “Feature him some” doesn’t mean that they will make him a starter; perhaps they want him to be the top option to fill in at four of the five OL positions. But it’s something to keep an eye on if they don’t land a left guard solution in free agency or the draft.

—When I posted about Albert Breer’s report that Kirk Cousins would file a grievance if the Redskins put the franchise tag on him in an effort to trade him, I pulled up a copy of the CBA to see the language on which Cousins could base his case. I read through the Article 10, which deals with the franchise tag twice and I saw nothing of it. But Mike Florio found it in Article 4, the one that deals with player contracts. “A Club extending a Required Tender must, for so long as that Tender is extended, have a good faith intention to employ the player receiving the Tender at the Tender compensation level during the upcoming season.” Since the Redskins clearly have no intention of employing Cousins after the Alex Smith trade, this seems to be a fairly simple case. In reality, it never is.

—I tweeted this last week:

However, possible cap casualties from other teams are not included in that group. That won’t turn the pool of players who will become available to sign into a bunch of potential franchise changers. Still, there could be a number of players in whom the Redskins could be interested in like RB DeMarco Murray, WRs Emmanuel Sanders and Torrey Smith, edge rusher Elvis Dumervil, and DL Brandon Mebane. A plus to signing players who have been waived is that they don’t count in the formula that determines compensatory draft picks. The Redskins have never really paid attention to that in the past but with potential high comp picks at stake if they lose both Kirk Cousins and Bashaud Breeland, this could be a good year to start.

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


Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 10
—NFL Draft (4/26) 66
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 202

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