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What - if anything - can Redskins learn from Raiders situation with Derek Carr?

What - if anything - can Redskins learn from Raiders situation with Derek Carr?

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr might currently hold the mantle of the best young quarterback in the NFL. In 2016, he threw for nearly 4,000 yards and guided Oakland back to the playoffs after a long layoff with a 12-3 record in the 15 games he started.

Carr is, without any argument, a franchise quarterback. And franchise quarterbacks get paid. 

In the last year of his rookie deal, and coming off back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons, a new contract for Carr could eclipse the windfall of Andrew Luck's $125 million signed in 2016. 

The only weird thing, it hasn't happened yet. 

A report emerged earlier this week that Carr was growing frustrated with the pace of contract talks with the Raiders. In 2017, he stands to make just below $1 million. It's great money in the regular world, but for an NFL MVP candidate, it's peanuts.

Carr has stated he would like to stay with the Raiders his entire career, but if the team and player don't get a deal done, the quarterback would be looking at free agency in 2018. Or a franchise tag.

That's where there are some similarities with Redskins QB Kirk Cousins. 

Named the full-time starter in 2015, Cousins played at a very high level the second half of the season as he guided the Redskins to an NFC East title. That was also the final year of Cousins rookie deal, and he could not reach a long-term deal with Washington the following offseason.

In 2016, Cousins played on the franchise tag for nearly $20 million. So far in 2017, looks like Cousins will again play on a franchise tag, this time for $24 million, and the specter of unrestricted free agency grows by the day in 2018.

It's hard to bring the parallels for Carr and Cousins much further before entering into the wild speculation category. It is worth nothing, however, while Carr is younger and regarded as the better long-term player, Cousins actually posted better stats the last two seasons. 

In 2015, Carr completed 61 percent of his passes for just under 4,000 yards and 32 touchdowns against 13 interceptions. That same season, Cousins completed nearly 70 percent of his passes for 4,166 yards and 29 touchdowns against 11 interceptions.

In 2016, Carr completed nearly 64 percent of his passes for 3,937 yards to go with 28 TDs against only six INTs in 15 games. For Cousins, he completed 67 percent of his passes for 4,917 yards and 25 TDs against 12 INTs. Carr is 26, Cousins will be 29 when the season starts. 

It still seems likely the Raiders get a deal done with Carr. The franchise had a wild offseason, starting with the vote to move to Las Vegas, and had to deal with free agency and the NFL Draft. Now it's time for the organization to focus on a Carr contract.

Oakland GM Reggie McKenzie said in a radio interview, "The bottom line is that we love Derek and we want to keep him. We’re going to [do] everything to make sure this contract gets done."

Sounds good if you're a Raiders fan. 

Remember though, Bruce Allen and Jay Gruden have been clear that the Redskins are working on a long-term deal with Cousins too. 

"Our goal from the beginning has been long-term," Allen told CSN in March of a Cousins contract. "I'm still hopeful and confident we'll do it."

No long-term deal has emerged for the Redskins and Cousins. That doesn't mean the same for Oakland and Carr. In fact, one has little to no impact on the other. 

There are some parallels though, and interested Raiders and Redskins fans would be smart to keep an eye on both situations. 


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Redskins leave Philadelphia with more injuries than they came in with, somehow

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Redskins leave Philadelphia with more injuries than they came in with, somehow

The Redskins went into Lincoln Financial Field somewhat banged up. They left in worse shape than they were when they arrived.

The most significant injury seemed to be to guard Brandon Scherff. Coach Jay Gruden said that he had an MCL injury and that he will get an MRI on Tuesday. He left the game late in the third quarter and did not return. Scherff rarely takes plays off and the feeling is that he could have a significant injury. He headed to the team bus to the airport with a brace on the knee.

OT Trent Williams came into the game with a patella injury in his knee and he aggravated it late in the game, missing the Redskins’ last couple of possessions. He did not practice all week to rest the injury. We will see as the week goes by if the injury will allow Williams to continue to play.

OT Morgan Moses sprained both ankles and he returned to the game after each injury. He undoubtedly will be very sore tomorrow and we will see how he recovers.


The other reported injuries were more minor in nature, although they could cost the players some games. CB Fabian Moreau had a hamstring strain and he left the game. OLB Preston Smith, who has been one of the team’s best pass rushers this year, left the game with a groin strain. He attempted to return but he had to go back out. CB Josh Holsey had a chest contusion and he returned after going to the locker room to be examined.

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.

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Five takeaways from the Redskins' discouraging 34-24 loss vs. the Eagles


Five takeaways from the Redskins' discouraging 34-24 loss vs. the Eagles

Here are my five takeaways from the Redskins’ 34-24 loss to the Eagles:

The Redskins have to keep the hammer down—They scored the first time they had the ball and then they had a few empty possessions. Washington took a 10-3 lead but the Redskins then got into the cycle of short, ineffective offensive possessions getting their defense back on the field too soon. The way Carson Wentz is playing, if you give him enough chances you will pay for it.

They won’t win if they don’t run—The running backs carries 14 times. Sure, the game got away in the second half, reducing their opportunities, but the rushing game was an issue throughout. In the first half they had a pair of third and ones and a third and two and they passed all three times. All three were incomplete, which led to the issues in the first item here. If the Redskins have a balanced offense they have a shot at beating almost anyone. If they don’t run the ball enough the odds are against them.


Redskins fans have the Cleveland Browns to thank for 10 years of Wentz—The Browns played Moneyball and traded the rights to draft Wentz to the Eagles. Like just about everything the Browns do, it didn’t work out. Now the Redskins, Giants, and Cowboys will pay for the Browns’ mistake for years to come. That run out of the pack of rushing linemen was both amazing and critical. It turned a punt back to the Redskins, who were down by seven, into a first down and an eventual touchdown.

The defense needs to get itself off the field—It’s easy to blame the offense for the problems with possessing the ball. But the defense could do its part, too, by getting itself off the field. At times, it feels like the Redskins’ defense is better than it has been in years but they gave up touchdown drives of 81, 80, 80, and 75 yards. At some point you have to show you’re better and get a takeaway or just make a stop to get off the field. Until then, the group has not improved in a meaningful way. I should note that the injuries have something to do with it, for sure. Dunbar did not play poorly but they pay Josh Norman $15 million per year for a reason.

There is a lot of season left to be played—The Redskins are 3-3 and two games away from the midway point to the season. They would have to rely on an Eagles’ collapse to win the NFC East but it’s entirely possible that they could. All but one other second-place team has three losses and the Redskins get their shot at the Seahawks in a couple of weeks. Fans have every right to feel frustrated after this loss but it’s not the end of the line. There still is plenty for this team to play for. Some of the injured players aren’t coming back but if they can round into reasonably good health in the next few weeks they still have a lot that they can accomplish.

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.