Here is what you need to know on this Friday, January 26, 47 days before NFL free agency starts.


Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 34
—NFL franchise tag deadline (3/6) 39
—NFL Draft (4/26) 90
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 226

Answer fan questions--Can the Redskins tag and trade Cousins

A couple of days ago I answered questions from some fans on Facebook. Today it’s Twitter’s turn.

The Redskins do have Ziggy Hood, who started 15 games at nose tackle last year, under contract for 2018. But he is more suited to playing a rotational end role, so your question is a good one. A.J. Francis, who has been on and off the roster for the past few years, has stated that it is his goal to earn the starting nose tackle job. Maybe he can do it but the Redskins shouldn’t rely on him exclusively.

Bennie Logan, who was a target of the Redskins last year before he signed a one-year deal with the Chiefs, will be on the market and presumably, he will draw the interest of Washington. As far as the draft, Vita Vea of Washington could be an interesting prospect in the first round. The Redskins will have to make sure that he can contribute in nickel before investing a high draft pick in him.


If the Redskins want to try to tag and trade Cousins, the transition tag would be a much better vehicle to use. The practical effect would be the same and the Redskins would not have as much cap space tied up during the process.

There doesn’t really need to be any winking and nodding involved; the Redskins can give Cousins’ agent permission to talk to any or all teams at any time. Here is my understanding of how it could work out after the Redskins put the tag on him. 1) Cousins works out a deal with, say, Denver. No offer sheet is signed. 2) Cousins goes back to the Redskins, signs the tag, and the teams execute a trade that was agreed to beforehand. 3) Cousins signs the new deal with the Broncos.

There are a lot of moving parts to such a deal but there would be benefits for all three parties. Cousins appears to want out and this would assure him that the Redskins won’t match an offer sheet. The Broncos will be able to get their man without needing to use a heavily frontloaded contract, which they really can’t afford. And the Redskins would be able to get compensation for Cousins. A lot can go wrong here so there is no guarantee they could pull this off, but it is the best-case scenario of Cousins’ departure is inevitable.

I would say it’s at left guard. The word is that the Redskins don’t want to bring back Spencer Long to play there and Shawn Lauvao is almost certainly not going to be back. Arie Kouandjio started six games at left guard last year and while he is improving I think the Redskins want an upgrade there.

Quality guards are expensive on the free agent market and the Redskins will have to give Brandon Scherff a deal in excess of $10 million per year. They are better off taking a guard in the third or fourth round and putting him in with the first team from the first OTA on. I haven’t had a chance to dive into the draft pool on the O-line yet but Taylor Hearn, 6-5, 325 out of Clemson, looks like a solid prospect who will be available in the middle rounds. I’ll have more on this as we go through the combine and the group starts to take shape.

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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This exchange was in response to a series of positive reports about Baker Mayfield that have come out of the Senior Bowl.

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