Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, January 9, 64 days before NFL free agency starts.


Days until:

—NFL franchise tag deadline (3/6) 56
—NFL Draft (4/26) 107
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 243

Maybe Gruden should be careful of what he asks for

Jay Gruden is getting tired of waiting. But sometimes, patience is a virtue.

The Redskins coach would very much like to see the Kirk Cousins contract situation settled this year.

“I think something has to be done,” Gruden on a team-produced TV show (video above). “I personally don’t want to go through another one-year deal, and just one year, one year.”

Cousins has been headed towards the end of his contract in each of his three seasons as the starting QB. He was on his expiring rookie contract in 2015 and on the franchise tag the last two seasons. This now makes three years in a row that Gruden has to wonder if his starting quarterback will still be on the team when they assemble for OTAs in May.

And, clearly, Gruden does not want it to happen for a fourth year. But should he draw such a hard line?

Unless he gets the franchise tag, which comes with a salary of $35 million, he has said that he plans to negotiate with other teams before signing anywhere. And he may not be very interested in negotiating with the Redskins. He had a chance to last summer and he said that even though he believed that the offer was a good starting point, he wanted to see where the organization was headed after some changes and declined to make a counteroffer.


When asked at the 106.7 The Fan event on Friday if he saw things headed in the right direction with the team, Cousins sort of danced around it. Never did he say, yes, I think everything is headed in the right direction.

Of course, it takes two to make a contract. If either side is not motivated to make a deal, it is unlikely to happen.

So if Cousins does not want to come to a long-term agreement to stay in Washington, what are the alternatives? He could stay for another year on a tag, probably the $28.8. million transition tag. Or he could be gone.

Would Jay Gruden really prefer the latter? Maybe not. Or maybe he would.

The coach has three years left on his contract. If/when Cousins leaves, Gruden will have to teach his system to a veteran or a rookie or perhaps a combination of the two. It’s better to start that process with three years left on your deal than it is with two years left. If Gruden figures that Cousins will be gone in 2019 regardless, he might prefer to make the change sooner rather than later.  

The key thing to keep in mind is that this is not Gruden’s call. He has some influence but not the final say. So like most of us, all he can do is sit and wait.

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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