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Two Redskins and Kirk Cousins land on 2019 list of most overpaid players

Two Redskins and Kirk Cousins land on 2019 list of most overpaid players

NFL teams, like any other business in the universe, love finding people who far outproduce what they're being paid. However, sometimes franchises end up on the opposite side of that scale: compensating players at a level that's higher than what they're doing on the field.

Well, thanks to For The Win, there's a new list available that projects the 20 most overpaid guys in football for 2019. Unfortunately for the Redskins, they're quite familiar with two of the 20. 

Steven Ruiz's "Value Above Market Price" metric — a.k.a VAMP — measures "how much a player is being paid for his production compared to the league-wide market rate for his position" and is what fueled his analysis, which was published Tuesday. Basically, Ruiz looked at PFF's 2018 grades as well as an individual's 2019 cap hit to figure out how undervalued or overvalued that pro will be this coming year.

And according to Ruiz, Josh Norman is the eighth most overpaid athlete in the sport. 

"The Redskins gave him the big contract he was looking for and they have to be regretting that decision now," he says of the DB, who carries a projected VAMP of $-9.2 million. "Norman has been exposed as a corner who struggles in man coverage but he's being paid like a shutdown guy." 

Ruiz also has Alex Smith on his list, slotting him at No. 20 even though his VAMP is much higher than anyone else due to the fact he's likely not going to suit up for the Burgundy and Gold this campaign. He acknowledges the ranking "isn't really fair," but fair or not, his giant salary is a burden to Washington.

"The Redskins are paying him $20.4 million to rehab, which is going to force the front office to put together its roster with one hand tied behind its back," he writes.    

If you're now an annoyed Redskins supporter, perhaps you can take some petty solace in the fact that Kirk Cousins checks in at No. 3. 

"Cousins is being paid like a player who can overcome a weakened supporting cast, but he's never proven that to be the case," Ruiz says.

Slightly less annoyed, right? That's because petty solace is the best.   

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Redskins running back Bryce Love is headed for another knee surgery, per sources

Redskins running back Bryce Love is headed for another knee surgery, per sources

Redskins rookie running back Bryce Love is expected to undergo another surgery on his previously injured right knee on Tuesday, sources tell NBC Sports Washington.

Love, currently in Pensacola, Fla., to see surgeon Dr. James Andrews, tore his right ACL last December while he was a senior at Stanford University. The Redskins selected Love in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft but he has yet to play this season. He landed on the Physically Unable to Perform list before training camp opened and many believed the 2019 season would be lost for the runner. 

Asked about Love’s status last week, Redskins interim head coach Bill Callahan was non-committal. 

“We’ll just see where he’s at,” Callahan said. “He’s still in the rehabilitation process.”

Love's injury-riddled 2018 season damaged his standing in the 2019 NFL Draft. As a junior at Stanford in 2017, Love rushed for more than 2,100 yards and 19 touchdowns. He averaged an absurd 8.1 yards-per-carry that year. 

Many expected Love to turn pro after his junior year, but he elected to stay at Stanford. Playing on a worse team as a senior, Love was not as explosive even before the knee injury and his stats dropped. In 10 games, he had 739 rush yards but his YPC dipped to 4.5, the lowest of his four-year career and the only time his average fell even below 7. 

That decision and the subsequent torn ACL probably cost him significantly in draft status. 

Moving forward, it’s unclear what Love’s rehab schedule will look like. NFL Network reported back in April that some teams had concerns over Love's injury and lingering knee stiffness. One source explained that Love's medicals from the NFL Scouting Combine revealed that some doctors believed another surgery would be necessary. 

Even without Love, the Redskins have other injury concerns at running back. Derrius Guice is on injured reserve but on track to return to the team after their Week 10 bye. Adrian Peterson hurt his ankle in a loss to the 49ers and his status is unknown. Chris Thompson is dealing with turf toe. 

As a player on the PUP list, Love became eligible to return to practice after the Redskins' win in Miami. He does not have to play or practice all year, though, and can remain on the PUP for the entire season. The Redskins retain his rights for four years on his rookie contract. 

A Redskins spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

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Landon Collins: 'You never know what kind of Kirk Cousins you're getting'

Landon Collins: 'You never know what kind of Kirk Cousins you're getting'

Kirk Cousins started 57 games during six seasons with the Redskins and, well, um, it's hard to come up with one word to describe his time in Washington. 

There were certainly highs, none higher than the hot streak Cousins went on late in 2015 to capture an NFC East title. The Redskins closed that season on a four-game win streak where Cousins threw 12 touchdowns against just one interception. 

There were also lows. In Week 17 of 2016, the Redskins needed a win in the season finale to get in the playoffs while the Giants had already clinched the NFC East title. The Redskins had everything to play for, the Giants ended up resting a number of their starters. Still, the Redskins lost, and Cousins threw a dagger interception late in the game to seal their fate. For the game, Cousins finished with 287 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions, but the pick to Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was the season killer. 

The point here is not to drag Cousins. He was the most durable and most stable quarterback the Redskins have had in decades. He never got hurt, and while he turned the ball over, he could deliver downfield strikes and run the team's offense at all times. 

The point here is to say Cousins is not always the most consistent QB, and that's backed up by Redskins safety Landon Collins.

"Like I was with the Giants, you never know what kind of Kirk Cousins you're getting. Right now they're getting Pro Bowl Kirk Cousins over there," Collins said on Monday.

Collins faced Cousins plenty of times when the safety played for the Giants, and New York found plenty of success against the quarterback. In nine career games against the Giants, all as QB of the Redskins, Cousins threw 12 interceptions. 

So when Collins talks about slowing Cousins down, it's not from a hypothetical place. 

"Pressure. Pressure. When I was with the Giants, I know we put a lot of pressure on him, put a lot of guys in his face, a lot of blitzes, lot of different systematic fronts and stuff like that, disguises," the Redskins safety said. 

Cousins will come into Thursday's game against the Redskins on fire. He's thrown 10 TDs against just one INT in the Vikings last three games, all wins. In Detroit on Sunday, Cousins went for more than 300 yards passing with four touchdowns and wasn't sacked once. 

"Right now he's playing like a Pro Bowl Kirk Cousins," Collins said. "We would say at the Giants, 'You don't know what kind of Kirk Cousins you're going to get.' Right now they're getting Pro Bowl Kirk Cousins, and he's playing at a high level right now."

At 1-6 the Redskins defense doesn't scare anybody. The team has had some success upfront, however, causing pressures and getting to passers. Washington has 16 sacks on the season and the front five has gotten things going after a very slow start.  

Cousins isn't unique. Pressure causes turnovers for defenses. Players on both side of the football know that, and that's what Collins want to see in Minnesota against Cousins.

"That's the biggest game plan: try to force him into mistakes. Right now he's playing at a high level, so it's going to be hard. He's playing against a lot of good teams and he's been going against a good defense. That's probably made his skill level and his play much better."

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