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3 key takeaways from Bruce Allen interview: McCloughan, Cousins, D-line improvement

3 key takeaways from Bruce Allen interview: McCloughan, Cousins, D-line improvement

Bruce Allen opened up about all things Redskins on Sunday. He was forthright in spots and diplomatic in others, but like many powerful people, there is much to decipher from Allen's first on camera interview since the firing of general manager Scot McCloughan. 

Kirk Cousins' future 

  • It's no secret the 'Skins seem unable to reach a long-term deal with their quarterback. Bruce Allen said that he is still "hopeful and confident" the team could reach a multi-year contract before the July 15th deadline. Listening to Allen, however, it seemed the Redskins organization already views their current setup as a multi-year deal. Cousins signed his franchise tag for 2017, so he is under contract, and Allen specifically said the team has an option for 2018. That means another tag could absolutely be in play between Washington and Cousins. It's hard to imagine the franchise would lay out the cash for a third-straight franchise tag, but the transition tag remains an option. That would mean around a $28 million one-year deal for Cousins in 2018, but perhaps most importantly, it would let the 'Skins match any offer the QB receives from elsewhere around the league.
  • Takeaway: Even without a long-term deal, Cousins could be staying in Washington for the foreseeable future.

Scot McCloughan's future

  • The demise of McCloughan's tenure as Redskins GM was beyond sloppy. It played out publicly and poorly, and there is blame to be spread all around in how things unfolded. On the football side of things, Allen's revelation that McCloughan was free to go work anywhere else in the NFL struck a chord. Most NFL front offices are hunkered down in draft preparations, but in about six weeks that will be done. When, or if, McCloughan lands with another NFL team will be a telling moment.
  • Takeaway: McCloughan's ouster in D.C. had many complex layers, but if the talented personnel evaluator does not join another front office, the picture becomes more clear.

Defensive improvement?

  • The Redskins lost their best defensive lineman in free agency when Chris Baker signed with Tampa. Then the team cut Ricky Jean-François, arguably their second best D-lineman. To offset those losses, Washington signed Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee. Neither player has a particularly impressive resume, and it's hard to distinctly state that the 'Skins defensive front has improved by the change in personnel. Allen explained that McGee and McClain were specifically targeted to play for new D-line coach Jim Tomsula. Considering that, perhaps the moves make more sense. 
  • Takeaway: The Redskins think having Tomsula coach the D-line, and the type of players he wants on the line, will lead to rapid improvement. 

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NFL players react to news that Andrew Luck is retiring

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NFL players react to news that Andrew Luck is retiring

NFL players took to Twitter on Saturday to send well-wishes to Andrew Luck after news broke that he is retiring from the NFL. 

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Luck was 'mentally worn out' after years of battling injuries. Luck confirmed the news in an emotional press conference on Saturday night.

"Andrew luck I understand you 100% brotha," wrote Dez Bryant. "... take your time ... I wish you the best."

Redskins rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins reacted to the news with emojis.

Former player turned ESPN analyst Emmanuel Acho posted video of Colts fans booing Luck as he walked into the locker room. "Coach always said, 'the pats on the back eventually turn into stabs,'" he wrote.  

"That's bad to boo that man," added former Redskins player Chris Baker.

Former Ravens and current Carolina player Torrey Smith tweeted that anyone in the sport understands.

Jaguars long snapper Matt Overton wrote he was "shook."

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Falcons safety Keanu Neal says no 'ill intent' for big hit on Jordan Reed

Falcons safety Keanu Neal says no 'ill intent' for big hit on Jordan Reed

Jordan Reed took a major blow to the head in the Redskins third preseason game in Atlanta, and the blow eventually landed Washington's stud tight end in the NFL's concussion protocol. 

Falcons safety Keanu Neal delivered the hit, and while it was clearly illegal and resulted in a penalty on the field, he took to Twitter to defend his play. 

It's hard to judge intent under the incredible speed that plays happen during pro football. When a player goes in for a tackle, ball carriers can also move, and plays that look dirty in slow motion can look reasonable in full speed. Still, it's undeniable that Reed took a major shot in the helmet from Neal, and it definitely seemed unnecessary. And it's not a secret that Reed has dealt with serious head injuries throughout his NFL career. 

There has been no update on Reed's condition beyond that he's in the NFL concussion protocol. Reed also stayed in the game after the big hit from Neal before his concussion symptoms showed up at halftime. 

Neal is a fifth-year safety out of the University of Florida. He missed most of the 2018 season with an ACL injury. Reed also attended the University of Florida.

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