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The 49ers are looking at the top QBs in the draft; how might this affect the Redskins and Kirk Cousins?

The 49ers are looking at the top QBs in the draft; how might this affect the Redskins and Kirk Cousins?

When the 49ers signed quarterback Brian Hoyer early in free agency this year many assuming that Kyle Shanahan was bringing the veteran in to be a placeholder until he could sign Kirk Cousins in 2018. But it turns out that Hoyer may be keeping the seat warm for a different quarterback.

For a team that supposedly has its quarterback plan set, the 49ers sure have been doing a lot of quarterback shopping. They had a private workout with Cal QB Davis Webb on Tuesday. Webb is just one in a long line of quarterbacks on whom the 49ers have done research lately.

They have had private workouts or visits with Mitchell Trubisky of North Carolina, Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, Texas Tech product Patrick Mahomes, and DeShone Kizer of Notre Dame.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 8.0

Those five quarterbacks are generally considered to be at the top of the class, the QBs who will go in the first or second round. The 49ers have the second pick each of the first two rounds. If the Browns take Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett with the top pick as expected, Shanahan and GM John Lynch would have their choice of any quarterback on the board. Even if they bypass a quarterback at No. 2 they could well have Webb and/or Kinzer still on the board early in the second round.

Certainly, the 49ers could just be doing some due diligence here. But the reason you conduct due diligence is that you never know what you might find. What if Shanahan decides that one of those quarterbacks could be as good as Kirk Cousins in a couple of years, or at least close enough to make going with that QB in the draft worth the $15-$23 million per year in cap space they would save by going with the draft pick instead of bringing Cousins in at around $25 million per year.

If that happens, where would that leave Cousins in 2018? His first choice of a destination would be gone. If Jared Goff of Sean McVay’s Rams shows any signs of promise the Rams will be reluctant to move on from the first overall draft pick after just two seasons and Los Angeles would be out of the Cousins sweepstakes.

That might leave Washington as Cousins’ top option. Jay Gruden’s offense is perfectly suited to what Cousins does well and the organization has a history of keeping the team stocked with offensive weapons.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins seven-round mock draft

And regardless of who the 49ers draft or how Goff performs, how much will Cousins be worth next year on the open market, without the artificial value of the franchise tag? A transition tag by the Redskins would carry a value of $28 million but while that’s relevant right now in figuring out what’s a fair contract for Cousins it won’t mean anything if he starts shopping for an offer sheet. Teams will bid for his services starting from zero, not from a tag number.

So maybe the Redskins are playing this right. Maybe the bidding for Cousins won’t go sky high, especially if the Rams and 49ers are not in the mix. Maybe his true market value will prove to be closer to $20 million per year than $25 million per.

Of course, all it takes is one team to throw in a huge offer that the Redskins won’t want to match and then they face losing Cousins without compensation. It’s certainly possible that the Redskins will end up being big losers in all of this. But it’s also possible that playing this out until the last possible moment in March of 2018 could just work out for the Redskins.

For the first hint as to how it might play out, let’s see what the 49ers draft strategy is and take it from there.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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The Redskins intend to be ready for 'every scenario' when the 2020 NFL Draft begins

The Redskins intend to be ready for 'every scenario' when the 2020 NFL Draft begins

Kyle Smith began his media session at the Combine Tuesday by thanking Dan Snyder and Ron Rivera for giving him his new role of Vice President of Player Personnel, others in the front office for helping him in the past and even the hosts of the NFL's offseason staple for putting on such a well-run event.

It was an impressive way for the young executive to open up his presser and hinted at how detail-oriented he is. So, it should be no surprise that Smith intends to be beyond prepared for whatever the 2020 NFL Draft may throw at him and his franchise.

"Trade scenarios, we'll talk through all that stuff. That's part of those three, four, five days leading up to the draft. We'll go through every scenario," he told reporters in Indianapolis. "We will go through every scenario of how far back would we go if that scenario came or what if this team called and what do they have available? We'll go through all those scenarios so that draft night, when those opportunities come, we'll be ready to roll."

Every Redskins fan on the planet — as well as Redskins fans on other planets, if they exist (which is something this story won't examine further, sorry) — know that the key decision facing Washington these days is what to do with the No. 2 pick. And while Smith was open with his praise of Chase Young's potential, he made sure to mention that this year's class features plenty of other strong prospects.

As for the kinds of players Smith and Rivera will target, the two leaders are already unified in what they value, according to Smith.

"Sitting down from the very first conversation we had at Mr. Snyder's house, we talked through our process and what we've been doing with the draft and the type of players we've been looking for," he said. "And he talked about his process and... we kind of meshed it together. And we'll move forward together."

In explaining how the Redskins will assemble their draft board — by the way, hardcore fans will love his full breakdown on this episode of the Redskins Talk podcast — Smith explained that he's going to run those meetings. Eventually, Smith and the personnel folks will huddle with the coaches and pass over names of soon-to-be-pros the coaches need to review.

Then, by April, the two staffs will meet once more and finalize everything. Only then will the answer to Washington's major offseason question finally reveal itself, and Young or a couple of other of top selections will join the Redskins.

Regardless of that answer, Smith expects the organization to reach it in a shared fashion.

"It's a collaborative deal," he said. "We believe in our process. We're going to talk through everything... Once the coaches come in in April, we will sit in there and literally go through each thing, each scenario and set it together so everybody's on the same page and everybody's working together."

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Redskins VP of Player Personnel Kyle Smith on Dwayne Haskins: 'He needs his time'

Redskins VP of Player Personnel Kyle Smith on Dwayne Haskins: 'He needs his time'

Dwayne Haskins knows that the Redskins starting quarterback job will not be given to him; he must earn it. Ron Rivera has made that clear multiple times since taking over as the team's head coach.

Rivera has mentioned he's excited about Haskins' future, too, but the new head coach could also be looking for the second-year quarterback to use this offseason to go above and beyond and truly take command and ownership of the job. Doug Williams, the Redskins senior vice president of development, said as much earlier this week.

Redskins vice president of player personnel Kyle Smith believes thus far, Haskins has done exactly that.

"He's ready to do everything he possibly can," Smith said to local media on Tuesday in Indianapolis, speaking for the first time since being promoted to his current role in January. "The other day he told me he's bringing the guys down to Florida to throw with them and do the things he can do. He's doing all the extra stuff that we expect of him and he's got a bright future."

Working out with teammates at an off-site location during the offseason is not uncommon for NFL players. The league has placed multiple rules and regulations on NFL teams that restrict the amount of hands-on access coaches can have with players. It's up to the players to go about it themselves and coordinate times to work out together.

In addition to reaching out to his wideouts to schedule offseason work, Haskins has remained in the building since the season ended and continued to work on his craft. That's something Smith has noticed.

"He's smiling walking around the building," Smith said. "He's excited, he's energized."

The 22-year-old is still raw when it comes to experience; he only started one year at Ohio State and seven games a year ago as a rookie. Smith recognizes this and believes time will serve Haskins extremely well.

"He also needs his time. He's a young kid, man," Smith said. "He's got the right stuff. He's a good kid, he works hard. We're all excited about Dwayne."

Haskins had more than his fair share of growing pains as a rookie, but the Ohio State product really started to catch his stride towards the end of the season. Through the final six quarters of Haskins' season, he threw for 394 yards, four touchdowns, and zero interceptions.

Haskins' progression towards the end of the 2019 campaign has excited many in the building, Smith included.

"I'm really excited about Dwayne," Smith said. "Obviously, as everybody has seen, he kind of ascended as the season went on. He played in [seven] games, he kept improving. I just had a conversation with him the other day. I'm excited, man."

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