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Allen is saying the Redskins want to keep Cousins but what is he doing?

Allen is saying the Redskins want to keep Cousins but what is he doing?

Redskins president Bruce Allen said that the organization doesn’t want to trade Kirk Cousins even though they don’t appear to want to do what it takes to keep him around in the long term.

Despite all the media buzz surrounding a potential Redskins trade of Cousins in 2017, Allen says that the team has firm plans to have Cousins behind center in Week 1.

“That’s why we franchised him,” Allen told CSN on Sunday at the NFL owners meetings in Arizona.

What about all the trade talk in the media?

"We haven't talked to anyone [about a trade]," he said.

So it sounds like you can take a Sharpie and put Cousins as the starting QB. Or maybe not.

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The period of time from around mid-February until the end of the draft is known around the league as the lying season. The words uttered by the people in Allen’s position are not always put out there in the interest of disseminating the truth. In fact, what is said by NFL executives and coaches is more often about subterfuge and trying to gain leverage than about painting an accurate picture.

The fact remains that trading Cousins could be the smart thing for the Redskins to do if they don’t believe they will be able to come to a long-term contract agreement with their quarterback. They would run a very real risk of losing him as a free agent in 2018 with the only compensation being a 2019 third-round compensatory draft pick.

According to Allen, the organization wants to get Cousins to sign a long-term contract.

“Our goal from the beginning was to sign him long term, July 15 is the league wide deadline to get that done so I’m hopeful and confident we’ll do it,” said Allen.

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It remains to be seen if the Redskins are going to put forth a contract offer that would make sense for the Cousins camp to consider. Cousins will make nearly $24 million fully guaranteed this year on the franchise tag and the Redskins would have to offer him about $28 million guaranteed on the transition tag to prevent him from becoming a free agent next year. Working off that, the Redskins’ offer needs to come up with around $52 million fully guaranteed in the first two years. In early March the team was reported to be offering around $20 million per year with unspecified guarantees. There is Grand Canyon of a gap between that offer and the reality of what it would take to get a deal done.

So the Redskins’ end game remains unclear. Allen says Cousins will be behind center in 2017 even though a trade might make more sense. The team president says he wants to get Cousins signed to a long-term deal but there hasn’t been a report of a contract offer that would even come close to getting that done.

The adage to keep in mind here is that you should not listen to what they say but watch what they do. Allen could be telling it like it is but the situation still bears watching.

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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ESPN names Redskins' group of rookies the league's most productive class in 2019

ESPN names Redskins' group of rookies the league's most productive class in 2019

During the Redskins 20-15 loss to the Packers in Week 14, quarterback Dwayne Haskins threaded a throw through a tight window to receiver Terry McLaurin, who snagged the pass with one hand for a 21-yard touchdown.

The rookie connection between the two Ohio State products offered a glimpse of that pairing’s potential in the years to come. But the former Buckeyes weren’t the only first-year players to make a splash against Green Bay. Linebacker Cole Holcomb led the team in tackles with nine, and cornerback Jimmy Mooreland was a close second with seven stops.

Throughout the season, Washington’s 2019 draft picks showed flashes like the performances against Green Bay.

It wasn’t just the first-round selections in Haskins and linebacker Montez Sweat, either. From McLaurin in the third round, to Moreland in the seventh, mid-and-late-round picks added quality reinforcements to the class and roster.

Pro Football Focus recently unveiled its wins above replacement metric, and ESPN used those measurements to rank all 32 draft classes based on value. With performances throughout the class, the Redskins were rated as the most productive class in the league.

The 2019 class and its success level will always be tied to Haskins, whom the team selected with the No. 15 pick. After his first two outings, both of which came after starting the game as the backup, it would have been tough to envision the Redskins earning the title of the most productive class in the league.

Haskins threw four interceptions in his first 22 pass attempts across relief appearances against the Giants and Vikings. But after interim head coach Bill Callahan gave the signal caller the starting job in week nine, Haskins began to show his ability.

Pro Football Focus gave Haskins a 73.4 grade, 12th-best in the NFL, after week 9. And in his final six quarters of his first season, the Redskins quarterback completed over 70% of his passes for 399 yards and four touchdowns against zero interceptions.

After selecting Haskins in the first round, Washington traded for the 26th pick to select Sweat out of Mississippi State. The edge rusher started all 16 games in his rookie season, recording 50 tackles, seven sacks — including two in the season finale against Dallas — and two forced fumbles.

McLaurin, named the best value pick of the class, wasted no time proving himself as one of the steals of the draft. The third-round pick posted five catches for 125 yards and a touchdown in his NFL debut. He followed that week-one showing with two games with at least five catches and a touchdown, becoming the first player in league history to reach those numbers in each of his first three games.

In 14 games, McLaurin finished with 58 receptions for 919 yards and seven touchdowns on his way to an 86.5 Pro Football Focus receiving grade, the highest among all rookie receivers, and the best since Odell Beckham Jr.’s in 2014.

Fourth-round pick Wes Martin started five games, including the final three, at guard for the Redskins as the team dealt with injuries along the offensive front and shuffled players into the lineup.

In the fifth-round, the Redskins selected Alabama guard Ross Pierschbacher and inside linebacker Cole Holcomb out of North Carolina.

Pierschbacher went on to make five appearances, all on special teams. Holcomb, however, made a significant impact.

At the time he was selected, Holcomb figured to be a depth player behind Reuben Foster and Shaun Dion Hamilton. But less than a month later, Foster suffered a gruesome knee injury, giving the rookie a chance for a larger role.

Holcomb responded to the tune of 105 tackles, including six for a loss, and three forced fumbles over 16 appearances and 15 starts. The North Carolina product finished second among rookies in tackles, behind only Steelers’ first-round pick Devin Bush.

Kelvin Harmon, the team’s sixth-round pick, was the third member of the young trio with McLaurin and Steven Sims that emerged as the most-dependable receivers. Harmon finished with 30 catches for 365 yards in 16 games played.

Washington’s seventh-round pick Jimmy Moreland started five games and totaled 42 tackles.

The team used another fourth-round pick on running back Bryce Love out of Stanford, but the Cardinal standout spent the season recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in college. The team’s last selection, seventh-round pick Jordan Brailford, also didn’t see the field after landing on injured reserve just before the regular season.

Last season’s Director of College Personnel Kyle Smith, who played a large role in the 2019 draft process, received a promotion to vice president of player personnel on Jan. 13 as the Redskins transition to a new era under the direction of head coach Ron Rivera.

With the highly productive 2019 class, Rivera and the Redskins have a solid, young foundation to build around on both sides of the ball.

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One important thing that Ron Rivera will bring to the Redskins, according to an NFL agent

One important thing that Ron Rivera will bring to the Redskins, according to an NFL agent

What will Ron Rivera bring to the Redskins in 2020 and beyond (well, besides lots of people who worked with him in Carolina)? That's a question everyone's trying to figure out.

Many are hoping for more wins, obviously. Washington's been one of the league's worst franchises for the past decade, while Rivera was a two-time Coach of the Year with the Panthers who made it to the playoffs four times in nine seasons there.

Beyond that, however, there's an expectation that Rivera can also elevate the Burgundy and Gold's day-to-day operations, making the organization more professional, consistent and stable — words that haven't been used to describe their operations in a long time.

In an interview with the Redskins Talk podcast, longtime NFL agent Andy Ross spoke to that second point.

"I will say this," Ross, who reps players such as Morgan Moses and Taysom Hill, told the podcast. "The one thing that Ron really instilled in the players, because I've had players on Carolina, was accountability. These are young men that are growing into men, so he wants to teach them to be strong men, be strong leaders. And I think that's something he's going to bring into Washington."

CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH ANDY ROSS ON THE REDSKINS TALK PODCAST

The 2019 campaign was beyond chaotic for the Redskins, and one of its major turning points came when Dan Snyder made the decision to fire Jay Gruden after five straight losses to open the year. One of the most popular criticisms of Gruden was a lack of accountability. According to Ross, that won't occur now that Rivera's in charge.

The 58-year-old also possesses another quality that'll be incredibly valuable as he tries to turn around the Redskins, a place that's been plagued by distractions, leaks and fracturing season after season.

"He doesn't allow the outside influence to affect his football team," Ross said. "So I think you're going to see, with the Redskins going forward, that everything is going to be really kept in-house."

Rivera's reputation precedes him. Right after he was hired by Snyder, in fact, Panthers defensive lineman Gerald McCoy said he would tell players in Washington that "one of the best things in your career is about to happen."

Ross is yet another person to echo that kind of praise for the head coach. With each passing day, it sounds more and more like the Redskins landed someone with an approach that's precisely what everyone involved with the team needs.

"They have some really good, young talent," Ross concluded. "And I think he's really going to mold a lot of these young players into really strong men, and that should be good for the culture."

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