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Don't expect Redskins to offer top QB market price to Kirk Cousins, analyst says

Don't expect Redskins to offer top QB market price to Kirk Cousins, analyst says

Negotiations between the Redskins and Kirk Cousins broke down last year as the two sides were far apart on money. Washington offered as much as $16 million per year in a long-term deal, but the Cousins' camp rebuffed those offers before the organization placed the franchise tag on their quarterback for the 2016 season.

With the countdown on for the team to decide to use the franchise tag for the 2017 season before the March 1 deadline, the 'Skins must again decide what they are willing to offer Cousins in a multi-year contract. ESPN's Andrew Brandt, speaking with ESPN980's Kevin Sheehan on Thursday morning, explained that Washington brass is not expected to go to the top of the quarterback market.

"The Redskins are in a position of strength on the long-term aspect," Brandt said. "A long-term deal can happen if Kirk Cousins' camp is willing to not negotiate on the level of the franchise tag number. That did not happen last year."

Last year that meant the Cousins camp wanted the deal to start at $20 million per season, the amount guaranteed by the franchise tag. This year, that number jumps to $24 million. 

Many have used the Andrew Luck contract, and it's $87 million guaranteed, signed last year as a barometer for what Cousins should make, regardless if the Washington passer is as good as the Colts QB. Brandt disagreed.

"They don’t have to be a slave to the Andrew Luck deal," he said.

Brandt made clear he doesn't expect the Redskins to "negotiate with the top of the market" and that if the Cousins camp demands to be paid at that level, expect another contract impasse. 

Last year's negotiations followed a similar pattern, in that the team and the player were miles away from a compromise when it came to annual salary and guaranteed money. Redskins' decision makers have already showed they are willing to use the tag, and in 2017, it again seems like a viable option. 

Cousins spoke earlier this year about his desire to be paid at the top of his worth, both for his own contract and for quarterbacks down the road. Interestingly, Brandt didn't believe the market for Cousins quite matches the "hysteria" suggested by fans and some media.

"Much more hyped than the reality will show," he said. "I don’t think somebody's going to put together this massive Kirk Cousins' contract."

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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Redskins won't see Antonio Brown in Week 5: Controversial star released by Patriots

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Redskins won't see Antonio Brown in Week 5: Controversial star released by Patriots

The Antonio Brown Era in New England is over.

Brown, one of the most prolific wide receivers to ever play in the NFL, was released by the Patriots Friday afternoon, just 11 days after signing with the team.

Shortly after his release from the Raiders, which preceded his signing in New England, reports surfaced of sexual assault allegations being levied at Brown. The receiver was facing charges of rape from a former trainer, and it was initially unclear how much the Patriots knew about prior to his signing.

Brown did end up playing in Week 2, his first opportunity with the Patriots, in Miami. He caught four passes for 56 yards and a touchdown, in addition to rushing the ball once for a five-yard gain.

Late Thursday night, additional reports surfaced of intimidating texts sent by Brown to a woman involved in a separate assault case. Less than a day later, the receiver tweeted a farewell to his now former team.

Minutes later, the Patriots announced they had parted ways with Brown. 

The team released the following statement: “The New England Patriots are releasing Antonio Brown. We appreciate the hard work of many people over the past 11 days, but we feel that it is best to move in a different direction at this time.”

The investigation into sexual assault allegations against Brown remains ongoing at this time.

The Redskins will host the Patriots in Week 5 of the 2019 NFL season.

MORE BROWN COVERAGE:

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Jonathan Allen says '100 percent' chance he plays Monday night but questions remain for Redskins

Jonathan Allen says '100 percent' chance he plays Monday night but questions remain for Redskins

Jonathan Allen declared himself "100 percent" in for the Redskins Monday night game against the Bears. That's great news, except Allen might not have the final say in the matter.

The Redskins defensive captain and third-year defensive tackle sprained his knee Week 1 in Philadelphia and wanted to return in that game. He didn't, and subsequently, missed Week 2 against Dallas too. Washington head coach Jay Gruden explained that the team has to protect Allen, a fierce competitor, against himself. He doesn't want to miss any action, even if resting his injured knee might be the most prudent course. 

Asked what would happen if the medical staff tried to prevent him from playing in Monday's contest, Allen did not really respond but rather shake his head. 

Elsewhere on the team, there doesn't seem to be as much good news on the injury front.

The news on cornerback Quinton Dunbar doesn't seem encouraging.

"I don’t know about Dunbar. He was struggling a bit today," Gruden said after practice. The cornerback injured his knee against Philly and missed the Cowboys game. It would take some serious progress for Dunbar to play Monday night. 

The news seems even more concerning with tight end Jordan Reed. He hasn't played since sustaining a concussion in the third preseason game, and this week he practiced on Wednesday but didn't make it out on the field Thursday or Friday. At this point, the Redskins seem wise to move forward without Reed in the game plan as he works his way back from the concussion protocol. 

Further down the line, cornerback Fabian Moreau looks like he is tracking to return to the field against Chicago while questions keep popping up around safety Montae Nicholson. Gruden said Nicholson's absence was mainly for rest.