All signs point to the Redskins again placing the franchise tag on Kirk Cousins, and the March 1 deadline to make that move grows ever closer.
The franchise tag, however, will not prevent the organization from making a long-term deal with the quarterback.
CBS' Jason La Canfora expects the Redkins to get a deal done with Cousins sometime this summer.
"Unlike last year, the Redskins will make a legit concerted effort to sign him to a fair-market deal (unlike the low-ball overtures of a year ago). And by July 15, I suspect Cousins has a long-term deal with Washington agreed to."
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July 15 marks the deadline for teams to negotiate with tagged players. Last year, the Redskins hardly offered Cousins more money than was guaranteed by his one-year, $20 million contract dictated by the franchise tag.
This season, that figure jumps to $24 million.
There is some debate as to what will constitute a 'fair-market deal' for Cousins. Will the Redkins passer get to the Andrew Luck level, with more than $80 million guaranteed? Will the team use the non-exclusive tag and let Cousins see what his value is with other teams?
Nothing but questions and specualtion will dominate the Cousins conversation, at least until March 1 when the 'Skins are forced to use the tag or let the QB walk to the open market. That won't happen, but it is possible the team and Cousins reach a multi-year deal before then.
Don't plan on it. The NFL is a deadline driven league. March 1, and then July 15, could prove to be the most important days in the 2017 version of the Cousins saga.
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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.
NFL pregame rituals just got a little less fiery.
The NFL has banned all on-field pyrotechnic fire machines and flame effects after last week's mishap at Nissan Stadium, according to reports. When the Tennessee Titans took the field to take on their division rival Colts, one of the pyrotechnic devices caught on fire.
Instead of going upward like it was supposed to, the flames spurted out horizontally - creating a dangerous situation for the on-field personnel.
Fortunately, the Titans handled the situation effectively and nobody was hurt.
For the Washington Redskins, this rule change presents a quick turnaround. Washington added fire pyrotechnics to their pregame rituals just last season.
In 2015, the then-St. Louis Rams had a similar malfunction with their on-field fire pyrotechnics when they ran out on the field to face the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Edward Jones Dome.
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