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Jay Gruden at Senior Bowl: Redskins 'totally anticipate' Kirk Cousins will return in 2017

Jay Gruden at Senior Bowl: Redskins 'totally anticipate' Kirk Cousins will return in 2017

MOBILE – Jay Gruden provided a glimmer of optimism for Redskins fans freaked out about Kirk Cousins' contract situation. 

"I totally anticipate him coming back to the Washington Redskins," Gruden said. 

The Redskins coach talked from the sidelines of the Senior Bowl where he and much of the team's staff were scouting college seniors. 

Gruden explained he had texted back and forth with Cousins a few times this offseason and looked forward to watching him play in the Pro Bowl. 

Since Gruden named Cousins starter in 2015, the quarterback had passed for more than 9,000 yards and twice broken Skins franchise passing records. 

Some indications of a long term deal for Cousins land in the $120 million range, but the Washington organization also has the flexibility to use the franchise tag this season at a cost of nearly $24 million. 

MORE REDSKINS: Who else might want to trade for Cousins?

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Just because Daniel Jones starts for the Giants doesn't mean Dwayne Haskins needs to start for the Redskins

Just because Daniel Jones starts for the Giants doesn't mean Dwayne Haskins needs to start for the Redskins

The Giants made the right call when they announced Tuesday that rookie Daniel Jones will start at quarterback this week instead of veteran Eli Manning. 

That decision, however, has absolutely no bearing on the Redskins situation with veteran QB Case Keenum and rookie Dwayne Haskins. 

The situations are completely different, even if Jones was the sixth overall pick this year and Haskins went 15th.

Manning shouldn't have been the Giants starter to open the season. He's 38 and through two losses this year is completing under 63 percent of his passes with two touchdowns and two interceptions. The Giants have been outscored by 32 points and the offense has looked lackluster. 

New York needs to make this change because above all else, an NFL locker room knows when the quarterback on the field isn't giving the team the best chance to win. Jones is a rookie, sure, but after an impressive preseason, he gives the Giants the best chance to win. 

In Washington, Case Keenum is off to a strong statistical start. In two games, he's thrown for 600 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions. He's completing nearly 70 percent of his passes. The Redskins have lost both games, but it's been largely on the hands of the defense. Keenum has moved the ball with relative success. Most importantly for Keenum, he hasn't turned the ball over. 

Haskins will start for the Redskins eventually, but sources have told NBC Sports Washington repeatedly since he was drafted in April that there is no rush to get him on the field this year. Again, the rookie will very likely play this year, but it doesn't need to happen now. 

When Redskins head coach Jay Gruden named Keenum starter before the regular season began it came with the condition that he would keep the job as long as he performed well. Through two games, Keenum has performed well. Not excellent, but well, and he deserves to keep the gig.

There's also the part where Jones and Haskins have very different experience levels. 

Jones started for three seasons at Duke. In the preseason this year, Jones completed 85 percent of his passes for two TDs and no INTs.

Haskins started for one season at Ohio State. In the preseason this year, Haskins completed 55 percent of his passes with two TDs and two INTs. 

Haskins has the better arm, but Jones is more experienced. These two will hold some serious battles in the NFC East in the future. They are both the future of both franchises. It's just happening a little sooner for Jones, but that shouldn't have any impact on Haskins. 


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10 teams that would want to trade for Trent Williams

10 teams that would want to trade for Trent Williams

Week 2 has come and gone, and the Redskins best player is nowhere to be seen.

Left tackle Trent Williams has given the Burgundy and Gold no indication that he will return to the team anytime soon, continuing a holdout that has gone on for months

NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay believes that if Trent Williams wanted to play for the Redskins, he would have returned by now. Williams clearly doesn't. With no end in sight, and Washington off to an early 0-2 start, the Redskins should seriously consider trading Williams.

Here are 10 teams that could be interested in dealing for the 31-year-old tackle.

1. New England Patriots

The Patriots inquired about Trent earlier this summer, even reportedly offering a first-round pick at one point. The Redskins didn't budge. 

Washington should probably call New England back. New England's starting left tackle, Isaiah Wynn, suffered a toe injury during Sunday's victory over Miami and is listed as week-to-week. The second-year pro has already proven to be injury-prone, as he missed all of 2018 with a torn Achilles. 

Trading for Williams would shore up the left tackle position as the Patriots look primed to defend their Super Bowl title.

2. San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers are off to a surprising 2-0 start but were given some bad news following their victory on Sunday. Left tackle Joe Staley will likely miss the remainder of the season with a broken leg. 

San Francisco's head coach Kyle Shanahan may have bad blood with the Redskins, as he and his father had an ugly divorce from the Redskins following the 2013 season. But if he comes calling, and with a reasonable offer, Washington should listen.

3. Cleveland Browns

For the first time in years, the Browns are supposed to contend for a playoff spot. They've already shown initiative to go all-in for 2019, trading for star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and pass rusher Olivier Vernon this past offseason. 

But one position they could surely use an upgrade is at left tackle. Since future Hall of Famer Joe Thomas retired following the 2017 season, the left tackle position has been an issue. Greg Robinson hasn't proven to be the answer. The Browns may lack draft capital, but they should reach out to Washington about unloading future assets to shore up their current need at left tackle.

4. Minnesota Vikings

Riley Reiff is not a bad left tackle. But he's certainly not a good one, either.  

Vikings QB Kirk Cousins is at his best when he's given time to throw in the pocket; improvising when pressure is coming has never been his strong suit. Playing in a division with the Bears and Packers, two very good defenses, Minnesota could definitely use an upgrade protecting Cousins' blindside. 

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bruce Arians has been given the task to turn around the Buccaneers franchise. Having a cornerstone left tackle speeds up that process dramatically.

Current left tackle Donovan Smith signed a three-year, $41 million extension during the 2018 offseason. But he's largely underperformed, and with Arians now at the helm, don't be surprised if he makes a splash, should Tampa Bay be willing to part with some of their draft capital.

6. Oakland Raiders

Jon Gruden's squad committed a hefty amount of money to right tackle Trent Brown this offseason, but left tackle remains a whirlwind for the Raiders. Kolton Miller currently holds the spot, but the former first-round pick has had an up-and-down start to his career.

Should Gruden want to improve the position to a much steadier (and a lot more talented) Trent Williams, he should call his younger brother's franchise.

7. Miami Dolphins

To be blatantly clear, this is a very unlikely scenario. This would have made sense a month ago when they reportedly first inquired about Williams. But since then, they've traded away three of their best players -- Laremy Tunsil, Kenny Stills, and Minkah Fitzpatrick -- as they fully embrace the tank.

8. Houston Texans

Like Miami, this would have made a lot more sense a month ago. But over Labor Day weekend, the Texans paid a hefty price with the Dolphins to acquire their left tackle, Laremy Tunsil, as well as wide receiver Kenny Stills.

Still, the Texans have one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL. If they can muster enough to pry Williams away from Washington (remember, Houston doesn't have a 2020 first-round pick), they must do it, for the sake of Deshaun Watson's health if nothing else.

9. Los Angeles Chargers

Russell Okung is out for the immediate future with blood clots. Trent Scott has been manning left tackle duties for the Chargers in the meantime, but he's no long-term solution. Williams would be a significant upgrade over those two.

With running back Melvin Gordon, like Williams, continuing to holdout, the two teams could inquire about a potential swap. That's an offer the Redskins would at least be forced to contemplate, especially with the Burgundy and Gold's struggles in the running game thus far in 2019. 

10. Arizona Cardinals

In Kyler Murray, the team invested their future in a 5-11, 207-pound quarterback who is dynamic with both his arm and his legs. But even someone with Murray's abilities will struggle to be successful in the NFL with the offensive line the Cardinals currently have in place.

While they may not have the assets (giving up their first-round pick in 2020 is not a realistic option while rebuilding), trading for Williams makes a lot of sense for solely football reasons. Those alone could force Kliff Kingsbury to get creative in finding a way to pull Trent away from DC.