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Kirk Cousins knows he needs to deliver more than just yards for 2017 Redskins

Kirk Cousins knows he needs to deliver more than just yards for 2017 Redskins

Kirk Cousins shattered his own Redskins passing record in 2016 as he threw for almost 5,000 yards.

Statistically, Cousins' 2016 season was superb, but his team only won eight games and fell short of the playoffs with an ugly loss in the season finale.

Cousins completed 67 percent of his passes for 4,917 yards to go with 25 touchdowns against 12 interceptions. The numbers earned him a spot in the Pro Bowl, but likely the pass he remembers most is the interception that sealed the Redskins season in that Week 17 loss against the Giants.

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"Clearly, just putting up a bunch of yards isn’t necessarily the catchall. That doesn't just mean you win games," Cousins said on Redskins Nation (full video above). "We certainly want to win our division and all those things, and have great results at the end of the year."

Against the Giants, Cousins had the chance to be a hero for Washington and get the 'Skins to a second straight playoff berth for the first time in 20 years. It didn't work out. The Giants' defense stymied the Redskins, and Cousins, throughout the afternoon. 

Interestingly, the loss to the Giants and an earlier Week 15 home loss to the Panthers illustrates Cousins' point about yards not equaling wins. In those two losses, Cousins threw for more than 600 yards, an impressive total against two top defenses. Yet, the Redskins offense was hardly effective in either game and the team scored only 25 points combined.

In no uncertain terms is Cousins wholly at fault for the defeats, but those are not two games to pin on the struggling Washington defense either.

Moving forward, unsurprisingly, Cousins has a great attitude about his team for 2017 and the work being put in now.

"You can’t win the division in May. It's about a process. It's about what can we do on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday here in the spring that gives us a chance in the fall to win games," he said. 

Players are putting the work in to improve in 2017. 

RELATED: One reason to watch every Redskins game this year.

"That's what I’m excited about. I feel the stars of the team, the Josh Normans, the Terrelle Pryors, are coming in and working hard, checking their egos at the door and just showing up being great teammates and great leaders. That's a great step."

One more win. That's all that separated the Redskins from the playoffs in 2016. If Cousins is right, and the process is right, the work in May might deliver that win in December.

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Another NFL analyst says Redskins should not trade No. 2 pick unless a team blows their doors off

Another NFL analyst says Redskins should not trade No. 2 pick unless a team blows their doors off

Thus far during the 2020 offseason, several NFL experts have debated whether the Redskins should keep or trade the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Some believe that Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young is a generational talent and the opportunity to select him is a no brainer. Others, like Peter King and Chris Simms, think the Redskins could significantly alter the trajectory of the franchise by trading the pick and acquiring assets.

Add NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah to those who think the Redskins should keep the pick and take Young, unless they get an offer they simply cannot refuse in return.

The analyst was asked during a pre-Scouting Combine conference call on Friday whether it would be a mistake for the Redskins to consider moving back from No. 2, and his response was strong.

"I just don't trade off of elite edge rushers," Jeremiah said. "You have a need there at the position, those guys are hard to find. So to get a player like that you would have to blow my doors off to get me to trade off that pick, if I was the Washington Redskins."

If the Redskins traded back, even a couple of spots, it's highly unlikely Young would still be on the board.

Jeremiah said the Redskins should not consider moving back past picks No. 5-7, and even if they were to pull the plug on a deal with one of the teams with those picks, they would need "multiple [first round picks] plus some Sugar."

Picks No. 3-5 in the draft currently belong to the Detroit Lions, New York Giants and Miami Dolphins, respectively. Jeremiah suspected that any team inquiring about trading up with the Redskins would be looking to take a quarterback.

Detroit has Matt Stafford at quarterback, an established signal-caller. Last week, rumors surfaced that they might explore trading him. Should that happen, Detroit could simply stay at No. 3 and take the QB of their choice. They wouldn't need to trade up with Washington.

Miami is in the quarterback market at No. 5 and may inquire with Washington to move up, especially if the Lions are considering moving on from Stafford. The Chargers at No. 6 and the Panthers at No. 7 are teams to keep an eye on as well.

But the Giants have pick No. 4 and their quarterback of the future is set in Daniel Jones. If Young is on the board when the Giants pick comes around, the Ohio State product is heading to the Big Apple. No questions about it. 

"You've got to get a lot to get out of there, because even if you get to five, you won't see Chase Young at that point in time," Jeremiah said.

Behind quarterback, pass rushers are arguably the most valuable position in the sport. The Redskins have the chance to take a generational talent at the position, and according to Jeremiah, should not look back unless they get an incredible offer in return.

"So you're trading off a premier player at the second most valuable position in the sport," Jeremiah said. "You're going to have to get a heck of a haul to do that."

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Watch Jordan Reed's top five plays with the Redskins

Watch Jordan Reed's top five plays with the Redskins

The Redskins released Jordan Reed on Thursday, marking the end of six seasons and seven years with the team.

The 2013 third-round pick was one of the NFL's elite tight ends when he was at full health, but concussions and other injuries have prevented the athletic pass-catcher from ever playing a full 16-game NFL season.

Reed had some spectacular moments in the nation's capital, highlighted by a terrific month of December in 2015 where he totaled 30 receptions, 411 yards and five touchdowns in just one month. The Redskins won their final four contests that season, clinching the NFC East.

At his best, Reed made several acrobatic catches at times and was unguardable at others. He consistently was a matchup nightmare for opponents and a dynamic weapon for the Redskins.

So, to pay tribute to Reed's tenure in Washington, take a look at his top five catches with the Burgundy and Gold.

5. Reed's one-handed catch against the Giants in 2016

The tight end's hands were never something to question.

In a tight Week 3 contest with a divisional foe, the Redskins offense was in need of a play. On a second-and-10 midway through the third, quarterback Kirk Cousins spotted an open Reed, but his throw was slightly behind the tight end.

Reed reached back and acrobatically hauled in the pass. Then, instead of going out of bounds, Reed made three Giants defenders miss before running upfield to pick up the first down. 

The Redskins would take the lead on a field goal later in the drive, and hold on to win, 29-27.

4. One-hander against Green Bay in the 2016 playoffs

With the Redskins holding an early lead in the first quarter with the ball near midfield, Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins looked Reed's way to convert an important third down. 

Reed, lined up as a receiver on the left in the slot, ran a three-step out route off the line. As Cousins released the ball, Packers cornerback Casey Hayward made a break on the ball, putting himself in the perfect position to intercept Cousins' pass and return it the other way for six.

But at the last second, the tight end stuck out his right arm and hauled in the pass with one-hand in between Hayward and another Packers defender. Reed split the two defenders and ran upfield for a 20-yard gain.

Later on in the drive, Reed hauled in a 24-yard touchdown to extend Washington's lead to 11. Unfortunately, it didn't last for the Redskins, as the Packers went on a 35-7 run to close the game and handily win the Wild Card clash.

3. Reed's dominant effort to clinch the NFC East in 2015 vs. Philadelphia

There are a number of moments from Reed that one could single out during this contest, but his overall body of work deserved praise on this day.

The Eagles simply had no match for the tight end, who finished with nine receptions for 129 yards and two touchdowns in the Redskins 38-24 Week 16 victory over Philadelphia in Lincoln Financial Field. 

Perhaps no play from this game was more impressive than Reed's signature crossover move. Matched up against Mychal Kendricks, Reed shook the Eagles linebacker before breaking open in the middle of the field. Cousins found the open Reed for a 12-yard touchdown.

Just watch the video below and let the nostalgia flow.

2. Reed's one-handed catch on Thanksgiving against Dallas in 2016

The tight end had one of the best games of his career against the Cowboys on Thanksgiving in 2016. Dallas had no answer for Reed, who finished with 10 receptions for 95 yards and two touchdowns.

But Reed's best moment of the game came on a streak route down the right sideline. Playing with a separated shoulder, one that caused Reed to miss the next two games, the tight end hauled in an incredible, one-handed grab with Byron Jones draped over him.

This picture explains it all.

The Cowboys went on to win the Turkey Day clash, but Reed was the best playmaker on the field that day.

1. Game-winning touchdown to cap 24-point comeback vs. Tampa Bay

The Redskins victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2015 will always be remembered in history as the Cousins' "You like that?!" game. But, the final touchdown to cap the comeback victory is largely Reed's doing.

Washington lined up in an odd formation: four receivers were bunched on the left with Reed isolated on the right. The bunch was almost used as a decoy, as Cousins did not even look to his left.  

The touchdown tied the game for Washington, with Dustin Hopkins extra point giving them a one-point lead with just 24 seconds to play. Reed has a spectacular afternoon, finishing with 11 receptions for 72 yards and two touchdowns.

Bonus: Reed making defenders foolish

Like many tight ends in today's modern NFL, Reed grew up with a basketball background. Well, the crossover move never left his arsenal.

Several times throughout his tenure in Washington, Reed shook defenders with a simple crossover move, sometimes with the ball in hand, sometimes without. No. 86's ability to make defenders look foolish was unparalleled. 

The crossover was just one of the many things Reed had in his bag of tricks. Watch and enjoy some of his best moves.

Best of luck to Reed in his next stop.

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