Here is what you need to know on this Friday, February 10, 27 days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.
—NFL Franchise tag deadline (3/1) 19
—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 66
—NFL Draft (4/27) 76
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 212
Five Redskins offseason predictions
The Redskins have not played in 40 days but with the Super Bowl now done the offseason is truly heating up. Here are five predictions, some bold, some not-so bold, about what will happen between now and the start of training camp in late July.
Kirk Cousins signs a long-term deal with the Redskins—I’m going to take this a step further and say that the deal will be done prior to the March 1 franchise tag deadline. I think that Bruce Allen has a lot of credibility on the line since he has made no secret of the team’s desire to get a deal done. The deal won’t match Andrew Luck’s average of $24.3 million per year but it will be in the same (very exclusive) neighborhood at around $22-$23 million per year.
Spencer Long and Morgan Moses will sign contract extensions—The Redskins will continue their practice of locking up key players before they become free agents. As they did with Ryan Kerrigan and Jordan Reed, they will ensure that Long and Moses will play their prime seasons in Redskins uniforms. The two players have completed the third seasons of their rookie contracts making them eligible for new deals.
Bashaud Breeland and Trent Murphy won’t—The two defenders from the draft class of 2014 also can get new contracts but I don’t see it happening for either one. Breeland had his struggles in 2016 and I think he will want to wait to see if he can increase his value this season. Murphy is coming off an eight-sack season and he also wants to see if he can improve on that. A double-digit sack season in 2017 would set him up for a very nice free agency tour a year from now.
The Redskins’ free agency activity won’t be as high as many expect—I’ll go into some detail on this in the next couple of days but the bottom line is that a lot teams with a lot of cap room will be chasing after a very small pool of quality free agents. Bruce Allen, Scot McCloughan and Eric Schaffer will adjust their valuations accordingly but they aren’t going to get into any big-time bidding wars. Maybe they land Bennie Logan and one other upper-tier player but other than that look for late-March bargains.
Their top draft pick won’t be a defensive lineman—Although I’ve written that it looks like the Redskins’ biggest need could match up with the best available player when they are on the clock at 17. But the more I think about it, the more I think that we’ll have another McCloughan curve ball. I do think that a D-lineman will become a Redskin at some point before the third round ends but a player at another position will be out there getting the bro hug from Roger Goodell and holding up the Redskins jersey with No. 1 on it.
Tandler on Twitter
NFL free agency starts four weeks from right now. pic.twitter.com/R8gXvFDMwY— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) February 9, 2017
In case you missed it
- Redskins questions: Will there be a surprise salary cap cut?
- What happens if one (or both) Redskins free agent WRs leaves?
- A third-round quarterback for the Redskins?