Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, December 31, one day before the Washington Redskins host the New York Giants.
—Today's schedule: No availability
—Days until: Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 1; Wild card playoff round starts 7; Division playoff round start 14
Injuries of note:
Injured reserve: S Whitner (quad)
Out: CB Dunbar (concussion), LB Cravens (upper arm), OL Painter (calf)
Limited: TE Reed (shoulder), RB Kelley (knee), DE Baker (ankle)
Final injury report
Five players who could be in their last game for the Redskins
While there are plenty of reasons for optimism that the Redskins will win tomorrow and advance to the playoffs, the cold reality is that their season could come to an end at around 7:30 p.m. on Sunday. That means that a handful of Redskins could be playing their last games in burgundy and gold.
QB Kirk Cousins—It’s unlikely but possible that Cousins will walk as a free agent this spring. He would become the first quarterback ever with back-to-back 4,000-yard seasons to depart his team the next year. But we had only seen one quarterback play out a year on the franchise tag so this situation is not normal. Chances are he will stay on the franchise tag if not on a long-term deal but until the tag is applied and signed or a deal is done anything could happen.
WR DeSean Jackson—There has been plenty of buzz about Jackson’s pending free agency. Some have him in an Eagles uniform in 2017 already. While I tend to think that is a ploy to start driving up his price before he even hits the market, it’s certainly a possibility. It’s also possible that he will be back with the Redskins. Scot McCloughan must weigh multiple factors including his unique skills, his frequent absences at offseason workouts, his contract demands, and his tendency to disappear at times (six-game stretch this year with no more than 55 yards in any game).
WR Pierre Garçon—He recently said “D.C. is where I want to be” and cited his family and business interests in the area. That doesn’t mean he automatically will be back with the Redskins. He could sign up the road with the Ravens or Eagles and still be close enough to monitor his business and spend quality time with his family. But if it comes down to a choice between Jackson and Garçon it seems likely that the Redskins would make their pitch to the latter. However, that doesn’t mean that his return is automatic.
OL Shawn Lauvao—He is going into the last year of the four-year free agent deal he signed in 2014. The contract makes him the 12th highest paid left guard in the league and his play clearly doesn’t warrant that status. Releasing him would save $4 million in cap space and the Redskins could do that and find a younger and cheaper (or at least more cost-effective) solution at left guard. Also, releasing Kory Lichtensteiger, who is likely to be inactive tomorrow, would save $3.5 million.
DE Chris Baker—The veteran lineman will be 30 by the time Week 4 comes around next year. How McCloughan handles his free agency will be interesting to observe. The defensive line needs to be rebuilt. Do they start with Baker, who will command a sizeable but affordable contract? Or do they move on and go the younger and cheaper route? Baker may give the Redskins a slight hometown discount but this will be his last shot at a multiyear deal with some guaranteed cash and if another team offers significantly more money he could be gone.
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In case you missed it
- 2017 NFL mock draft 1.0
- New #RedskinsTalk Podcast - Get to know Mason Foster
- After week off, Jordan Reed feels 'a lot more healthy'
- Against Giants, Redskins forced to play Deshazor Everett more
- Williams believes Redskins have a lot of season left to play
- Three Redskins out, Reed, Kelley questionable
- Crowder not concerned about recent drop in production
- 5 Redskins under pressure against the Giants