Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, March 9, 40 days before Washington Redskins start offseason workouts on April 17
—NFL Draft (4/27) 49
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 76
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 128
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 185
Can Gruden convince Kirk Cousins to stay?
After two years with the focus mostly on football, with relatively quiet offseasons and moderate success on the field in the falls, Redskins have crashed back into dysfunction.
Scot McCloughan, whose arrival marked the start of the Redskins behaving like a normal football operation, appears to be on the way out. The company line is that he is out dealing with family issues and his date of return to Redskins Park is unknown. But some solid reporting by the Washington Post reveals that McCloughan was frustrated by being overruled on personnel matters and that is why the end is in sight.
Besides McCloughan, the other individual who gave Redskins some hope in the past two years is quarterback Kirk Cousins. But he may be on the way out, too. He is on the franchise tag for the second straight year. The Redskins are trying to sign him long term but besides not offering close to what most agree Cousins’ fair market value is. And even if they get there, the feeling at Redskins Park is that he just doesn’t want to be there.
The Redskins’ only chance of persuading Cousins to stay may be for Jay Gruden to do the sales job of his life. While the other decision makers in Ashburn have waffled about supporting Cousins, Gruden has steadfastly been in his corner.
If not for Gruden, Cousins would not be on the verge of getting a contract that will pay him over $100 million. The coach stuck his neck on the line in 2015 when he fought to bench management favorite Robert Griffin III and make Cousins the starter. Gruden stuck by his guy when Cousins struggled early in the year. But he finished the season strong and the Redskins won the NFC East title. He was the perfect fit for Gruden’s offense and he broke every major team passing record.
That season got Cousins on the road to million-dollar paydays. Had Gruden not stuck his neck out for Cousins and if Gruden didn’t have the ideal offense for Cousins’ skill set, the quarterback could well still be struggling to gain a foothold in the NFL.
So if anyone can persuade Cousins to remain with the Redskins, it’s Gruden. And maybe with the dumpster fire spreading in Ashburn, it’s too late already. But at some point, I would expect Gruden to give it a go and we will see what happens.
Tandler on Twitter
If a Cousins trade doesn’t happen It seems to me that the #Redskins have to do whatever it takes to re-sign Cousins. 1/— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) March 8, 2017
Otherwise there would be a double dose of massive PR hits with McC gone and Cousins playing as lame duck. Team has do something. 2/2— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) March 8, 2017
In case you missed it
- Redskins free agency live blog: News and rumors
- Redskins preparing for Cousins' possible departure
- Report: McCloughan not involved in Redskins decisions
- Davis is back with Redskins but unsure who will the throwing him the ball
- Report: 49ers looking to reunite Redskins' WR Garçon with Kyle Shanahan
- Davis' return a key for 2017 Redskins
- Why reports of a new 49ers QB could impact Redskins, Cousins
- Dallas Cowboys to reportedly release Tony Romo
- First step to return, Redskins tender Chris Thompson and Will Compton
- New suitors wants to pay Garcon serious cash, per report
- Report: Redskins will pursue Chiefs defensive lineman
- Don't hold your breath for big-name Redskins free agent signings
- Will DeSean Jackson take less money to go to New England?
- Why the momentum is building around Kirk Cousins trade rumors