Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, February 1, 36 days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.  

Note: I have changed the URL for my Facebook page. It is now If you have already hit it with a Like, thanks. If you haven’t please check it out.


Days until:

NFL Franchise tag deadline (3/1) 29
—NFL Draft (4/27) 85
First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 221

If not Cousins then who?

Today’s question comes from my Facebook page.

Michael, you have asked the $120 million question. The reason that Cousins will command such a high salary is that aren’t many other humans on the planet who can play the position of quarterback well. If you narrow that down to players who can play well in Jay Gruden’s system the supply gets even tighter. And if you narrow it down to QB’s who can play well in Gruden’s system who are available, well, the pickings are very slim.

Related: #RedskinsTalk podcast: A new deal for Cousins?


Here are the top 10 quarterbacks who are slated to be free agents, in the approximate order of their values according to, with their ages in parenthesis:

Kirk Cousins (28)
Mike Glennon (27)
Brian Hoyer (31)
Matt Barkley (26)
Ryan Fitzpatrick (34)
Geno Smith (26)
Case Keenum (29)
Landry Jones (27)
Blaine Gabbert (27)
Mark Sanchez (30)

Who on that list can make quick decisions and get rid of the ball in a hurry? Glennon may be the best prospect of the rest but his release is not at all quick. Hoyer has shown some ability but he can’t stay on the field. On Christmas Eve, we saw Barkley, the No. 4 rated QB, throw five picks to a Redskins defense that couldn’t catch much of anything all year. And then there’s Fitz—, seriously, do I really need to go on?

More Redskins: Free agency to-do list

Some quarterbacks are bound to be released. The three big names are Tony Romo, Colin Kaepernick, and Jay Cutler. Of the three, Cutler may be the best fit but that’s only in relative terms. None of them meets the Gruden job description.

But that’s why the Redskins gave Colt McCoy a three-year, $9 million contract that has him making a $2.8 million salary this year. He’s not an ideal fit in the offense and his durability is in question but if Cousins is unavailable for any reason, whether it’s injury or if he’s employed by another team, McCoy is the best Plan B.

So the question is not whether Cousins is “worth” a contract worth well over $20 million per year.  The question is if the Redskins can afford to let him go even if it means that paying a premium due to the scarcity at the position.

Tandler on Twitter

I was asked why the Redskins would keep Matt Jones on the roster since he was deactivated for the final nine games of last season.

In case you missed it

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.