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Need to Know: The NFL business season gets underway for Redskins

Need to Know: The NFL business season gets underway for Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, February 6, 31 days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.  


Days until:

NFL Franchise tag deadline (3/1) 23
—NFL Draft (4/27) 80
First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 216

With the season over, looking ahead

The Super Bowl is over and now the Redskins and the NFL start to get down to the business end of the game. Here are some key dates coming up.

Today—Teams can release players who are on their rosters starting today. Don’t look for the Redskins to make any moves immediately. But they could soon move on from DB DeAngelo Hall ($4.25 million salary cap savings), OL Kory Lichtensteiger ($3.5 million), or TE Derek Carrier ($1 million). Also, in what is more of a technicality, the injured reserve list is cleared and all players under contract are on the roster, which has an offseason limit of 90 players.

RELATED: Niners' interest in Cousins waning?

Feb 15-March 1—This is the window for teams to give the franchise or transition tags to players who are pending free agents. I think you’ve read plenty about the Kirk Cousins saga so I don’t have to tell you that things will get to be quite interesting as that March 1 deadline approaches.

Feb 28—The NFL Combines gets underway in Indianapolis. This is when the first group of players arrives; the media portion begins on March 2. This will be a particularly important draft for Scot McCloughan. He doesn’t pay a whole lot of attention to the “underwear Olympics” part of it, the 40 times and bench presses. Of more interest to him is the chance to get to know some of the players to see if they will be good fits in what he is trying to build.

March 9—The league year starts at 4 p.m. That means the start of free agency. Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson, Chris Baker, Cousins if he has not been tagged or signed, and 11 other Redskins will become unrestricted free agents. Trades between teams also can happen starting on this day. Teams also must be under the salary cap by 4 p.m. The Redskins will not have any problem doing that as they currently sit about $62 million under the cap.

More Redskins: To have a chance at the Super Bowl the Redskins need a QB

April 17—Offseason workouts begin. This starts with some conditioning drills and builds up to OTAs, which will start in late May, and minicamp, which comes in mid-June.

April 27-29—The NFL draft is conducted in Philadelphia. The Redskins currently have nine picks. They have the 17th overall pick plus one each in the second and third rounds, two each in the fourth, fifth, and sixth rounds and no pick in the seventh. McCloughan has moved around on the draft board the last couple of years and there is no reason to believe that he won’t do the same this year.

Tandler on Twitter

This exchange came after Robert Alford’s pick six against Tom Brady in the second quarter.

I recalled the Redskins’ overtime loss to the Falcons in 2015.

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.

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Two examples of why Dan Orlovsky believes Dwayne Haskins will excite Redskins fans

Two examples of why Dan Orlovsky believes Dwayne Haskins will excite Redskins fans

Scott Turner was asked about quarterback Dwayne Haskins' growth this offseason during a Zoom call with local media earlier this week, and the new Redskins offensive coordinator explained he was pleased with both Haskins' physical and mental progress.

Besides raving about the second-year quarterbacks imposing size and natural arm strength, Turner also dove into specific detail about one other thing that really stood out to him about Haskins: his ability to stand tall in the pocket and deliver a throw without much space.

Former NFL quarterback and ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky took to Twitter on Friday, tweeting out two video examples from Haskins' rookie season where the quarterback demonstrated the qualities Turner raved about.

The first example was a clip from the Redskins Week 11 contest against the Jets. The play went down in the scorebook as a 24-yard completion to Kelvin Harmon, but what the quarterback had to do in order to make this play successful was quite impressive.

For this play, Orlovsky explained how Haskins identified where the pressure was coming from pre-snap, causing him to shift the entire protection to the left. After the running back missed his block, Haskins didn't panic. The then-rookie QB stepped up in the pocket and fired a dart to Harmon on the in-route as the receiver broke open in the middle of the field.

"This is one of my favorite plays by him last year," Orlovsky explained. "It really is an example of the intellectual aspect of quarterback play with the feel aspect of quarterback play."


The second clip was from Washington's clash in Green Bay last season. On this particular snap, Haskins showed his mastery of the Packers' defense.

Haskins' initial read was to the right side, where Harmon was running an inside post route. But once the quarterback saw his first read was covered, he continued to look right, forcing Packers' safety Darnell Savage to slide in that direction. The passer then immediately turned to his backside, which created an open throwing lane to find Terry McLaurin in the middle of the field.

"It really shows a complete understanding of what the defense is, what the coverage is, and then a complete understanding of who on the defense he needs to move with his eyes to open up a window," Orlovsky said.

It's fair to mention that the Redskins would not win either of these games and that the rookie passer had his struggles in each of these contests. It's no secret that Haskins had his growing pains as a rookie, and there were examples of such in each of these matchups, too.

But Haskins did finish the season playing the best football of his young career, giving some hope for the future. Count Orlovsky in on those who are optimistic about the quarterback as he enters his second season with the team and his first as the team's true starter.

"There are so many examples on his tape that show how smart he actually is," Orlovsky said. 

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Kirk Cousins ranked ninth on Forbes' top 100 highest-paid athletes in 2020

Kirk Cousins ranked ninth on Forbes' top 100 highest-paid athletes in 2020

Former Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins is among the top 10 highest-paid athletes in the world in 2020, according to Forbes.

Cousins, who came in as the ninth highest-paid athlete overall, is the top-ranked NFL athlete on the list, coming in one spot above Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz.

Forbes estimated the Vikings QB's earnings at $60.5 million, with $58 million coming from his salary and $2.5 million from his endorsements.


In March, Cousins signed a two-year, $66 million extension with the Vikings, one that included a $30 million signing bonus. The signal-caller originally signed with the Vikings in 2018 on a three-year, fully-guaranteed $84 million deal that at the time made him the highest-paid player in NFL history.

The Vikings signal-caller has earned over $130 million in his career thus far, according to OverTheCap.

Cousins spent the first six seasons of his career with the Redskins, with three of those years as the team's starter. The quarterback set the franchise's single-season passing yards record in 2016 when he threw for 4,917 yards for Washington. His 29 touchdown passes in 2017 were the second-most by any Redskins quarterback in a single-season.

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.