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Need to Know: Redskins' Cousins called a 'mercenary' and that's a good thing

Need to Know: Redskins' Cousins called a 'mercenary' and that's a good thing

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, February 24, 13 days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.  

Timeline

Days until:

—NFL Franchise tag deadline (3/1) 5
—NFL Combine (3/2) 6
—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 52
—NFL Draft (4/27) 62
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 198

Friday quick hitters

What about Baker? I’m not sure what the Redskins’ thinking is regarding Chris Baker. As with all their other free agents the Redskins haven’t been in communication with Baker’s camp, waiting for the chance to scope out the market at the combine next week. I think that Baker’s fate will depend on cost. If they can get in for around $7 million or less, he stays. If the bidding pushes his deal up much higher than that I think he’s gone.

McCloughan’s status: It’s not exactly news that Scot McCloughan doesn’t have the full powers that many NFL GMs have. He has always been more of a super scout, in charge of stocking the roster. He is not frozen out when it comes to contracts and financial matters but they never have been his strong suit and they are best left to Bruce Allen and, particularly, Eric Schaffer.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 3.0

Anything new? So, was there much new in Jerry Brewer’s column in the Post yesterday? Given that the power structure has been in place for over two years now, it doesn’t appear that there was. Brewer essentially said it himself: “McCloughan isn’t necessarily losing power as much as he is having his lack of power revealed.” So during this past two years, while the team improved from 4-12 to playoff contention, things have been how they are now. Let me be clear, there were some disturbing insights in Brewer’s article such as the team’s lack of a response to a request for comment on Chris Cooley’s on-air musing about McCloughan’s alcohol consumption. But on how things work on the organizational chart at Redskins Park it’s been the same.

Who wants Kirk? We are at a point where the popular perception among the fans and media is that Allen is the one who will run Kirk Cousins out of town, either this year or next, while McCloughan and Jay Gruden are begging for him to stay. The narrative is that Allen is the bad buy and McCloughan is the good guy because that’s the way fans and some in the media perceive it. But I would pump the brakes on the notion that McCloughan is willing to pay whatever it takes to keep Cousins around. We haven’t heard from him this year but last year he said on multiple occasions that while he was interested in keeping Cousins around for the long haul the team needs to be careful not to give up too much of the salary cap to one player. That doesn’t sound like he’s all in on giving Cousins a blank check.

More Redskins: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice for his own good?

Cousins is right to go for the money: Some fans in my Twitter timeline are calling for Cousins to take less money from the Redskins to help Allen and McCloughan pay other players. That’s not happening, nor should it. Jim Trotter of ESPN referred to Cousins as a “mercenary” and he meant it in a positive way. What he is doing is using the NFL system to maximize his earnings potential. Look around at what has been happening around the NFL over the last few weeks, with players getting dumped when they are no longer of use to their teams—and instances of players getting cut will increase exponentially soon—and you should understand why there’s not anything wrong with a player getting as much money as he can while he can. If you add in the short careers they have and the risk that they might spend the last 40-plus years of your life having trouble getting out of bed every morning or suffering from worse problems and you still don't get it, I can't help you. Cousins should get as much money as he can and it's the job of the team that voluntarily pays him that to figure out how to make it work around him. 

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

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Andrew Brandt says near impossible to get new Redskins name before Week 1

Andrew Brandt says near impossible to get new Redskins name before Week 1

Regardless if fans like the current name or want it changed, just on time alone the Redskins face a near impossible task to change their moniker in time for Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season. 

Andrew Brandt is an expert on NFL business and worked for the Packers for a decade. His work can be read in MMQB among others, and on Monday, he explained to the Redskins Talk Podcast that a new name and logo for the Redskins before the 2020 NFL season kicks off will require a "Herculean effort."

Normally changing the name of a football franchise valued at more than $3 billion would take years, with focus groups and market research to back up the decision. In this case, Washington is slated for a preseason game in Nashville on August 15th and to host their regular season opener on September 13th at FedEx Field. 

RELATED: SANTANA MOSS SAYS IT'S A PERFECT TIME TO CHANGE NAMES

The preseason opener is a little more than a month away, and the team hasn't even provided a timeline on a name change. In fact, though it's widely expected to come, the team hasn't even publicly said they're going to change the name at all.

It's hard to fathom the team could roll out even just new uniforms by August 15th, let alone erase every Redskins logo on their official stationery, moving supplies, marketing materials, and so on by September 13th. 

Brandt believes it could make sense for the team to just go by Washington this season and allow appropriate time to pick a new name for the 2021 season. 

"Maybe we have this provisional name without a lot of marks out there," he said. 

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A provisional name could end up being the Washington Football Club or something similar. 

For every fan making their case for Red Wolves or RedTails or Warriors or Hogs on social media and new uniform images on Instagram, realize that the effort to change the name goes miles beyond just new uniforms.

And to the experts, whatever that new name is won't be in play for 2020. 

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Report: NFLPA unanimously votes for all preseason games to be canceled

Report: NFLPA unanimously votes for all preseason games to be canceled

The players have spoken, unanimously. 

On Thursday night’s NFLPA call, the union’s board of reps voted unanimously to recommend that the NFL play no preseason games this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to a memo obtained by NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.

"In light of the recent absence of medical justification for holding any preseason games and the necessity of adhering to the acclimation period in order to reduce the possibility of injuries, the NFLPA Board of Player Representatives recommends that no preseason games be played during the 2020 NFL season, and the Board calls upon the NFL to cancel all preseason games due to the on-going COVID pandemic," the memorandum reads. 

 

The NFL previously cut the preseason from four to two games, according to a report last week. The Hall of Fame Game, which was scheduled for August 6 between the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers was also canceled, but the NFLPA has recommended an even more drastic reduction in the preseason.

Whether the NFL will respond to this request in favor of the players' recommendation remains unclear.

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