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Need to Know: In Redskins, Cousins contract saga, watch what they do

Need to Know: In Redskins, Cousins contract saga, watch what they do

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, January 28, 32 days before the March 1 NFL franchise tag deadline.

Timeline

Days until:

NFL free agency starts (3/9) 40
—NFL Draft (4/27) 89
First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 225

The best of the Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts on Real Redskins and on CSN Midatlantic from this week along with my take on them. 

Report: One team Redskins need to watch out for with Kirk Cousins—There was plenty of Kirk Cousins material this week from this one about the potential for a trade with the 49ers to Jay Gruden, Bruce Allen and Cousins himself with some happy talk about his future. While we’re going to continue to publish posts when something relevant is said but I’ll continue to say what I always say—don’t listen to what they say, watch what they do.

Related: NFL mock draft ver. 2.0

The first round of the draft could fall into place for the Redskins—Some fans will never get used to the concept of drafting the best player available as opposed to drafting for need. I’ll just say that reaching for need does a team no good in either the short term or in the long term and leave it at that. But that may not be a debate this year as it seems that there is a very good chance that a player who plays the Redskins primary position of need also will be the best player on the board. Then everyone can be happy with the draft. Well, maybe not.

3 reasons why promoting Matt Cavanaugh makes sense for 'Skins—I guess fans like things in groups of three since the post on three reasons why the Redskins promoted Greg Manusky was right behind the Cavanaugh post in page views. And just a couple of spots down with one on three reasons to be wary of the Cavanaugh hire. The bottom line here is that I understand the concern over the new coordinators, particularly Manusky. But we’re just going to have to wait until the season starts to really see how the decisions worked out.

More Redskins: Breaking: DeSean Jackson is still fast

The Final Countdown: (No. 7) Eli goes deep, Redskins go down—JP Finlay and I have been looking at the best and worst plays of the 2016 season over the past week or so. It’s an interesting trip down memory lane. We are holding the last three in the series to roll out on TV on CSN next week but the links to the rest of the posts in the series are at the bottom of this post.

NTK: Five Redskins who are salary cap bargains in 2017—One of the reasons that the Redskins have $62 million in salary cap room (besides not have their starting QB on the payroll yet) is that they have a number of productive players who on the low end of the wage scale.

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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 www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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DeAngelo Hall defends cornerback Josh Norman, but believes Redskins should move on

DeAngelo Hall defends cornerback Josh Norman, but believes Redskins should move on

Redskins cornerback Josh Norman has drawn criticism because of his performance in D.C. during his 5-year, $75 million contract he signed in April 2016. Former Redskins defensive back DeAngelo Hall came to Norman’s defense during a radio appearance with Craig Hoffman on 106.7 The Fan on Friday.

“He does compete, he’s a competitor. And if I have a football player on my roster who’s a competitor, who wants to be out there, who fights hard and plays hard, I’m [going to] find a way to put him in position to make plays,” Hall said. “I think we could’ve done a much, much better job of putting Josh in position to make plays.”

In November, then-interim head coach Bill Callahan benched Norman, and the 32-year-old cornerback played just 10 defensive snaps over the last six games of the season. Should Washington choose to cut ties with Norman this offseason before June 1, the team would save $12.5 million of cap space.

Hall, who interviewed for the Redskins’ defensive backs’ coaching position last January, said Norman wasn’t given the chance to be the leader of the defense. Hall said some of that was self-inflicted because of Norman’s habits and preparation, but a portion of that was because of schematics. 

“I always told those coaches ‘If you want Josh to be a leader — because Josh wants to be a leader — you’ve got to put him in a position to make plays, the same way Carolina put him in a position to make plays,” Hall said. 

The peak of Norman’s career came in 2015 under the direction of Washington’s newly hired head coach Ron Rivera. In that all-pro season, Norman recorded 56 tackles, 18 passes defended, four interceptions, three forced fumbles and two touchdowns. 

Hall believes Norman still possesses that all-pro ability; it just needs to be tapped with the right defensive scheme. Hall compared the situation to Richard Sherman, who has revitalized his career in San Francisco after battling injuries. 

“It’s not because [Sherman] is the best lockdown man-to-man corner. It’s because they play Sherm in a system that he’s able to succeed and shine, and they put players around him so that he can make plays,” he said. “If we [would’ve] done the same thing to Josh Norman, he could’ve been an all-pro player here, too, just like he was in Carolina.”

Despite Hall’s belief in Norman’s ability, and the presumption that Rivera and new defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio will run a similar system to what Norman played in with the Panthers, the former Redskins defensive back doesn’t think the $15 million price tag is worth it for a franchise that has other holes to fill.

“I, as a fan, would love to have Josh back on this team, in this defense that I feel will be similar to Carolina,” Hall said. “But to me, it doesn’t make sense to bring Josh back for $15 million. It’s just a big pill to swallow when you can do a lot with that money on a team that needs a lot of help.”

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Wait, what? Report says Bill Belichick 'inquired' about coaching the Redskins

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Wait, what? Report says Bill Belichick 'inquired' about coaching the Redskins

Bill Belichick is the greatest coach in NFL history. He's won six Super Bowl titles and made the playoffs every year in the last decade. Other coaches were great - Bill Walsh and Joe Gibbs among a few - but nobody is Belichick. 

That's what makes a recent report out of Boston so near impossible to believe. 

Belichick checked in on coaching in Washington? The Redskins? 

Those are valid points, I guess. Belichick spent much of his young life in Annapolis and has great affinity for that area. He's talked about that openly. 

The timeline also makes some sense. Many reports out of New England in 2017 showed a power struggle between Belichick and Patriots owner Robert Kraft about what to do with legendary quarterback Tom Brady as then backup Patriots QB Jimmy Garropolo got closer to free agency. New England wouldn't be able to keep both, and there has been speculation that Belichick wanted to keep the younger passer. 

Eventually, Garropolo got traded to the 49ers, for a surprisingly low return, and New England went to two more Super Bowls, winning last year. 

This year, however, marked the first real time the Patriots looked mortal. Brady's completion percentage dipped to 60.8 percent, his lowest since 2013, and he threw fewer passing yards than any 16-game season since 2010. Now, Brady is a free agent and for the first time ever the possibility of playing somewhere else seems real, even if only somewhat realistic.

Still, Belichick coaching the Redskins seems like the longest of shots. Checking on a job - looking at financial considerations or asking about parameters - and actually taking a job can be two very different things. 

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