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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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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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Need to Know: A look at the Redskins' key 2019 free agents

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USA Today Sports Images

Need to Know: A look at the Redskins' key 2019 free agents

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, May 27, 16 days before the Washington Redskins start minicamp.  

Note: I am vacationing in the Outer Banks this week. In this space, I’ll be presenting some of the most popular posts of the last few months. I hope you enjoy these “best of” presentations and I’ll see you folks when I get back. 

Here is my sunrise view from this morning:

Looking at next year’s free agents

This post was originally published on March 18. 

There is still work that the Redskins can do in free agency and they still have some of their own players they want to retain. But with a lot of the player movement already in the books, we can take a look forward some of the key Redskin who currently are set to be free agents when the 2019 league year opens. 

QB Colt McCoy (Week 1 age 32)—Lots of questions here. Will the Redskins want to keep him around for another year as Alex Smith’s backup? Or will they want a younger and cheaper backup? Will McCoy want to move on rather than back up another QB who doesn’t miss many games?

OL Ty Nsekhe (32)—The Redskins gave him a second-round restricted free agent tender this year so it’s possible that he could be gone or on a long-term contract in Washington. If he is a free agent, his value and the difficulty of retaining him could depend on if he ends the season as a reserve tackle (easy) or as a starting guard (hard). 

OLB Preston Smith (25)—As we saw with Trent Murphy (three years, $21 million with up to $30 million), pass rushers get paid. Smith also makes big plays. Since Smith came into the NFL, he is the only player with at least 20 sacks, 3 interceptions, and 4 forced fumbles. If the Redskins can’t reach a deal on an extension with him this year the franchise tag is a distinct possibility. 

WR Jamison Crowder (25)—This year the supply of quality receivers both as free agents and in the draft sent contract prices skyrocketing. To guard against that happening next year, the Redskin should start talking to Crowder about an extension soon. 

ILB Zach Vigil (27)—As I noted here, Vigil went from being cut in September to a very valuable reserve in November. Both Zach Brown and Mason Foster will still be under contract, but the Redskin still should make an effort to retain Vigil for special teams and as a capable backup. 

Other Redskins who are slated to be UFA’s next year are DL Ziggy Hood and ILB Martrell Spaight. 

It’s also worth noting that WR Maurice Harris and DE Anthony Lanier will both be restricted free agents next year. Both positions were pricey in free agency this year, so both could require at least second-round tenders, which likely will increase to about $3 million in 2019. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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Need to Know: A closer look at Alex Smith's contract with the Redskins

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Associated Press

Need to Know: A closer look at Alex Smith's contract with the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, May 26, 17 days before the Washington Redskins start minicamp.  

Note: I am vacationing in the Outer Banks this week. In this space, I’ll be presenting some of the most popular posts of the last few months. I hope you enjoy these “best of” presentations and I’ll see you folks when I get back. 

Contract makes Alex Smith a Redskins for at least three seasons

This post was originally published on March 19. 

When the Redskins traded for Alex Smith on January 30, news also broke that he had agreed to a four-year extension with Washington in addition to the one year left on his contract with the Chiefs. While we got some top-line numbers on the deal, we have gone since then without any details. 

Until now. 

The details show a deal that has a slightly higher cap hit in 2018 than was on his original Chiefs contract and the numbers rise gradually over the life of the deal, which runs through 2022. 

Smith got a $27 million signing bonus and his salaries for 2018 ($13 million) and 2019 ($15 million) also are fully guaranteed at signing making the total $55 million (information via Over the Cap, which got data from a report by Albert Breer). 

But there I another $16 million that is guaranteed for all practical purposes. On the fifth day of the 2019 league year, his 2020 salary of $16 million becomes fully guaranteed. He almost assuredly will get to the point where that money will become guaranteed since the Redskins are not going to cut him after one year having invested $55 million in him. So the total guarantees come to $71 million. 

His 2021 salary is $19 million and it goes up to $21 million in 2022. There have been reports of some incentives available to Smith but since we have no details we’ll set those aside for now. 

The cap hits on the contract are as follows: 

2018: $18.4 million
2019: $20.0 million
2020: $21.4 million
2021: $24.4 million
2022: $26.4 million

The Redskins can realistically move on from Smith after 2020. There would be net cap savings of $13 million in 2021 and $21 million in 2022. 

The first impression of the deal is that the Redskins did not move on from Kirk Cousins because they didn’t want to guarantee a lot of money to a quarterback. The total practical guarantee of $71 million is second only to Cousins’ $82.5 million. It should be noted that Cousins’ deal runs for three years and Smith’s contract is for five. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler