Here is what you need to know on this Friday, February 17, 20 days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.
—NFL Franchise tag deadline (3/1) 12
—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 59
—NFL Draft (4/27) 69
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 205
Free agency quick hitters
—Redskins fans who are getting pumped about dreams of seeing Chiefs safety Eric Berry in burgundy and gold should get ready to be disappointed. I heard Chiefs beat writer Terez Paylor on Sirius XM NFL radio yesterday. He said that both the owner and the GM of the team assured him that Berry will be back. Berry is the leader of the team on both sides of the ball and if they can’t come to a contract agreement they will use the franchise tag on him. Berry has said that he won’t play on the tag again (he was franchised last year, too) but the Chiefs will cross that bridge when the get to it. It seems certain that even if the Redskins may be willing to pay what Berry would command on the open market they won’t get a chance to bid.
More Redskins: Are they afraid of making the wrong choice with Cousins
—The Redskins may want to upgrade the running back position in free agency but there doesn’t appear to be a prime back who will be on the market. Le’Veon Bell is likely to be tagged and the quality drops off significantly after him. I know that ex-Cowboys aren’t necessarily popular among fans but Darren McFadden rushed for 1,089 yards with the Cowboys in 2015 and he can catch the ball out of the backfield. Yeah, he did have that weird elbow injury he suffered while trying to catch his phone last year but if the Redskins are in the market for a veteran back he’s worth a look.
—As JP Finaly wrote here yesterday, former agent Andrew Brandt, talking on ESPN 980, said that he didn’t see the Redskins stepping up and giving him the kind of offer that it will take to sign Kirk Cousins to a long-term deal. It should be noted that Brandt was not reporting this from a source, just giving his read on the situation. You can’t rule out anything happening but there is nobody in the business who believes that a deal will get done by March 1.
—Backup center John Sullivan is down on the list of free agents who get discussed much but he is one to keep an eye on. When the Redskins had to stick Josh LeRibeus into the lineup when Kory Lichtensteiger got hurt in 2015, Gruden said that he wanted to keep a true center around as a backup. With Lichtensteiger now retired the value of Sullivan to the Redskins went up several notches. He’s an eight-year veteran who turns 32 early in training camp. He may want to find a team that will have him penciled in as the starter rather than backing up Spencer Long. But if there are no such opportunities perhaps the Redskins will be able to persuade him to stay around.
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Kirk Cousins round table - fire away with questions!Posted by JP Finlay on Thursday, February 16, 2017
In case you missed it
- Will the Redskins keep Pierre Garçon?
- Behind Reed, Redskins tight ends depth chart up in the air
- Are the Redskins afraid of making the wrong choice with Cousins?
- Don't expect Redskins to offer top market price to Cousins
- Oddsmakers think Kirk Cousins stays with Redskins