Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, March 5, four days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.  


Days until:

—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 43
—NFL Draft (4/27) 53
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 132
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 189

Sunday morning six pack

1. It appears that we finally have some movement on the Chris Baker front.

Now, if I’m Baker I probably would wait until free agency actually starts and see if he gets any other offers and get a little bidding going. But that’s his choice. He seems to want to stay and if he doesn’t accept the offer and the Redskins find a D-lineman who will, they could pull the offer and Baker would be looking for work elsewhere. If the Redskins don’t try to lowball him the chances are good he’ll be back.

2. Washington WR John Ross has been mocked to the Redskins frequently as a potential DeSean Jackson replacement. I never thought it would happen and what happened yesterday seals it. After speeding into the combine record books in Saturday, he’ll probably be gone by the time pick No. 17 comes around.


3. I got a question about how much cap space the first-round draft pick will consume:

Again, I don’t expect the pick to be Ross but the contract will be the same regardless of what position the draft selection plays. It will be a four-year deal worth $11.5 million. The first-year cap hit will be $2.1 million and it will gradually rise to $3.7 million in the fourth year. The Redskins will have a fifth-year option in their first-round pick. The cost of that will be determined by the position the player plays.

4. The Redskins being involved in a blockbuster trade would have made my job easy for a long while, but there were just too many red flags that made the supposed proposal make no sense at all.

5. I am firmly on record as saying that the Redskins need to get Kirk Cousins signed to a new contract. But they can’t mess around too long with offers like the $20 million average annual value deal that was reported recently. Such proposals are simply a waste of time. If the Redskins are looking for the Cousins camp to come down off of $24 million, which seems to be their number, they need to make a substantial leap in their offer, maybe up to $22 million. That might persuade the Cousins camp to do some actual negotiating. Otherwise they could just run out the clock until likely unrestricted free agency in 2018. If it looks like things are headed in that direction it’s time to call Kyle Shanahan and play let’s make a deal.

6. Michigan State defensive lineman Malik McDowell would fill a huge need for the Redskins and he could well be available at pick No. 17. But it appears that he may have some, uh, coachability problems.

That won’t fly in the NFL.

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.