Despite throwing for nearly 5,000 yards and breaking his own franchise passing yards record, the Redskins did not agree to multi-year terms with quarterback Kirk Cousins before the franchise tag deadline.
For weeks, if not months, it seemed the organization and player were not on the same page about long-term value.
Once the clock hit 4:00 p.m. on Monday the franchise tag locked in for the 2017 season.
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The Redskins offered Cousins $53 million guaranteed, with $72 million guaranteed for injury. But Cousins prefers to play it year-to-year.
Cousins will now make $24 million guaranteed in 2017 and again face the prospect of free agency, another tag or a new contract with the Redskins next season.
If this all sounds familiar, it should. The exact same scenario played out last year, with Cousins making $20 million playing on the 2016 franchise tag.
That means for 2016 and 2017, Cousins will have made $44 million guaranteed. And should the Redskins again use a tag in 2018, whether that's transition or franchise, the QB will make at least $72 million guaranteed during that three year span.
Due to terms of the franchise tag, Cousins and the Redskins cannot discuss another contract until the 2017 season concludes.
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Although the Redskins suffered a brutal loss to the Jets in Week 11, a glimpse of hope occurred in the fourth quarter between two players the Burgundy and Gold expect to be a large part of the future of the franchise.
Rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins threw his first NFL touchdown pass, a 45-yard screen pass to second-year running back Derrius Guice. The touchdown was the Redskins first in 16 quarters, and also Guice's first NFL touchdown as well.
Redskins running backs coach Randy Jordan broke down how the play unfolded.
Jordan emphasized that on the play design, Guice was instructed to follow right guard Brandon Scherff on the screen and to follow his release. Scherff did an excellent job of releasing off his initial blocker and getting to the edge, allowing Guice to do the rest.
"The biggest thing for Derrius is trusting his landmarks, getting on the numbers, working his angle blocks and getting the ball out on the edge," Jordan said.
Guice found himself in open space down the right sideline, with only one Jets defender in his path from the end zone. The LSU product was not going to let New York safety Marcus Maye stop him from scoring.
"What I really like about this play, is at the very end, we always talk about scoring. Don't allow one defender to bring you down to the ground," Jordan said. "He ends up setting them up with a chop cut, a foot fire, ends up running by the [defender], and he ends up scoring for a big play."
Unfortunately for the Redskins, the touchdown came when they were down by multiple scores, as the big play had no impact on the final result. But Washington hopes the Haskins and Guice connection is a staple in the Redskins offense for years to come.
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Almost exactly one year ago, Redskins quarterback Alex Smith's life changed forever.
On November 18, 2018, Smith suffered a gruesome leg injury in the third quarter of the Redskins clash with the Texans, ending his season and putting his football career in jeopardy.
The quarterback's road to recovery has been far from smooth. He's had multiple surgeries on his leg and was forced to wear a metal fixator for several months. But Smith has never given up, with the goal to eventually play football again.
On the one year anniversary of his injury, Smith's wife, Elizabeth, posted on Instagram a motivational montage showing how far Smith's recovery has come.
Although he hasn't played at all in 2019, Smith has been around the Redskins plenty. He made the trip down to Richmond for training camp, he's a regular at practice, and has served as a mentor for Redskins rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins.
What the future holds for Smith football-wise still remains uncertain, but he's done everything he can to help the team while sidelined.
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