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Offseason questions: Should the Redskins draft another quarterback?

Offseason questions: Should the Redskins draft another quarterback?

The good news for the 2016 Redskins was that they didn’t collapse after winning the division the previous season as has been their pattern in the past. The bad news was that they didn’t take the next step and improve from a franchise that can compete to make the playoffs into one that is playing multiple postseason games year in and year out.

That work begins right now for Jay Gruden, Scot McCloughan and the players. In the coming weeks, Redskins reporters Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will examine the biggest questions facing the Redskins as another offseason gets rolling.

RELATED: LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS

Should the Redskins draft another quarterback?

Finlay: No. The guess here is that Kirk Cousins gets hit with the franchise tag, again, and plays 2017 with Washington. That means the 'Skins will have Cousins making $24 million, Colt McCoy making another $3 million and a developmental passer in Nate Sudfeld. The team does not need to add another QB into the mix.

The big caveat: Should Washington not franchise Cousins, not ink him to a long-term deal, or figure out a trade, then drafting another quarterback would make sense. It seems highly unlikely that Cousins won't play for the Redskins in 2017, both the coach and team president said they expect him back, but crazy stuff happens. Many in the organization feel quite strong about McCoy's ability to run the team as needed, but if Cousins is gone, then another QB makes sense. 

The calendar is on the Redskins side. Whatever happens with Cousins will come long before the NFL Draft in April, so the team can react accordingly. 

Tandler: If Cousins signs a long-term contract between now and the draft or if the Redskins have a very high degree of confidence that they will be able to get a deal done by the July 15 deadline they should not look elsewhere for a quarterback. But if Cousins is playing on the tag, meaning that 2017 is much more likely than not to be his last year in a Redskins uniform, the team needs to look seriously at draft a quarterback.

The team is not at all prepared to be without Cousins in 2018. Backup Colt McCoy could be a free agent and even if he returns he is only a temporary (as in part of the season) fix. Sudfeld has a long way to go and there is a good chance he never gets there.

Waiting until 2018 to resolve the situation would be a big mistake. That would leave them either needing to dip into a pool of free agent quarterbacks, which is always awful, or forced to take a quarterback high in the draft. Both of those “solutions” have double-digit losses written all over them.

They have two fourth-round picks this year and two in the fifth round. That is the area where they need to be on the lookout for the next Dak Prescott or Russell Wilson (or, for that matter, Kirk Cousins). In fact, if the Redskins had used their fourth-round pick last year instead of trading it away for two fifths they could have had Prescott. Can you imagine how much better the Redskins’ leverage would be in the Cousins negotiations if they had a capable starting quarterback waiting in the wings?

But back to reality. The best thing for the Redskins to do would be to sign Cousins to a long-term deal and be done with the quarterback position for the next several years. If they can’t do that they need to be proactive about finding his successor. That could well mean getting a quarterback in the middle rounds and using 2017 to groom him to be the 2018 starter. Yes, they have plenty of other needs but they must do what they must do to set up the most important position on the field for success.

More offseason questions: 

What are resonable expectations for Josh Doctson?

— Will there be a surprise salary cap cut?

— Should the Redskins defense switch to the 4-3?

— Is Spencer Long the answer at center?

— How many D-linemen do the Redskins need?

- With Sean McVay gone, will the Redskins run the ball more?

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Vernon Davis pulls off memorable proposal in Ocean City

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USA Today Sports Images

Vernon Davis pulls off memorable proposal in Ocean City

Vernon Davis has long been a fan favorite in the D.C. area since his University of Maryland days. The 34-year-old is almost always well-dressed and respectful to the media. 

More recently, he has been outspoken about his interest in acting after his football career. A true renaissance man who just so happens to be a force in the National Football League. 

In April, NBC Sports Washington ran into Davis at the Team USA Awards where he was serving as guest speaker. 

He took his smooth nature to a whole new level Tuesday while vacationing in Ocean City, Md. with his girlfriend Kayla. 

Dressed in all white on the beach, Davis proposed in an epic way. 

The best motivation I ever had. #shesmyrock

A post shared by Vernon Davis (@vernondavis85) on

Check out the whole video produced below. We won't spoil it for you, but there were skydivers involved. Take a look: 

Davis will suit up for his third season with the Redskins when training camp opens July 26 in Richmond. 

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Redskins 2018 position outlook: Inside linebacker

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Bob Youngentob for NBC Sports Washington

Redskins 2018 position outlook: Inside linebacker

Redskins Training camp opens next week, and we have a break here, giving us time to put the depth chart under the microscope.

Between now and the start of camp, we will look at every position, compare the group to the rest of the NFL, see if the position has been upgraded or downgraded from last year, and take out the crystal ball to see what might unfold.

Inside linebackers

Additions: Shaun Dion Hamilton (drafted in the fifth round)

Departures: Will Compton (free agent)

Starters: Zach Brown, Mason Foster

Other roster locks: Josh Harvey-Clemons

On the bubble: Hamilton, Zach Vigil, Martrell Spaight

How the inside linebackers compare

To the rest of the NFL: This is a difficult comparison to make since only about half of the teams use the 3-4 with two inside linebackers and there are many variations when they go out of their base defense. Brown certainly is in the upper tier of players at his position. Foster’s skill set may not be coveted by many teams around the league, but he is a perfect fit in the Redskins’ defense in many ways. The player who could differentiate this group from others around the league is Harvey-Clemons. If he turns into a top-notch nickel LB the inside linebackers will be a great asset. 

To the 2017 Redskins:  This is about health. In 2017, Foster missed 11 games, Brown was hampered by a variety of injuries before sitting out the last three games. Compton was the top backup to both players and he went to injured reserve after just three starts. They did re-sign Vigil, who had spent training camp with the team, and he played pretty well near the end of the season. If the front-line players can stay on the field for most of the season this should be a much better group than the one that was partially responsible for the league’s 32nd-ranked rushing defense. 

2018 Inside linebacker outlook

Biggest upside: The 2017 season was supposed to be a redshirt year for Harvey-Clemons as he transitions from college safety to NFL linebacker. He played a lot in the base defense during the offseason practices and that indicates that they are considering him for a bigger role beyond just playing nickel. You have to wonder how his size (6-4, 230) will affect his ability to get off of blocks. 

Most to prove: Spaight was a fifth-round pick in 2015 and he has yet to establish a regular role in the defense. It was telling that when they needed someone to start in the latter part of last year they brought back and started Vigil and mostly kept Spaight is going into the last year of his contract, but it would not be surprising to see Vigil beat him out for the last roster spot.  

Rookie watch: The Redskins traded up in the sixth round to get Hamilton. It wasn’t a blockbuster deal but the fact that they thought enough of him to move up says something. Gruden has said that he thinks Hamilton could be a starter at some point. He was one of the leaders on a strong Alabama defense before injuries struck. Hamilton is not going to start this year barring multiple injuries, but he should develop a role as the season goes on and be ready to compete in 2019.

Bottom line: The Redskins have not invested much in terms of free agent dollars or draft capital in the inside linebacker position in recent seasons. That changed somewhat this offseason as they made sure to spend to retain Brown and Foster. Neither commanded a huge contract but they did make a commitment and that is important. Last year Brown gave the defense a sideline-to-sideline dimension it hasn’t had in quite some time and retaining him was critical. Inside linebacker may not be a major strength for the defense this year but it should be able to get the job done. 

2018 Redskins position outlook series