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One month 'til franchise tag deadline, two Kirk Cousins quotes stand out

One month 'til franchise tag deadline, two Kirk Cousins quotes stand out

By now every Redskins fan knows the story. Heck, every NFL fan knows the story. If the Redskins and Kirk Cousins can't get a long-term deal done in the next month, the quarterback will play his second straight season on the franchise tag. In turn he will make $24 million, guaranteed, and be eligible for free agency in 2018.

While the Redskins and Cousins have voiced positivity over the last several weeks about contract talks, still, little actual movement towards a deal has transpired. The team promoted Doug Williams to run football personnel this week, but Williams himself said Eric Schaffer would continue to run point on the Cousins contract, with the help of Bruce Allen and perhaps even Dan Snyder. 

What do the promotions mean to Cousins? 

This quote jumped out from Wednesday when Cousins was asked about his relationship with Schaffer.

Eric’s done a great job all along. He’s very smart. This isn’t his first rodeo. I have a lot of faith in him not only in handling my situation, but when my situation is handled, handling everybody else’s. I have faith in that. But make no mistake, there are titles ahead of him, you know? And those people make decisions too. So, yes, Eric has a big role. There are people above him who have bigger roles, and that’s why their titles are President and Head Coach and so on. So it’s a team effort making decisions and Eric certainly has a voice in that – a big voice.

Read it again. Cousins knows this decision will likely come from Allen and Snyder. That's fair too, as the organization will likely have to offer a contract with a value north of $120 million. That is crazy cash, even by NFL standards. 

It's also interesting Cousins mentioned the head coach's role. Jay Gruden named Cousins the Redskins starting QB before the 2015 season. The move rewarded both men and the team, yet, Cousins' statement almost suggests he questions if his coach has advocated for a deal. Or that as Gruden's role in the organization has grown - as has been reported by CSN and elsewhere - perhaps his increased clout can get a deal done. 

One other quote stood out. Cousins talked about his agent, Mike McCartney, and their saga.

I hired Mike [McCartney] because I trust him to do the job and I feel like he’s done a very good job all the way along and while things he’s told me I haven’t always liked to hear or they haven’t always been easy to act on, he’s always been right as I look back. So I have great trust in his counsel and his approach and I’ll definitely be leaning on him as we go forward all the way through it. 

McCartney has been steadfast that the franchise tag sets the annual value for any long-term contract. That means last year McCartney would not enter into negotiations with Cousins making less than $20 million per year. This year, that figures jumps to $24 million per year.

Asked about the $24 million annual salary, Schaffer said he could not talk about specific contract numbers. With the news that Snyder is growing more involved, perhaps the Redskins will get to that number, but the clock is ticking. 

Though he was fired by the organization in March, former general manager Scot McCloughan only said nice things about the Redskins since his exit. He did have some interesting comments about McCartney, however, as it related to Cousins' contract.

"It's a big business," McCloughan said (click here for full audio). "The agent's got to be understandable that they're involved in it too. It's not just us and the player, the agent has to be able to understand."

Speaking with people close to the Redskins, there has been some tension between McCartney and the brass. The perception is that Cousins' agent wants to squeeze every dime out of this contract, with the visibility of this deal magnified around the NFL. 

Listen to Cousins, and he clearly trusts McCartney. He should, in two seasons, Cousins stands to make $44 million. If you're the client, your agent's job is to get every dollar. 

The Redskins have one month to pay up for a long-term deal, or this saga will begin anew after the 2017 season. Just listen. 


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Derrius Guice suffers MCL sprain, according to report

Derrius Guice suffers MCL sprain, according to report

After undergoing an MRI Monday, Derrius Guice reportedly suffered an MCL sprain, NFL's Ian Rapoport tweeted Tuesday.

The MCL sprain is in the same knee Guice injured in 2018 with an ACL tear, but according to Rapoport, the ACL is still intact following Sunday's injury. Before learning the results of the MRI, Redskins head coach Bill Callahan told the media Monday that Guice will not play Sunday's Week 15 contest against the Philadelphia Eagles. It is unclear whether Guice will play the remaining two games of the season against the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys.

Guice tweeted Tuesday about his positive outlook regarding the diagnosis.


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Three Redskins not named Dwayne Haskins who will care about these final three games

Three Redskins not named Dwayne Haskins who will care about these final three games

When you scan up and down the Redskins' roster, a roster that won't be involved in the postseason yet again, it's easy to spot the guy with the most riding on the team's final three games of 2019. His name is Dwayne Haskins.

But the young passer is far from the only player who'll care greatly about performing well in Weeks 15, 16 and 17.

Here are three members of the Burgundy and Gold aside from Haskins who could use a strong individual finish to the year.

Steven Sims

Trey Quinn was supposed to be Washington's answer in the slot once the franchise moved on from Jamison Crowder. Instead, Quinn averaged a weak 7.6 yards per grab before suffering a nasty concussion in Carolina, a concussion that sidelined him in Green Bay and very well could keep him out the rest of the way.

That means that Sims, who was already cutting into Quinn's role on offense before the injury, has a massive opportunity in two ways: He'll continue to get more looks in the passing game and also will have a shot to provide a spark as the Redskins' punt returner.

Relying on Quinn in 2019 was a big risk, and relying on Sims in 2020 could be as well. However, Sims has displayed far more explosiveness in a short amount of time than Quinn ever did, and if he can continue progressing — seven of his 18 catches this campaign have come in the past two contests — then he'll force the organization to strongly consider giving him a key role for the future. 

Ereck Flowers

When the Redskins signed Flowers last offseason, they were mocked. When they eventually said they would slide him inside and experiment with him at guard, they were questioned. 

Yet, in a year where most things have failed and failed hard, acquiring and trusting Flowers has been a definite success.

These next couple of weeks matter quite a bit for Flowers. They are three more chances for him to learn and improve as an interior lineman, and if he can get through them healthy, he'll soon become a free agent and one who could be quite interesting on the open market. 

While that's a strange sentence to both type and to read, it's also true. Whether it's with the Redskins or another squad, Flowers has done enough at his new position to set himself up for a decent payday. 

Fabian Moreau

Since the benching of Josh Norman, Moreau has lined up as an outside corner and fared much better than he did in the slot. He's picked off three passes in the past three games after notching just one interception over his first 40 appearances.

Now, there's hope again for the gifted third-year pro. That said, he still hasn't been perfect on the outside, so if he can tighten up his communication and his coverage against the Eagles, Giants and Cowboys, the Redskins will feel more secure in counting on Moreau as they reshape their secondary moving forward.