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Prediction time: What will happen with Kirk Cousins on franchise tag deadline day?

Prediction time: What will happen with Kirk Cousins on franchise tag deadline day?

Time is slipping away for the Redskins if the team has any remaining hopes to sign quarterback Kirk Cousins to a long-term deal. 4 p.m. marks the deadline for negotiations, and if the team and passer cannot reach an agreement by that time, Cousins will play 2017 on a one-year $24 million fully guaranteed deal. 

So what will happen? JP Finlay and Rich Tandler give their best look:

Finlay: What will happen? Nothing. By all accounts and with conversations from plugged in folks, there is no deal to be had. Perhaps the Redskins can get something done with Cousins in 2018, but there is so little incentive for the QB to sign a multi-year contract now. 

He stands to make $24 million this year with the prospect of a much bigger payday next year, either with Washington or in free agency. As tiring as this contract saga continues to be for Redskins fans, don't expect it to stop just yet. 

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Tandler: I wish there was a more optimistic viewpoint to take here if for no other reason than to hold everyone's interest today. But a deal just doesn't seem to be a realistic possibility. Cousins' camp apparently wants to utilize the leverage provided by the franchise tag and the possibility of either a more lucrative tag or unfettered free agency in 2018. The Redskins may recognize Cousins' leverage but they are trying to cut a deal based on how much of the salary cap they can commit to a player who has put up some nice stats but is not one of the elite players in the game. 

The one thing that can change the dynamic here is for Dan Snyder to jump into the negotiations and try to make a deal happen. This probably would have happened by now if it was going to happen. But you can't rule out an 11th-hour push by the team owner. 

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These 3 younger, lesser-known Redskins should see more playing time down the stretch

These 3 younger, lesser-known Redskins should see more playing time down the stretch

By turning to Dwayne Haskins before the Bills game, the Redskins signaled their commitment to positioning themselves for a better future as opposed to trying to succeed in the present.

And in their loss to the Jets, Washington made additional in-game changes that showed they're interested in evaluating other younger players on their roster. Nothing was as major as switching QBs, but the adjustments versus New York were still eye-catching.

So, as the Burgundy and Gold continues to shift its focus way down the road as opposed to what's coming up at the next intersection, who will see their playing time increase?

Here are three lesser-known Redskins that stand to see more action in these final six contests.

Kelvin Harmon

Much has been made about the connection between Haskins and Terry McLaurin, but Haskins and Harmon seem to be building a solid understanding of each other, too.

Against the Jets in Week 11, the sixth-round wideout brought in a career-high five balls for 53 yards. Before that matchup, Harmon had just eight catches in eight appearances.

"He brings a physical presence to the receiver position," Haskins said of Harmon on Wednesday. "Kelvin does a great job high-pointing the ball, does a great job being physical at the catch point."

Part of Harmon's increased production certainly had to do with Paul Richardson being out, and when Richardson returns, he may see fewer targets. However, the two rookies have actually known each other well before getting to the NFL, and as Haskins explained, Harmon's physicality is something that the other pass-catchers can't match. 

In McLaurin, Washington knows it has one tremendous playmaker to count on for years. Let's see if Harmon can continue to push for snaps and looks as he aims to demonstrate he can be a legit option as well. 

Geron Christian

Donald Penn is a 36-year-old who was brought in during training camp to help the Redskins survive without Trent Williams. He's performed better than many expected, but he's clearly not someone who's long for the franchise.

In fact, this past Sunday, Bill Callahan opted to pull Penn in favor of Christian in the second half on a couple of series. 

"We're going to continue to mix and match our personnel," the interim coach told the media Monday.

Now, the team has to walk a delicate line when it comes to Penn and Christian at left tackle. It needs to start figuring out what Christian can be in this league — is there starter potential, or is he just a rotational guy? — because he's a former third-round pick they haven't used much to this point. That said, the Redskins do have a first-round signal caller they need to protect as best they can.

As long as Christian isn't a giant liability, though, the coaches may and probably should opt to keep giving him more and more chances. Either he's promising or he's disappointing, but regardless, it's time to get an answer.

Jimmy Moreland

Penn wasn't the only one who was subbed out at FedEx Field in Week 11. Callahan also put corners like Josh Norman and Fabian Moreau on the bench to give others a "chance to get some exposure on film." If Callahan is willing to remain flexible at that spot, Moreland will benefit.

Out of Harmon, Christian and Moreland, Moreland has by far seen the most snaps in 2019. Unfortunately, the offseason hype that surrounded him hasn't carried over to the regular season, as he's yet to intercept a pass and has had some crucial errors in coverage.

But hey, you know who else has had some crucial errors in coverage? More experienced corners than Moreland on the defense, such as Norman and Moreau. And with all signs pointing to Norman not returning in 2020 and Moreau potentially sliding down the depth chart, why not turn to Moreland even more and see if he can develop?

It's easy for fans to say money or draft status shouldn't factor in to who plays and who doesn't, but those things do often matter. Yet, in a season as dreadful as this one and when the record is as awful as it is, those variables should weigh less, meaning Moreland should see the field more. 

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Alex Smith at Redskins practice working with Dwayne Haskins (VIDEO)

Alex Smith at Redskins practice working with Dwayne Haskins (VIDEO)

Monday marked the one-year anniversary of Alex Smith's greusome leg injury, and in the 12 months since, the veteran quarterback has made tremendous strides. He's also become a helpful force for rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

On Wednesday, Haskins explained that he meets with Smith nearly every day and that he's "been a really great voice" as the rookie tries to learn how to handle the on-field and off-field demands of life in the NFL.

"I realy appreciate since him since he's been here with me trying to help me," Haskins said of Smith. 

When the Redskins players got on the practice field Wednesday, some of that relationship was on display. Smith worked with Haskins, and the other Redskins quarterbacks Colt McCoy and Case Keenum, going through individual drills.

It's important to note that next season Haskins and Smith are the only quarterbacks under contract with the Redskins. While it's far from a certainty Smith can get back on the field, he's obviously working hard towards that goal. It's a good thing both players are close, because next summer, they also could be competing. 

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