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Questions emerge if Colt McCoy can produce similar results at lesser cost than Kirk Cousins, per source

Questions emerge if Colt McCoy can produce similar results at lesser cost than Kirk Cousins, per source

Is Kirk Cousins worth seven to eight times more than Colt McCoy? That's the question some at Redskins Park are asking, according to a source with inside knowledge of the situation.

The Redskins major question as Cousins again approaches free agency is no longer about ability. It's about cost.

The Redskins backup for two seasons now, McCoy will make a little more than $3 million in 2017. Cousins stands to make nearly $24 million in 2017 if he plays under the franchise tag.

Price will determine a long-term deal for Cousins. Undoubtedly, the Redskins starter will have teams interested across the NFL, and former agent Joel Corry suggested a multi-year deal for Cousins could land near Andrew Luck's 2016 contract. That deal included nearly $90 million guaranteed over a six-year, $139 million span. 

Since he was named the starter in 2015, Cousins has put up impressive stats, passing for more than 9,000 yards in two seasons, completing 68 percent of his passes and throwing 54 touchdowns to 23 interceptions. 

While Cousins has established himself as an NFL starting quarterback, one question inside Redskins Park is how much of that success can be replicated while saving a tremendous amount of money. 

McCoy's career numbers are not impressive, but as a young passer he played on some awful teams in Cleveland and San Francisco while dealing with concussions and injuries. 

In his only real shot in Jay Gruden's pass-first, quick-read system, McCoy played in five games during the 2014 season with four starts. In only three games did McCoy take all of the snaps at QB, but in those games he passed for 890 yards, an average of 296 yards per game, while completing 70.5 percent of his passes.  

Project those numbers over 16 games, and McCoy would get to 4,736 passing yards. In 2015, Cousins' first full year as starter, he broke the Redskins season passing record with 4,166 yards. This past season, Cousins broke that record and nearly reached 5,000 passing yards, ending just short at 4,917 yards.

Granted it’s just a projection, and McCoy has a significant injury history, but his yardage totals would look to be similarly productive with Cousins’ 2015 and 2016 seasons. On the flip side, in those three full games, McCoy threw three touchdowns and three interceptions while being sacked 15 times. Project those numbers, and it's 16 TDs with 16 picks and a preposterous 80 sacks. 

McCoy does not have the same arm strength as Cousins, but the former Texas Longhorn star is more adept at making plays with his feet and off-schedule, something Gruden said he wanted to see more of from Cousins. 

Unlike last year, there is no more debate if Cousins is a legit NFL starter. 

Now, Washington must decide if they should pay Cousins like some of the best in the league, or if the team can get 80 to 90 percent of the production at a fraction of the cost.  

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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Redskins' Tress Way on his Pro Bowl experience: 'I did not realize it was this fun'

Redskins' Tress Way on his Pro Bowl experience: 'I did not realize it was this fun'

The Redskins may just have one Pro Bowler, but punter Tress Way is having an incredible time in Miami thus far.

The second-team All-Pro recipient has been in Orlando for less than 48 hours, but has quickly realized just how fun the week of the NFL's all-star game truly is.

"This sounds funny, but I did not realize it was this fun," Way told Redskins.com's Gabe Henderson on Wednesday on how his week has been thus far.

One of the punter's favorite parts of the week thus far was the basketball shoot-off Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll organized.

"Coach [Pete] Carroll had a shoot-off, had a basketball goal set up and a free throw line," Way said. "He kept calling offensive and defensive guys to come shoot for 30 seconds, and whoever made the most won. The place was going nuts. We had a quick meeting, came out here and did a glorified walkthrough, blasting music, dancing, throwing the ball around. It's seriously so fun, and it's just getting started."

Way, a first-time Pro Bowler, is not enjoying the experience by himself. Several family members made the trek down to Orlando to support the 29-year-old.

"I'm so thankful. This is so awesome," he said. "My whole family is here. I got more family coming. It is definitely surreal."

But perhaps the part Way is looking forward to the most is how he's planning on spending his Thursday evening. 

Way and his family are planning on spending the night at Harry Potter World. The punter never got into the series, much to his mother and little brother's dismay, but plans on going all-in when he arrives.

"I plan on learning all the spells, picking up a custom wand, and having a couple butter beers," Way said. "Really just embarrassing my wife, that's the main goal here. I will be the Master of Death; I will have all three deathly hollows by the time I leave, and pretty much just nerding out the entire night."

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ESPN names Redskins' group of rookies the league's most productive class in 2019

ESPN names Redskins' group of rookies the league's most productive class in 2019

During the Redskins 20-15 loss to the Packers in Week 14, quarterback Dwayne Haskins threaded a throw through a tight window to receiver Terry McLaurin, who snagged the pass with one hand for a 21-yard touchdown.

The rookie connection between the two Ohio State products offered a glimpse of that pairing’s potential in the years to come. But the former Buckeyes weren’t the only first-year players to make a splash against Green Bay. Linebacker Cole Holcomb led the team in tackles with nine, and cornerback Jimmy Mooreland was a close second with seven stops.

Throughout the season, Washington’s 2019 draft picks showed flashes like the performances against Green Bay.

It wasn’t just the first-round selections in Haskins and linebacker Montez Sweat, either. From McLaurin in the third round, to Moreland in the seventh, mid-and-late-round picks added quality reinforcements to the class and roster.

Pro Football Focus recently unveiled its wins above replacement metric, and ESPN used those measurements to rank all 32 draft classes based on value. With performances throughout the class, the Redskins were rated as the most productive class in the league.

The 2019 class and its success level will always be tied to Haskins, whom the team selected with the No. 15 pick. After his first two outings, both of which came after starting the game as the backup, it would have been tough to envision the Redskins earning the title of the most productive class in the league.

Haskins threw four interceptions in his first 22 pass attempts across relief appearances against the Giants and Vikings. But after interim head coach Bill Callahan gave the signal caller the starting job in week nine, Haskins began to show his ability.

Pro Football Focus gave Haskins a 73.4 grade, 12th-best in the NFL, after week 9. And in his final six quarters of his first season, the Redskins quarterback completed over 70% of his passes for 399 yards and four touchdowns against zero interceptions.

After selecting Haskins in the first round, Washington traded for the 26th pick to select Sweat out of Mississippi State. The edge rusher started all 16 games in his rookie season, recording 50 tackles, seven sacks — including two in the season finale against Dallas — and two forced fumbles.

McLaurin, named the best value pick of the class, wasted no time proving himself as one of the steals of the draft. The third-round pick posted five catches for 125 yards and a touchdown in his NFL debut. He followed that week-one showing with two games with at least five catches and a touchdown, becoming the first player in league history to reach those numbers in each of his first three games.

In 14 games, McLaurin finished with 58 receptions for 919 yards and seven touchdowns on his way to an 86.5 Pro Football Focus receiving grade, the highest among all rookie receivers, and the best since Odell Beckham Jr.’s in 2014.

Fourth-round pick Wes Martin started five games, including the final three, at guard for the Redskins as the team dealt with injuries along the offensive front and shuffled players into the lineup.

In the fifth-round, the Redskins selected Alabama guard Ross Pierschbacher and inside linebacker Cole Holcomb out of North Carolina.

Pierschbacher went on to make five appearances, all on special teams. Holcomb, however, made a significant impact.

At the time he was selected, Holcomb figured to be a depth player behind Reuben Foster and Shaun Dion Hamilton. But less than a month later, Foster suffered a gruesome knee injury, giving the rookie a chance for a larger role.

Holcomb responded to the tune of 105 tackles, including six for a loss, and three forced fumbles over 16 appearances and 15 starts. The North Carolina product finished second among rookies in tackles, behind only Steelers’ first-round pick Devin Bush.

Kelvin Harmon, the team’s sixth-round pick, was the third member of the young trio with McLaurin and Steven Sims that emerged as the most-dependable receivers. Harmon finished with 30 catches for 365 yards in 16 games played.

Washington’s seventh-round pick Jimmy Moreland started five games and totaled 42 tackles.

The team used another fourth-round pick on running back Bryce Love out of Stanford, but the Cardinal standout spent the season recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in college. The team’s last selection, seventh-round pick Jordan Brailford, also didn’t see the field after landing on injured reserve just before the regular season.

Last season’s Director of College Personnel Kyle Smith, who played a large role in the 2019 draft process, received a promotion to vice president of player personnel on Jan. 13 as the Redskins transition to a new era under the direction of head coach Ron Rivera.

With the highly productive 2019 class, Rivera and the Redskins have a solid, young foundation to build around on both sides of the ball.

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