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Redskins Playbook: Why other NFL quarterbacks should want Kirk Cousins to hit free agency

Redskins Playbook: Why other NFL quarterbacks should want Kirk Cousins to hit free agency

Kirk Cousins made nearly $20 million last year. This year, Cousins stands to make about $24 million, and that's if he doesn't sign a long-term deal. 

Without hesitation, that is huge money. Huge. 

Yet, CBS Sports' Joel Corry makes the case that NFL quarterbacks are actually underpaid, and Cousins presents one of the best opportunities to break from that norm.

There are more NFL teams than there are quality quarterbacks. Even rarer are passers who can consistently win games with their arms. This scarcity puts QBs in an extremely advantageous position when negotiating contracts. Despite favorable circumstances, the top of the market has remained fairly stagnant since Aaron Rodgers became the NFL's highest-paid player in April 2013 with a five-year, $110 million extension.

Corry explained that QBs rarely use their full leverage in contract talks, and that stems from a variety of reasons. Future Hall of Famers like Tom Brady set an example of taking less to make the whole team better. Other guys just choose not to fully exert pressure, as Corry laid out the case with Drew Brees and the Saints. 

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

The entire article has value, but as it relates to Cousins, the most interesting aspects come when Corry touches on the franchise tag and its impact on quarterback contract valuations. QBs rarely get hit with the franchise tag, and never for two straight seasons, as Cousins has. Redskins fans are all too familiar with the pitfalls of a second franchise tag, as the organization has lost most, if not all, leverage in long-term contract talks with Cousins. 

There is one more factor that Cousins has talked about. Perhaps because of the example set by Brady - taking less money for the good of the team - few QBs have pushed to the top of the market for the good of the position group as a whole. Cousins has talked about doing exactly that, and seems quite cognizant of what his contract position can do for players that come after him. 

Again from Corry:

There has been speculation that Cousins could get $30 million per year on the open market given the shortage of good quarterbacks. Cousins signing in free agency would likely be a game changer for quarterback salaries even if he falls short of the mark. It would be the beginning of a dramatic shift at the top of quarterback market.​

Redskins fans that want a multi-year deal with Cousins before the July 17th deadline might not like hearing how much impact the gifted passer could have on the NFL marketplace, though understanding the league-wide importance of this contract might shed a little light on the pace of the negotiations. 


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Terrelle Pryor, DJ Swearinger get into heated exchange during Day 3 of Redskins-Jets practice

Terrelle Pryor, DJ Swearinger get into heated exchange during Day 3 of Redskins-Jets practice

The Redskins' joint practices with the Jets have been nothing short of entertaining.

Day 1 of practice brought a couple of brawls between the two teams, with one spilling into the sideline where fans were standing. 

Day 2 was relatively calm, but Day 3 has brought another altercation, this time between former teammates Terrelle Pryor and DJ Swearinger. 

During a one-on-one rep, safety Monte Nicholson broke up a pass to Pryor. As Pryor started walking back to the sideline, a very hyped-up DJ Swearinger had more than a few things to say about it. As the two inched closer, Swearinger fakes a punch, causing Pryor to flinch and creating roars from the Redskins sideline. 

It's clear the Redskins' DBs have strong feelings towards their ex-teammate. Back in June, inside linebacker Zach Brown said the 'Skins would "have it out" for Pryor during their joint practices. 

While Pryor won't be playing in Thursday's preseason game, let's hope the competition continues over nonetheless.


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Redskins release CB Orlando Scandrick

Redskins release CB Orlando Scandrick

RICHMOND—Orlando Scandrick’s career with the Redskins ended without him even playing a game.

Head coach Jay Gruden confirmed reports that the team has released Scandrick on the last day of training camp. He did not play in the Redskins’ preseason opener against the Patriots last Thursday.

While reasons for the release will become clearer with time, it is apparent that the Redskins have a great deal of faith in their young cornerbacks, particularly second-year player Fabian Moreau. With Scandrick on the team, Moreau was slated to be the backup slot corner. With Scandrick now gone, the Redskins likely will go with Moreau as the slot cornerback.

The team also apparently has confidence in Quinton Dunbar to start opposite Josh Norman. They also like rookies Greg Stroman, Adonis Alexander, and Danny Johnson. As of now, those three are the backups at cornerback.

Scandrick signed a two-year, $7 million contract in March. The only guaranteed money was a $1 million signing bonus. The move will save the Redskins $2.1 million in cap space this year. They will take a $500,000 dead cap hit next year to account for the prorated portion of the signing bonus.

Redskins 2018 training camp news

-Teammates react: Thompson gets emotional talking about Guice
-Redskins-Jets brawl: A dangerous situation

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page,  and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS  and on Instagram @RichTandler.

This article has been updated from a previous publish.