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Redskins yet to begin contract talks with Chris Baker, Pierre Garçon, other free agents

Redskins yet to begin contract talks with Chris Baker, Pierre Garçon, other free agents

Kirk Cousins ranks as the top free agent question for the Redskins, but the team has a number of other players with expired contracts. And so far, it seems the Washington brass isn't interested in working on new deals. 

Defensive lineman Chris Baker is yet to hear from the team on a new deal, per a source with knowledge of the situation.

Baker has been the team's best defensive lineman the past two seasons, and if he hits the open market, will have suitors around the league. An able run stopper with good burst to apply interior pressure on quarterbacks, Baker registered 10.5 sacks over the last two seasons. 

Elsewhere on the roster, receivers Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson both could hit free agency. 106.7 the Fan's Brian McNally reported the team has reached out to neither player on a new contract. Should the Redskins lose both Jackson and Garçon, that is taking 2,000 receiving yards out of the 2016 offense. 

Staying on offense, veteran tight end Vernon Davis joined the 'Skins last year on a one-year 'prove it' type deal. He proved it. Davis caught 44 passes for 583 yards and two touchdowns and gave the 'Skins a viable option at tight end when Jordan Reed dealt with injuries. ESPN's John Keim reported that the 'Skins have not talked much about a new deal with Davis either.

Speaking at the Senior Bowl with CSN, team president Bruce Allen said the team wanted to finalize their coaching staff before diving into player contracts. The staff is almost full, though some lower level positions are still open. Regardless, it's also possible for the team to reach out to players and their representatives while filling coaching jobs. 

Free agency does not open for another month, and the 'Skins still have time to enter into negotiations with the players they want to bring back. A month is a lot of time, but it's curious that Washington has gone silent on multiple notable free agents, especially for players they intend to bring back. The team has been allowed to work on new contracts with their own players for weeks. 

It's too early to determine that the Redskins are moving on from any of their free agents, though the extended silence says something. 


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Terry McLaurin was not surprised a hobbled Dwayne Haskins stayed in vs. Green Bay

Terry McLaurin was not surprised a hobbled Dwayne Haskins stayed in vs. Green Bay

Rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins played much of the Redskins Week 14 loss to the Green Bay Packers with a sprained ankle.

The rookie had a very noticeable limp and struggled to put weight on his bad leg. Haskins was clearly not at full health. Backup quarterback Case Keenum was seen warming up multiple times on the sideline, but never entered the game.

In the team's postgame press conference, interim head coach Bill Callahan said he never considered pulling Haskins from the game. Rookie wide receiver Terry McLaurin, who was teammates with Haskins at Ohio State and has known the quarterback for a while, never thought that Haskins would exit the game, either.

"I know Dwayne. I've known him for a while now," McLaurin told NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay. "He's a tough guy, and I feel like he gives us a good chance to win games. I knew if he was out there, he was going to be good to go. He was hobbled a little bit, but he wasn't going to use that as an excuse at all. It was cool to see him fight through it. We just hope that he can get healthy for next week."

McLaurin was then asked whether he thought Haskins should have been pulled. The wideout commended his quarterback for his toughness, and believes that will go a long way in terms of earning respect from his teammates.

"I mean, I'm not a doctor, so I feel like if you feel like you can play, then you try to play. Only that person knows how bad it is," McLaurin said. "He's a tough guy. He's a guy trying to earn the respect of this team. He's a quarterback, he's young. I feel like stuff like that really puts you in a step forward to get some respect. He was noticeably hurt and he fought for us."

Haskins finished 16-for-27 for 171 yards. He connected on an incredible late touchdown pass with McLaurin to pull the Redskins within five with just over a minute remaining in the game. On the two-point conversion try, Haskins put his body on the line, diving for the goal line headfirst. He didn't convert.

The Packers recovered the Redskins ensuing onside kick attempt, the Burgundy and Gold's final hope at pulling off the upset. 

The Redskins offensive line did not help out a hobbled Haskins much either. The rookie was sacked four times in the loss and hit the turf on numerous other occasions.

Although the Redskins weren't able to pull off the upset, Haskins showed poise and toughness by fighting through a noticeable injury and giving the Redskins everything he had.


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The Redskins’ far-fetched playoff dreams were officially dashed after losing to the Packers

The Redskins’ far-fetched playoff dreams were officially dashed after losing to the Packers

The Redskins entered Lambeau Field in Week 14 with a 3-9 record, but because the NFC East has been such a mess this year, they still had very slim playoff hopes. 

Thanks to their 20-15 loss against the Packers, however, those slim hopes are now nonexistent. Washington will not play in the postseason for the fourth straight campaign. 

The Burgundy and Gold would’ve had to finish by winning their final four contests and also would’ve needed major help from the Cowboys to the Eagles in order to sneak into the playoffs. That scoreboard watching isn’t necessary anymore, of course. 

“It’s tough being eliminated,” Terry McLaurin said in the visitor's locker room. “Our division is so open.”

Now, the team will use the next three weeks to further look at Dwayne Haskins’ growth as well as the development of other young pieces on both sides of the ball. Then, when those games wrap up, they’ll need to find a new head coach for 2020 and consider other possible changes within the franchise as well. 

When this season began back in July at training camp, there was some thought that the Redskins could compete behind a potentially improved defense and a run-centric offense. Those things didn’t emerge, though, and now, the organization will again be irrelevant on the field when January comes around.