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Shanahan remains very high on one Redskins quarterback

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Shanahan remains very high on one Redskins quarterback

When Mike Shanahan drafted both Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins in 2012, the coach thought both quarterbacks could become stars. While his opinion on RG3 has somewhat swayed since, Shanahan remains high on Cousins' future.

"I think Kirk Cousins will be a big time player for a lot of years in the National Football League," the coach said during an interview with 106.7 The Fan's Grant and Danny show.

After their rookie seasons, RG3 and Cousins were both hot commodities, even though Griffin was rehabbing an injured knee. His first season, Cousins looked solid in relief appearances for RG3 and in one start. Many thought Cousins could land Washington a good haul in a trade, some even speculated a first round pick return.

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In the seasons since, some of Cousins shine has dissipated as the quarterback has shown a proclivity to turn the ball over. In eight starts between the 2013 and 2014 seasons, Cousins has thrown 16 interceptions. Things got particularly bad last September for Cousins when he threw four interceptions in one loss to the New York Giants. 

Still, his former coach remains unbowed. 

"I've seen it first hand what he can do. Once he gets a team with a little balance he will have a very succesful NFL career," Shanahan said.

Shanahan explained that not all of Cousins turnover problems are his fault, and that if the Redskins committed to the run game, his numbers would look better. Additionally, when Cousins is at his best he can throw the ball like some of the best passers in the NFL. Shanahan specifically mentioned a Redskins loss last September to the Eagles when Cousins threw for 427 yards on 30 of 48 passes with three touchdowns and one interception. 

Asked why Redskins GM Scot McCloughan said he got no phone calls for trades on Cousins, Shanahan said, "I'm not surprised."

The former coach explained that teams around the league look at Cousins TD/INT ratio and are scared away. For Shanahan, perception doesn't matter, he knows what Cousins can do. 

Agree with the former coach on Cousins? Let us know what you think in the comments. 

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Brandon Scherff confirms that he and the Redskins have 'been talking' about a contract extension

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Brandon Scherff confirms that he and the Redskins have 'been talking' about a contract extension

Bruce Allen identified getting a contract extension done for Pro Bowl guard Brandon Scherff as one of the Redskins biggest priorities of the 2019 offseason. To this point, however, nothing has happened. 

That doesn't seem to have Scherff concerned. 

"We've been talking, but I'm not really worried about that," he said after OTAs on Monday. "I'm here for another year, so that's all I'm worried about right now. Everything will take care of itself."

Scherff, the fifth overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, has played at an elite level since his rookie season. He's made two Pro Bowl teams in four years, and until last year, had been remarkably durable. 

In 2018, Scherff's season started very strong. 'Skins coach Jay Gruden described the former Iowa Hawkeye as the best pulling guard in the NFL and it was well-earned praise. Then, in a Week 8 loss, Scherff went down with a torn pectoral muscle. His season was over. 

At OTAs, however, Scherff was a full participant with no brace or apparent encumbrances from the injury. 

"I'm feeling really good, just taking it slow and making sure I'm 100 percent," he said. 

Expect the free agent market to be quite bullish. Once a lesser-paid position than tackle, guards have recently started pulling in significant cash. Zach Martin's recent contract extension in Dallas pays him more than $14 million per season, and Jacksonville is paying Andrew Norwell more than $13 million this year. 

For Scherff, expect top of the market money. He has the talent, pedigree and ability that if Washington won't pay in the neighborhood of Martin and Norwell, he can wait for free agency. 

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Reuben Foster's season-ending injury hurts the Redskins from a contract perspective, too

Reuben Foster's season-ending injury hurts the Redskins from a contract perspective, too

There are a lot of questions stemming from Reuben Foster's injury at Redskins OTAs, which looks to be a season-ending one.

Where does Foster, whose career has really yet to take off due to other injuries as well as numerous off-field troubles, go from here? What are Washington's options at inside linebacker now, since they were counting on him to produce?

And then there's this: How does Foster missing this year affect his contract with the 'Skins?

The answer, according to salary cap expert J.I. Halsell, is not much.

"When a contract tolls, that means basically the pause button is pushed and whatever you were supposed to make in 2019 carries over to 2020. That's not the case for Reuben Foster," Halsell said Tuesday while on the Redskins Talk podcast.

"Reuben Foster will earn his $1.29 million salary regardless of if he plays this season or not. While he'll probably spend his entire season on injured reserve, he'll make his $1.29 million in 2019."

Essentially, everything proceeds as normal. And that in and of itself is a decent setback for the organization.

One of the reasons the Redskins dealt with the controversy and backlash when they claimed Foster last November was because they were adding a first-round talent on his rookie contract. The team was hoping they could secure two years of elite play out of him at a bargain price, and then potentially exercise the fifth-year option on him to keep him in D.C. through 2021.

Now, however, they're losing one of those precious seasons and will have to make that decision on his fifth-year option next offseason without any tape or experience to really base that decision on. That's an important choice, and one that will carry significant financial implications as well.

"The fifth-year option for the 2021 season will be pretty expensive," Halsell said. "The long and short of it is it's going to be a lucrative dollar amount and given his injury history, his current injury, you would think that when they have to make that decision by the 2020 Draft, they will decline that option."

Haslell's right. The likelihood of the Burgundy and Gold committing big money to a guy with literally one rep in their uniform — and it's not like he was proven for the 49ers, as a linebacker or as a person, either — feels unbelievably slim. 

Yet — and now we're looking pretty far down the line — if he is able to return from this injury and contribute in 2020, the franchise could still look to keep him beyond that. There's a ton of time between now and then, but it's certainly possible.

"Theoretically, even though you don't have the fifth-year option for 2021, you can work on a contract extension for Reuben Foster assuming he comes back to full health," Haslell explained.

Still, not only does the injury hurt the player as well as the unit the player was going to start on, but it limits the team's potential payoff from claiming the player. The situation, from every angle, is an unfortunate one. 

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