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Uncertainty surrounding Kirk Cousins impacts Redskins pursuit of free agent WRs

Uncertainty surrounding Kirk Cousins impacts Redskins pursuit of free agent WRs

Pending contract talks with Kirk Cousins will not only impact the Redskins salary cap, they will also impact the desire of free agent wide receivers looking to join the Burgundy and Gold.

That's the word from multiple sources as Washington brass again enters negotiations with Cousins after he played the 2016 season under the franchise tag.

It's understandable why receivers want to see what unfolds at QB for the Redskins.

With Cousins, the Redskins run a dynamic, pass-first offense capable of moving the ball among the best teams in the league. Should Cousins leave via free agency, it's unknown what happens for Jay Gruden's 2017 offense.

RELATED: RANKING THE MOST IMPORTANT REDSKINS FREE AGENTS

While it seems likely Cousins would at least return for 2017 under another franchise tag, if that doesn't happen, would the team turn to backup Colt McCoy? Bring in a veteran starter to compete with McCoy? Has rookie Nate Sudfeld developed to a point where he could compete? Questions like these make for uneasy conversations among wideouts looking at options. 

The Redskins not only need to make decisions with their own free agent receivers in DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon, but the team also has shown interest in free agent Kenny Britt, recently of the Rams. Sources indicate Britt would be interested in Washington if Cousins is the quarterback, but the 29-year-old has at least seven other interested teams should the Redskins QB situation not get resolved before free agency opens. 

Jackson's return to Washington seems unlikely, as he will probably command more money than Garçon or Britt.

ESPN's John Keim reported that Garçon will not play for less than the $7.6 million he made this season, and sources have said Britt expects to make anywhere from $8 million to $12 million per season in a multi-year deal.

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

All three pass-catchers had strong seasons in 2016, all eclipsing the 1,000 yard mark. Among the trio, Britt is two years younger than Garçon and Jackson, who will both turn 31 this season, and bigger. Britt goes 6-foot-3 while Garçon is 6-foot and Jackson 5-foot-10. Neither Britt nor Garçon can touch Jackson's speed, and few players in the NFL can match Garçon's toughness.

That said, Britt raised eyebrows around the NFL getting to 1,000 yards on an awful Rams team that suffered with poor quarterback play and a prehistoric offensive system. 

Another franchise tag for Cousins would not necessarily solve the Redskins issue with free agent receivers, at least long-term. Like all players, wideouts want multi-year deals, and a 2017 tag on Cousins makes it highly possible that Washington needs a new quarterback in 2018. 

Fans need to deal with the possibility that neither Jackson nor Garçon could return to Washington. It might not happen, but it certainly could. Much of that will be determined by money, but the contract status of Cousins will be a factor.

For wideouts, Washington is an attractive destination with Cousins. He's thrown for more than 9,000 yards in the last two seasons.

Without him, the landscape looks quite different. 

RELATED: TEN MOST MEMORABLE REDSKINS MOMENTS FROM 2016

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Redskins vs. Texans Week 11: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

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USA TODAY Sports

Redskins vs. Texans Week 11: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

Another week, another game where no matter what the Washington Redskins (6-3) will leave their game at first place in the division. 

This week the Redskins host fellow division leader, the Houston Texans (6-3) for a Week 11 match-up. Quite possibly, this could be the final week where Washington faces a team above .500 this season. 

Last week the Redskins gave up over 500 yards to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but kept them out fo the end zone to preserve a victory. Since then though there was more talk about the fans in the stands than the players out on the field. 

Their injury situation is not much better as Dustin Hopkins is not 100 percent and Samje Perine is also out again for the 'Skins. Good news, though Trent Williams is going to try and gut it out

Houston is unlike any team the Redskins have faced this season, except for perhaps the Carolina Panthers. They have a balanced offense (rush and pass) and a stellar, star-studed defense. With DeShaun Watson, the Texans are never out of a game either. 

The all-time series between the Redskins and Texans is young. Sunday will mark only their fifth ever matchup ant it is tied at 2-2. Houston has won two straight in the series with the last win for the Redskins coming in 2006. 

REDSKINS vs. HOUSTON TEXANS WEEK 11

Who: Washington Redskins vs. Houston Texans

What: Game 10 of the 2018 NFL regular season

When: Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, 1:00 p.m. ET

Where: FedEx Field, Landover, Maryland

TV Channel: FOX

Live Stream: You can stream Redskins Kickoff Live, Redskins Postgame Live and Redskins Overtime Live right here using the MyTeams by NBC Sports App.

Radio: Redskins Radio Network

Point Spread: Houston, -3

Over/Under: 42.5

Weather: 50 degrees, partly

REDSKINS vs. TEXANS TV SCHEDULE:

8:30 AM: Redskins Nation 
9:00 AM: Redskins 100
9:30 AM: Redskins Kickoff Preview
10:00 AM: Redskins Gameday: D.C. Sports Live
11:00 AM: Redskins Coach's Show
11:30 AM: Inside the Redskins 
12:00 PM: Redskins Kickoff Live (NBCSW+ and the MyTeams App)
4:00 PM: Redskins Postgame Live (NBCSW+ and the MyTeams App)
5:30 PM: Redskins Overtime Live (NBCSW+ and the MyTeams App)

Click here to access NBC Sports Washington's Channel Finder 

REDSKINS 2018 REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE

Week 1: Sun., 9/9, @ Arizona Cardinals (24-6, W)

Week 2: Sun, 9/16, vs. Indianapolis Colts (21-9, L)

Week 3: Sun., 9/23, vs. Green Bay Packers (31-17, W)

Week 4: BYE

Week 5: Mon., 10/8, @ New Orleans Saints, (43-19, L)

Week 6: Sun., 10/14, vs. Carolina Panthers, 1:00 p.m. (23-17, W)

Week 7: Sun., 10/21, vs. Dallas Cowboys, 4:25 p.m. (20-17, W)

Week 8: Sun. 10/28, @ New York Giants, 1:00 p.m. (20-13, W)

Week 9: Sun., 11/4, vs. Atlanta Falcons, 1:00 p.m. (38-14, L)

Week 10: Sun. 11/11, @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1:00 p.m. (16-3 W)

Week 11: Sun., 11/18, vs. Houston Texans, 1:00 p.m. (CBS)

Week 12: Thu., 11/22, @ Dallas Cowboys, 4:30 p.m. (FOX)

Week 13: Mon., 12/3, @ Philadelphia Eagles, 8:15 (ESPN)

Week 14: Sun., 12/9, vs. New York Giants, 1:00 p.m. (FOX)

Week 15: Sun., 12/16, @ Jacksonville Jaguars, 1:00 p.m. (FOX)

Week 16: Sat., 12/22, @ Tennessee Titans, 4:30 p.m. (CBS)

Week 17: Sun., 12/30, vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 1:00 p.m. (FOX)

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Redskins' D.J. Swearinger wants to show Texans 'what they missed out on'

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USA Today Sports

Redskins' D.J. Swearinger wants to show Texans 'what they missed out on'

In 2015, the Houston Texans cut D.J. Swearinger. And even in 2018, the Redskins safety hasn't forgotten it. 

"It's fun going against my former teams, showing them what they missed out on," Swearinger said this week.

Houston selected Swearinger out of the University of South Carolina in the second round of the NFL Draft. For two years he played fairly well in Houston, but when the staff switched over from Gary Kubiak to Bill O'Brien, things went wrong according to Swearinger. 

"Kubiak let me be myself, let me do whatever as long as I played ball," he said. "O'Brien was a control guy: 'You can't do this. You can't do that.'"

After his release in Houston, Swearinger played in Tampa for a brief period before a good landing place in Arizona. He played well with the Cardinals, and parlayed that experience into a three-year contract with the Redskins in the 2017 offseason. 

Since he's been in Washington, Swearinger has been an ideal teammate and leader. He credits the hard times, stemming from being cut in Houston, to the role he plays now. 

View this post on Instagram

#Houston I Appreciate Coach Gary Kubiak, Coach Wade Phillips, Coach Vance Joseph for Giving Me A Chance Of A Lifetime & Letting Me Be “Myself” My Rookie Year. When They Left My 2nd Year, the New Coaching Staff Would Always Worry About What I Was Doing Or Saying To Other Players 🤔🤔Well, the Young Swagg Had A Hard Time Adjusting To The New System Nor Did I Want To Play Linebacker Every Play, and I Also Was Late A Few Times Too Many...All Apart Of Growing Up & Learning To Be A Pro. There Was A MisUnderstanding With My Db Coach That Lead To Unprofessional Actions By My Head Coach (o’brien) That I Could No Longer Respect! Which Lead To Me Being Cut. That Same Coach Told Me I Would Be Outta The League In 3Years. Unfortunately, My God & Grind Had A Plan And Knew That 6years Later....I Would Make Him Eat His Words! #LiveIn5🤫 #2spoonzswagggu🥄🥄

A post shared by Dj Swearinger (@jungleboi_swaggg) on

With four interceptions this season, Swearinger is tied for the No. 2 spot in the NFL and is a huge part of the Redskins 6-3 start. Playing Houston will mean a lot for the emotional defensive back, especially in a week where emotions seem to be running high. 

Josh Norman and Swearinger voiced frustrations with Redskins fans for not packing FedEx Field for home games. The crowd has booed at times this season, and as Swearinger sees it, "the boos are dumb to me. Very dumb."

Whatever the crowd looks like on Sunday, it's a big opportunity for Swearinger to play against Houston, and against O'Brien. The Texans coach praised Swearinger's work in the years since his release. 

"I think every player that comes into the league, no matter who you are, it is a tough transition from college to professional football and then on top of that you have a coaching change and things like that, that DJ had to deal with," O'Brien said. "I think a lot of players go through that and DJ has obviously done a great job of coming into Washington and really performing at a high level."

This season, Swearinger has played against two of his former teams in Arizona and Tampa. The Redskins won both, and as an outside observer, it seemed like the wins mattered greatly to the safety.

It's rare for a player as young as 27-year-old Swearinger to have already played on four teams. He gets that, and doesn't love it. Against Houston, he can get another win, and the most important one of his three former teams.

"It’s going to be exciting," Swearinger said. "It’s going to be my first time getting a fair chance to face the team that drafted me."

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