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Need to Know: For Redskins and Cousins no news is good news

Feb 12, 2016, 5:12 AM EDT

Cousins-passing-vs.-Cowboys-2

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, February 12, 12 days before the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

Five Friday morning musings on the Redskins

—We haven’t heard much about the Kirk Cousins contract negotiations and that’s good news. It’s usually when things aren’t going well that one side or the other leaks something to the press. The expectation is that the last day to apply the franchise tag, March 1, is the deadline that will drive the two sides to get a deal done. Although they could tag him on March 1 and sign him to a long-term deal on March 2 that’s not how it usually works. If the tag is supplied the team and the agent usually move on to other things and they begin to refocus on long-term deal again in July. If a tagged player does not sign a long-term deal by July 15 he must play out the season on the tag so that is the real, drop-dead date for getting something done.

—I did a post on the draft here a couple of days ago and among a group of players that had been targeted in some mock drafts I made Alabama inside linebacker Reggie Ragland the favorite to be the Redskins’ first-round pick in April. Someone whose opinion I respect disagrees. Rotoworld draft analyst Josh Norris did not grade Ragland as a first-round talent and when asked about on Twitter, Norris replied, “I think the rest of the process could show that Ragland is more limited than some think right now.” It’s early in the process and this doesn’t mean that he’s right and I’m wrong but I though I should put that out here.

—USA Today put out a list of 25 payers who they think will be salary cap casualties. Four Redskins are on it. As we have discussed here plenty, Robert Griffin III will be cut. I’d say there is about a 75 percent chance that Jason Hatcher will either retire or get cut. Dashon Goldson is more likely to take a cut in his $8 million salary than he is to leave. The one player on the list that I don’t think is going anywhere or redoing his contract is Pierre Garçon. Perhaps they will end up overpaying him but I don’t think they can replace him for substantially less money.

—The article I wrote about the Redskins’ low interception total yesterday was focused on 2015 but they have had issues for quite some time. Since 2010 they have been in the top half of the NFL in interceptions just once, in 2012. That was an odd year with two linebackers among the top three in interceptions, London Fletcher (5) and Rob Jackson (4). Jackson, of course, had the big one, a fourth-quarter pick of Tony Romo that helped lock up both the Redskins’ win over the Cowboys and the NFC East title. In case anyone is wondering, Jackson was released by the Redskins during training camp in 2014, and has been out of the league since.

—Colleague Tarik El-Bashir and I did a post a few days ago on how to fix the running game. He said that the top issue was talent, that the Redskins should invest either high draft pick in a running back or sign one of the top free agents available. I said that the team needed to fully commit to power blocking and put the zone scheme in the circular file except as an occasional wrinkle. I don’t necessarily disagree with Tarik. About the only thing I wouldn’t want to see happen is using the first-round pick on a running back. I could see one from the second round on or a free agent who fits the McCloughan profile, such as the Dolphins’ Lamar Miller.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 33 days ago. It will be about 212 days until they play another one.

—About 167 days until fullbacks and safeties report to Richmond.

Days until: NFL Combine 12; NFL free agency starts 26; 2016 NFL draft 76

In case you missed it

  1. hail74 - Feb 12, 2016 at 8:24 AM

    I’m on record as saying we need to beef up the front seven but the more I look at some of the more highly touted DLs in this draft, the more I see a lot of guys who are the same. Great at the run but would be rotated out on obvious passing downs. I’m starting to come around that if the BPA at 21 is a CB like Alexander, then make that pick. I’m sure that some of these DLs will drop to the second. I also all for letting garçon and djax play out their contracts. Maybe,just maybe we can start getting some compensatory draft picks one day because we’re not extending older players and then cutting them when no longer worth their contract.

    • bangkokben - Feb 12, 2016 at 10:30 AM

      BPA for sure. Garcon and Jackson are paid handsomely to finish out their contracts and become free agents. Let it ride. As for compensatory picks, I don’t see that anywhere near on the horizon. Our last few drafts were so hit or miss I don’t know if we have anyone qualifying. Alf signing somewhere else, does that get us something? Letting Murphy and/or Long go in a couple of years? The point is that the good picks will be resigned, perhaps a year early like Kerrigan and Reed this year and the bad picks will be let go not likely making much of a contract somewhere else.

      • hail74 - Feb 12, 2016 at 11:44 AM

        Agreed. The compensatory picks notion was more about letting vets finish out there contracts and knowing when to move on. Garçon and Djax are perfect examples. Hitting 30 or so in final year. They will likely draw some interest next year. Let them go rather than sign/extend them to a contract we would inevitably cut short.

        • bangkokben - Feb 12, 2016 at 12:35 PM

          Likely one of them is staying but possibly not. We’ll know more by March madness when FA is in full force. Will the Redskins make a play at a young WR? Will they shore up the defense? Then we’ll have a better idea but as of now, it wouldn’t surprise me if we draft two wide receivers with one being in the top two rounds. As of now, only Crowder is a sure thing. I advocate for Jax and Garcon but neither appears to be in the long-term plans. Also, Roberts and Grant are under contract through 2017 but neither has impressed. Keep Grant around for the dirty work and give him time to develop but Roberts could clear room now. That leaves room to draft Roberts replacement and a future #1 or #2 receiver.

        • hail74 - Feb 12, 2016 at 12:43 PM

          Yes, I certainly see no reason to keep Roberts around. Grant however really disappointed me. He just looked uninspired out there when given the chance. Maybe he’ll rebound because he was one of my preseason favorites.

    • James McFullan - Feb 12, 2016 at 1:58 PM

      Let Garçon and DJax ridea out their contracts, then draft a guy like Josh Doctson, if he is available, in the 2nd round. Then Nkemdiche or Jaylon Smith may fall due to either off field or injury. Those two are both top 5/ top 10 talent. If the Redskins can draft either then that would be fantastic BPA. Those two can be real difference makers for the next several years.

      • hail74 - Feb 12, 2016 at 2:58 PM

        I would definitely take the risk on NKemdiche in the second round, doubt he’d fall to bottom of third. I like Doctson but think there’s better first round value, tho you did say a guy like him, not necessarily him, and I agree.

        • James McFullan - Feb 12, 2016 at 6:18 PM

          I doubt Nkemdiche falls out of the first, but if he did it would be very, very, very unlikely he would make it to the 53rd pick, he would be gone by the 32nd-40th pick, and McCloughan would most likely not be willing to trade up to get him in the early 2nd round.

  2. bangkokben - Feb 12, 2016 at 10:18 AM

    Happy 26th birthday to Robert Griffin III! Best wishes!

    • hail74 - Feb 12, 2016 at 11:45 AM

      Yes, happy birthday Robert, Lincoln and one Hail74!Best wishes to us!

      • bangkokben - Feb 12, 2016 at 12:50 PM

        Yes. You too have a great birthday.

        • hail74 - Feb 12, 2016 at 1:48 PM

          Thanks! I almost want to start an argument over the qbs just to make this feel like a real post, but we’re usually on the same page.

        • bangkokben - Feb 12, 2016 at 1:50 PM

          Seriously. The Griffin post is nearly at 200 comments. It’s nice to be away from that crap buffet but it’s also uneventful here.

        • Rich Tandler - Feb 12, 2016 at 4:09 PM

          The RG post is the most read in Real Redskins history by a large margin. Comment total not easy to find but it’s getting up there.

        • bangkokben - Feb 12, 2016 at 4:24 PM

          Not surprising but it’s the last thing I want to rehash. At the same time if the comments there are any indication of what you get on a regular basis, I can understand why you need to write a piece.

        • hail74 - Feb 12, 2016 at 2:59 PM

          Haha, yeah I was there this morning but just didn’t want to keep fanning that fire.

  3. bangkokben - Feb 12, 2016 at 1:57 PM

    From reading the post, no news is good news when it comes to contract talks – unless of course, you’re still hung up on the previous QB and you don’t want a long-term deal for the current QB.

    I can’t wait for the terms – provided the deal gets done in the next couple of weeks.

    • hail74 - Feb 12, 2016 at 3:01 PM

      I envision something in the 16-19 mil avg. The comment section will be record setting, I’m sure.

      • colmac69 - Feb 12, 2016 at 3:13 PM

        Please don’t start another who is best qb debate……some of the stuff on there is almost childlike……

        Can people just not accept what direction the skins are heading rather than re-hash old arguments……

        I for one am looking forward to what the offseason is going to bring and it’s been a while since I felt like that for an offseason

        • hail74 - Feb 12, 2016 at 3:20 PM

          No worries, I have no intention of doing that. Your right tho, it’s rather refreshing going into this offseason not having to worry about cutting a really good player because of cap issues or desperately needing to draft a specific position. I’m interested in seeing what type of role player FAs Scot brings in and will happily let the BPA strategy takes its course in the draft

        • goback2rfk - Feb 12, 2016 at 11:07 PM

          What debate?! There no debate… Rg3 is the best QB on the roster currently. Then Colt McCoy. Then Kirk Cousins.

      • bangkokben - Feb 12, 2016 at 4:30 PM

        I’m with you on the average but I think the first year cap hit will be around $13 million. As for the comments, I suspect the record setting post will be the day Griffin is released and the post concerning it.

  4. JOHNNY B - Feb 12, 2016 at 5:25 PM

    Years and years of Redskins drama in the off season and this year nothing. Dam I miss the circus I am board. No I don’t miss the circus but not hearing anything from the team does tell me that it is a new day. So now I check to the drama filled Cowboys, and eagles and laugh. Hail to the Redskins.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Feb 12, 2016 at 7:17 PM

      Hail to common sense! Hail Victory!
      ~

  5. James McFullan - Feb 12, 2016 at 11:41 PM

    Here’s what the Redskins should do in free agency and the draft. Sign Lamar Miller RB, Tashaun Gipson FS, and Damon Harrison NT. Cut DHall, RGIII, Andre Roberts, and Kory Lichtensteiger. Then if Robert Nkemdiche and Jaylon Smith are both around at the 20th pick, the Redskins should trade their 2nd, 4th, and 6th for the pick and then draft Nkemdiche at 20 and Jaylon at 21. Then in the 3rd round draft Nick Martin. Run game is fixed, better OLine, move Dashon Goldson to SS and Tashaun Gipson at FS and with Culliver back, the coverage should be better. With Nkemdiche, Jaylon, Damon Harrison, the Redskins should be better against the run and better at pressuring and sacking QB’s.

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