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Need to Know: Redskins players, coaches head into six-week break

Jun 16, 2016, 5:15 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, June 16, 42 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.


—The Redskins last played a game 158 days ago. It will be 88 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 42; Preseason opener @ Falcons 56; Final roster cut 79

Redskins will take a break

The Redskins finished up the on-field portion of their 2016 offseason preparations. They will not take the field again until they start training camp on July 28.

The players will have some time off but they will have things to do over the next six weeks. The assignments are made by strength and conditioning coach Mike Clark.

“The players will have a set of instructions or what have you from Coach Clark,” said Jay Gruden. “[That] is the big one – conditioning, the test they have to prepare for.”

How about the coaches?

“It’s a time off for coaches,” said Gruden. “It’s the benefit of being an NFL coach—you’ve got this month here where you can take off.”

One employee of the Redskins organization who will not be taking off for six weeks is VP of football administration Eric Schaffer. He will be at Redskins Park as the July 15 deadline for getting Kirk Cousins signed to a long-term deal approaches. Schaffer will field phone calls from Mike McCartney, who is Cousins’ agent, and work the nuts and bolts of the deal.

Others who will be working over the break include me, Tarik El-Bashir, and the other Redskins writers here and on We’ll still be writing multiple posts seven days a week. We’ll follow the Cousins negotiations, break down the roster position by position, keep you up to speed on the NFC East and the other teams on the Redskins’ schedule, preview training camp, and get you ready for the 2016 season, which is just 88 days away.

See you tomorrow.

In case you missed it 


  1. colorofmyskinz - Jun 16, 2016 at 5:45 AM

    Many of your comments are about following he Kirk Cousins negotiations as if you feel there are negotiations pending. Is this new insight you are sharing based on staff discussions? Let’s hope the negotiations are still ongoing.

    Lock that man down!

    Hopefully Doctson, Reed, and Gallettes ankles are ok. Amazing we are more concerned about their ankles vs Pauls ankle.

    Lauvao and Riley are an unknown. Not much was said about Korys nerve damage.

    Defense is going to be unreal this year! Our OLBs, Safeties, and CBs are going to make it easy on the front 3-4 and ILBs to focus on the pass rush and running game. First in a long time. Defense makes the difference during the playoffs, and we have a new D!

    Offense much to be determined with LFT gaurd, center, and running back. We really have no idea of he development here until the pads hit. It LG and Center are upgraded, then Jones job just got easier. We will see.


    • Rich Tandler - Jun 16, 2016 at 8:05 AM

      Not sure where you get the idea that I think that Cousins negotiations are ongoing. I’ve made clear that what I’m hearing is that there is nothing going on and that nothing significant is likely to happen until we get much closer to July 15.

      Don’t take my word for it, take Cousins’

    • Mr.moneylover - Jun 16, 2016 at 9:12 AM

      Last time something was reported about kirk cousins contract was that redskins and kirk cousins agent cut off contract talk …that’s why I believe they don’t get a deal done …kirk cousins agent seeking Joe flacco money redskins not taking the bait they wanna see if kirk cousins not a one hit wonder

      • Mr.moneylover - Jun 16, 2016 at 9:20 AM

        See Andrew luck long term contract its been reported that they making progress we don’t here the same with kirk cousins contract they gotta be at least talking to make a contract happen and Andrew luck contract I hear is more complex and gonna be more bigger then kirk cousins…they said awhile back redskins and kirk agent couldn’t agree with the structure of the contract

  2. Mr.moneylover - Jun 16, 2016 at 9:08 AM

    I think no long term deal gets done I think the redskins will let him play out the season on the franchise tag…they already told sources that they don’t mind giving him what he wants if he play well but the plan is for now is to let him play out the season on the franchise tag…scot m. Said it multiple times I can’t just worry about over paying one guy i gotta look out for the rest of the 53 players…its to risky to pay him a lot after one OK season…I do however think jay gruden and his coaching staff will be gone for 2 to 3 weeks I think they will look over tapes of mini camp and see what they lacking they still have a open roster spot available after releasing TE Michael Cooper

  3. redskins12thman - Jun 16, 2016 at 10:21 AM

    Thank you for continuing to cover the Redskins. I wish I could take vacation now but unfortunately I cannot. Your coverage will help fans get through the next six weeks.

    How much does Cousins want per season?

    I hope Cousins is signed to a long-term contract by the Redskins by mid-July. The reason you have to pay Cousins, regardless of how well he does this season, is that there will always be several teams willing to pay Cousins major dollars for 2017 and beyond. There are fewer than 32 qualified NFL quarterbacks so all qualified candidates will get well paid, and Cousins is qualified. What does the team gain by waiting?

  4. dcfaninecuador - Jun 16, 2016 at 10:30 AM

    I don’t get the sense that KC is unhappy with the franchise tag. I like that he appears willing (and eager) to allow his contract issues play out on the field this year. That he accepts the challenge of proving his worth on the field. It speaks well for his maturity and confidence in himself. I think this attitude speaks as much to KCs success this year as anything he may do on the field.

  5. bangkokben - Jun 16, 2016 at 10:32 AM


    You just don’t get it!
    “its to(o) risky to pay him a lot after one OK season…”

    Wasn’t an OK season. Was a GOOD season but it was just ONE. But what’s too risky is preparing the team to be explosive on offense and then “betting” that the QB doesn’t measure up. All things are pointing up for Cousins: he’s the unquestioned starter, the coaches are designing the attack around his strengths, more time in the SAME system, more weapons on offense, and playing a potentially more difficult schedule. If Cousins succeeds — which is what the organization is tryin’ to do — AND he doesn’t have a long-term deal, IT’S TOO RISKY! He will then be worth $5M more per season after doing it twice.

    • kenlinkins - Jun 16, 2016 at 12:15 PM

      I think you have the math about right. Redskins fans just do not seem to understand that Cousins is in a very rare position due to the 2012 drafting of RG3 (i.e. 2 QB’s in same draft class where one got 3 years of work, the other 1 year). The Redskins understand that they are forced this year to over pay, but they also understand that the amount of Cousins value can drop much, much lower if he fails in 2016 then it can raise if he has a very good year vs. the tag. They also know that paying a QB $42 over 3 years / getting into the play-offs 3 times (assumes 3 Good years) in a row without having the gamble of a long term high priced contract is not a bad thing. Right now the Redskins have the better of the deal if Cousins gets them back to the play-offs in 2016 (i.e. about $10 million a year) and that only jumps to $14 million if they must tag him again in 2017 (by which time they better know just what he is worth). So it is $10 to $14 million per year TOPS (against a down side cost of maybe $5 million a year or moving on to someone else in 2018) vs what ever Cousins is asking for (i.e. 5 years, $150 million with $80 million guaranteed). In fact the Redskins are getting him for half price (i.e. $42 million over 3 years vs $80 million over three years).

      • Trey Gregory - Jun 16, 2016 at 3:50 PM

        Ken: your math is just wonkey. You’re counting back years and that’s just silly. One of the benefits of rookie contracts is that they’re cheap. But that doesn’t mean you start splitting those years to add up how much it costs for the future.

        And that’s what your math is missing. The future. You’re not taking into account how much the cost goes up if he plays well next year and how much long-term stability costs. There is absolutely a risk in not signing Cousins. Don’t talk about most Redskins fans like we’re clueless. You’re the one missing the point.

        And Bang: you took the words out of my mouth. OK Season? Really? Maybe the team overall was only okay but Cousins has a fantastic individual season. People lose sight over how bad this roster has been for the past few years. Downright awful actually. Then Cousins perks up and McCloughan brings in a little help and they want to blame Cousins for not winning more games. Cousins had one of the worst defenses in the league. That’s a fact. And he still won 9 games. I guess that’s just OK.

      • John - Jun 16, 2016 at 11:42 PM

        Ken, you don’t get it. It takes time for QBs to develop. Prior to last season, Kirk was never “the starter”. He got scout them reps as the starter gets 90% of the reps during the season. In terms of games played, 2012, 1.5 games, 2013, 3-4 games for a team that had all ready been knocked out of the playoffs weeks before. 2014, 6 games with mixed results (great against Jacksonville and Philly, so-so against Seattle and Arizona, bad against NY and Tennessee). He had his ups and downs but that’s par for the course in terms of developing young QBs. Folks tend to only remember the interceptions and not the good things. Now also keep in mind the teams around him. Take last years team. Both the defense and running game nonexistent for much of the season. The team if it did anything was very much dependent on his performance. He came out big time (several team records, led them to a division title and into the playoffs). He should have started all of 2014. If he had, he would have not been tentative in the early part of 2015.

        In regards to the contract situation, the team does not have the luxury to “wait and see”. The Texans decided to pay Brock Osweiler based on 7 games. Keep in mind Osweiler had a better supporting cast and a dominant defense to back him up. Had the Skins not signed Cousins to the franchise tag, Denver or Dallas would have signed him. Denver only needs a QB to get back to the Super Bowl. Dallas does not have a successor to Romo and well, you see what happened last year without him.

        If they somehow screw this up and lose Kirk, then your stuck with Mark Sanchez or Brian Fitzpatrick or Nick Files. By, by successful seasons. Back to the drawing board.

        • Trey Gregory - Jun 17, 2016 at 3:08 AM

          Some pretty good points John. I only disagree that about starting all of 2014 but that’s another discussion.

          We’re all fans of this team so I think sometimes we don’t keep in perspective just how bad the overall team was. Truly, this roster was pathetic for years before McCloughan came. You can point to a couple good receivers and say Cousins had a supporting cast but the overall team was horrible. It’s not fantasy football. The special teams and defense were particularly and. There’s no way Russell Wilson had as much success if Washington drafted him in 2012. It makes what RG3 and Cousins did with this team even more impressive.

          But you’re right, Cousins always looked great. He just had int problems, like most young QBs. He looked so much better once he got some time under his belt thought

      • bangkokben - Jun 17, 2016 at 12:18 PM

        Ken, it seems like you sparked a great conversation yesterday. Suffice it to say, your math is off — just a bit — and mine has to do with the reality of moving forward. $660K (2015 cap hit) + $19.55M (2016) +$24M (2017) = approximately $14 and 3/4 million per year over three years. That’s an astronomical amount to figure out what you have. Furthermore it’s $44 million over two years guaranteed BEFORE locking your QB down. That $44M, which you seem willing to pay, could just as well be used as the guaranteed money of a long-term deal AND for the same purposes — FIGURING OUT what you’ve got. If you don’t like what you see, you pull the rip cord spreading the $44 million over four or five years instead of three years. IF YOU DO LIKE what you have in Cousins, you now have smaller QB cap hits for EVERY year beginning in 2016.

        This is the kind of “no brainer” decision the team made last year in picking up the option on Griffin EXCEPT the probability of success is greater in this situation. (More offensive weapons, a coach and team confident in the qb, an overall stronger team, and one more season removed from utter stinkitude.)

  6. John - Jun 16, 2016 at 12:33 PM

    My sense is the team and Cousins are not that far apart. The team must realize what the going rate is for a starter. Like it or not $20 muh-million a year is what it is. Scott and Bruce realize this. If they think they can wait and see, they will just have to pay more. Based on the other contracts, they can’t sit and wait. That and the “elite” QBs are getting up in age, so the demand for someone like Kirk goes up.

    I wold say that they are not far apart on overall dollars, just on length of term and “exit ramps”. From what Kirk said, he wants stability and the team wants flexibility. The agent could also be an issue. If he gets Kirk a big deal, then he could be seen as the next Leigh Steinberg, “QB agent”. If he let’s his ego get in the way, that could be a sticking point.

    Good thing is they have a couple weeks to get this thing squared away.

    • Trey Gregory - Jun 16, 2016 at 3:52 PM

      I agree with most of what you said. But you get the sense the team and Cousins are close based on what? Do you spend a lot of time around the front office?

      • John - Jun 16, 2016 at 5:23 PM

        Not exactly. Based on what has occurred with the other signings (Osweiler – big bucks for 7 games, Bradford – perpetually injured and big bucks) and what the going rate is, trying to sign him for $10-$15 million a year won’t happen, unless your talking the annual guaranteed amount.

        Scott and Jay have made it clear that Kirk is the guy. He has always shown he can do it. They have always moved the ball consistently when hes been in there. A lot more TDs than FGs. Some inconsistency in 2013 and 2014, but the kid like any other young QB needed to take some lumps. Folks made to big a deal about the INTs. When all is said and done, he’s somewhere between Brees and Theismann. Not bad company if you ask me.

        There have been plenty of other things going on (league meetings, draft, other signings, cuts to clear room, etc.,) to allow this to come together. Now they have a couple weeks to hammer out an agreement and they always seem to come together on the last possible day.

        Of course they could screw around, let him play on the tag and face the prospect of having to pay even more next year. Signing him now, is a hedge against inflation.

        • Trey Gregory - Jun 16, 2016 at 7:35 PM

          I want him signed too. And I agree that the price is high. You don’t have to convince me of it. We’re basically on the exact same page.

          But I also wouldn’t have thought they would mess around and make their initial offer $10 mil a year. So who knows what’s going on with these guys? I just wanted to know if you came to that conclusion based off information the rest of us didn’t have. Archives

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