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NTK: The Redskins week that was—Moss’ top five, final word on Cousins contract

Jul 23, 2016, 3:54 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, July 23, five days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.


—The Redskins last played a game 195 days ago. It will be 51 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Preseason opener @ Falcons 19; Final roster cut 42; Cowboys @ Redskins 57

The Redskins week that was

NTK: Redskins face a numbers crunch at cornerback—We’re not talking about the team facing the prospect of releasing Pro Bowl corners or anything like that. But after the additions of Josh Norman and Kendall Fuller will push some corners that the team would like to develop off of the 53-man roster. They also like veteran Greg Toler but his prospects look dim; they signed him as a free agent before Norman and Fuller came on board.

Moss ranks top 5 QBs he played with in D.C.—Santana really liked playing with No. 8. No, not the one who will be behind center this year. And not Rex. The other QB he played with who wore No. 8.

Amerson blames video games for struggles with Redskins—My first reaction when I saw this headline was wondering when they put video games in the clubs in downtown DC. Seriously, good for David Amerson. You could see the talent he had but it just wasn’t coming out on the field. Perhaps the Redskins gave up on him too soon but it seems like he needed the jolt of getting cut for him to change his ways and get something out of his abilities.

Was Cousins asking for too much?—Yes, the Redskins best offer of $16 million per year with $24 million guaranteed was not a deal that he ever was going to sign. But his $22 million demand was way out of whack for a quarterback with one year as a starter under his belt. So if both sides have positions that are not in touch with reality and neither shows a willingness to move towards the middle in an effort to reach a deal is anyone being unreasonable? Both sides were perfectly happy to have Cousins play 2016 on the tag and that is what happened.

NTK: The Redskins’ top five offseason moves—The organization indicated that nobody was going to be content with a one and done playoff appearance. They backed up the talk with some bold moves (and non-moves) in the offseason.

In case you missed it 

  1. redskins12thman - Jul 23, 2016 at 6:01 AM

    I’m guessing that credit must go to Dunbar and Phillips who continue to demonstrate that they are solid CB options, with plenty of upside. Carrington, Cooper and Harris are pushing too and if they don’t unseat someone, the first two at least are prime practice squad competitors (not sure about Harris’ eligibility). With the additions of Norman and Fuller, in addition to the play of the other CBs, Toler is in a difficult position. With the Redskins’ needs to upgrade competition at defensive tackle, defensive end, safety, center and left guard, Fuller must have been viewed as too good a talent to pass up.

    There is a numbers crunch at tight end and inside linebacker too.

    It’s too bad the Redskins did not find a way to reach Amerson before it was too late or in a way to at least get a draft pick in return. I really like how Smith responded the second half of his rookie year and how Moses responded his second season.

    From an off-season perspective, the Redskins feel as if they have the offensive line talent to do what the teams needs to do, whereas the team struggled in the ground game when Lichtensteiger and Lauvao were out, and some of the fan base remains skeptical. Regarding the d-line, the team converted Murphy, picked up Reyes and Hood, and drafted Ioannidis (but passed earlier on such players as A’Shawn Robinson. Jarred Reed and Robert Nkemdiche because Doctson was too good a talent to pass up). This is another area where the Redskins feel as if they have made the moves to improve on pressuring the quarterback and stopping the run, but after losing Pot Roast and Hatcher as well, some of the fan base is unsure whether the needed upgrade has occurred. As far as starting safety depth, I would have liked if the Redskins pursued George Iloka, but David Bruton may indeed be a terrific pick-up.

    McCloughan’s moves to date have been so good, most fans, like myself, believe in him; hIs emphasis on the draft is so refreshing and I hope he stays here for a very long time.

    Would Cousins have taken less than $22m (first I heard about amount he sought) if he had been guaranteed more money? $22m is what Aaron Rodgers earns and is third highest in the league. This just goes to show you that Cousins has all the leverage in the negotiations, not the Redskins.

    • abanig - Jul 23, 2016 at 4:42 PM

      100% agree, awesome post Redskins12thman

  2. Skulb - Jul 23, 2016 at 7:24 AM

    Somehow I have a feeling that this will be the first of many final words on the Cousins contract.

    • colorofmyskinz - Jul 23, 2016 at 7:56 AM

      Exactly my point about unneeded drama that could have been resolved with meaningful negotiations and a contract prior to the 15th. Let’s face it. There is 0.000001% chance he digresses from last years performance with the improvements they have made at receiver, line, offseason work in the number one position, and TE – 0.000001% he does worse this year.

      We will never stop hearing about the contract until 7/15/2017. And my reason for saying sign him now when you can get him $5M per year less. There is no freaking way he will be less expensive next year – NO FREAKING WAY AT ALL.

      We signed up for constant discussion throughout the season on his contract, drama, and a more expensive contract next year. I will bet anyone that he is going to get paid mounds more than $16 per year and $24 guaranteed next year. I would take that bet at any amount. So if that is the case, what was truly the purpose of no meaningful dialog???

      For heaven sake, how many one year breakout players got huge contracts? Well Reed and Norman for starters. This was the first year reed proved he could stay on the field for most the season and this was Normans first breakout year as well.

      There is no chance in this world we get cousins next year for less than he is getting paid this year on average. NONE.

      • Skulb - Jul 23, 2016 at 9:31 AM

        I think you’re forgetting the chance of a serious injury in your estimate, but otherwise I agree. Maybe there’s a 10% chance of regression/inactivity if we add that to the discussion. But even then those are not odds you bet on in a situation like this in my view.
        Of course I was banging the drum last August to get him tied down to a short termer, just in case he played well or we were undecided after the 16 season. All chance of anything like that happening disappeared in the second half of the Bucs game obviously. But what the thinking was with having a starting QB not locked down in any way for the following season I’ll never know. This should have happened the day Gruden announced him as the starter.
        “Look Kirk, we want you here next year so we have more time to evaluate. Will you sign a 16 million dollar extension with us right away please?”
        I still say he would have signed that deal last August. it would have been a huge pay raise and a financial guarantee in case he underperformed or got benched in 16. And the Skins would have gotten twice as many games to evaluate him on. Win win!> but don;t listen to me in the FO. We wouldn’t want a season to go by without some dysfunction. People might not recognize us.

      • mattphillipsdc - Jul 23, 2016 at 11:30 AM

        I agree 100%.

  3. colorofmyskinz - Jul 23, 2016 at 8:10 AM

    Is there anyone here that thinks cousins will be getting a contract next year for less than $18M per year with less than $40 M guaranteed? Regardless of team? If your answer is no, then what was accomplished by never changing our original offer of $16 and $24???? No meaningful dialog… On 7/15/2017 the news will be about how much we could have saved had we entered into to meaningful dialog prior to 7/15/2016… MARK MY WORDS.

    • redskins12thman - Jul 23, 2016 at 8:35 AM

      There’s no evidence yet that Cousins was willing to go below $22m per year, but it is perplexing that there was no meaningful dialogue between both sides; if the Redskins were told that Cousins would settle for nothing under $22m per year on a LT contract that could explain it.

  4. Jimmy kubas - Jul 23, 2016 at 8:31 AM

    Maybe. Just maybe they don’t care about paying more as long as they know he’s their guy after this year.I would have made the deal this year personally.

  5. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jul 23, 2016 at 9:32 AM

    The Amerson story is damned annoying.

    • bangkokben - Jul 23, 2016 at 11:05 AM

      Several things can be learned from the story.

      Talent without work ethic equals disappointment for the player and organization. Seldom does the youngest player in the draft pan out for the team drafting him.

      Talent + wake-up call + second chance + work = a nice payday.

      Anyone thinking the Redskins just needed to give the man more time isn’t looking at the whole picture. He needed the reality check. He was systematically targeted as soon as he got on the field against Miami resulting in a touchdown. He was last on the depth chart and not putting in the effort on special teams. He fell behind Culliver, Hall, Breeland, Justin Rogers and Deshazor Everette. He was cut less than a week after the signing of Will Blackmon. Blackmon, Everette, and Hall have all moved to safety. Culliver was released this season after his serious knee injury and is meeting with the Cardinals for a spot. Rogers was injured put on IR and then released. He remains a free agent. Only Breeland remains as a corner with the team.

      So what can we learn from it? Despite all the above, the team is better situated at corner this year than any year in recent memory. Change can happen quickly and for the better if your resources align with the talent available.

      Although, the team is better situated it wasn’t without cost. The cost of cutting Culliver and signing Norman will count $9,250,000 against the cap this year and $22,500,000 against the cap next year. David Amerson will cost the Raiders considerably less. A third round draft choice on Fuller wouldn’t have been necessary had Amerson had his revival in burgundy and gold.

      HOWEVER, the moral of the story is that mistakes don’t need to cripple a franchise. Whether that be missing out on a high draft pick or making a bad signing it’s just part of the process. Seattle signed Matt Flynn and then went to two Super Bowls in the next three years.

      In the past Vinny Cerato had no wins for all his losses and every mistake compounded the problem. Pushing money into the following years for players not likely to be on the team, trading away draft picks so that higher priced labor had to be signed for depth. That is no longer what the organization is doing so a few mistakes can be afforded along the way. That includes not saving money on a long-term deal now on a quarterback who may or may not be the best since #7.

    • John - Jul 24, 2016 at 10:17 AM

      Obviously playing Sega or Call of Duty until 3am was more important than football while he was in DC.

  6. kenlinkins - Jul 23, 2016 at 9:33 AM

    Rich, Thanks for the insight on the Cousins deal. IMO it was just liked you said, business. The Redskins and Cousins both knew that paying him $20 million in 2016 was not going to hurt anyone’s feelings. The Redskins GM placed a value on him as did Cousins agent. Due to the very rare position Cousin’s found himself in with $20 million for one year all but in his pocket, the other contracts that were signed, and knowing there was $24 million more only a year away if he did nothing. it just didn’t make sense to move off his number. The Redskins GM placed his value and didn’t allow anything else happening in the NFL to change his mind. Both very good business moves. “After both sides have clearly stated their position, the next person to speak loses”. So we will wait and see what happens in 2016 and come back to the table and maybe see a repeat of 2016 (i.e. the Redskins tag Cousins and then we see if one side or the other speaks first.) as nothing much will change from today.

    • bangkokben - Jul 23, 2016 at 11:17 AM

      A repeat of the tag seems like an unnecessary step. The Redskins will have two full years to see Cousins as the starter in the same system, the Redskins can talk contract terms all season, the Redskins will have from the end of the season until the beginning of March to sign Cousins to a long’term deal, the tag would be the 2nd highest average per year cap hit of any QB and third highest for the 2017 season, the tag would lock $24 million of the $40 million plus in cap space until a deal would get done limiting the Redskins ability to resign any of their own unsigned free agents as well as any targets for 2017, AND it usually produces acrimony with star players.

      Other than that, we’re on the same page.

  7. dcfaninecuador - Jul 23, 2016 at 12:19 PM

    I believe there is absolutely no chance KC is tagged again. In my very humble opinion, One of two things will happen:
    A. He will continue his improved play with a full year and preparation under his belt and will sign a long-term, expensive contract but worth every penny.
    2. He will fall on his face, and sign an overpriced deal with someone else.

    Personally, I think he will succeed this year and be the skins franchise QB for many years to come.

    • colorofmyskinz - Jul 23, 2016 at 1:12 PM

      Agreed. Option A is almost a given.

    • redskins12thman - Jul 23, 2016 at 1:32 PM

      I agree with you; his tag would cost just short of $24 million, but it would be a shame to lose Cousins and not secure two draft picks in return for losing Cousins. Hopefully there is more negotiations between the two sides in early 2017 and Cousins signs a long-term deal with the Redskins. Archives

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