Quarterback Kirk Cousins indicated Wednesday that contract talks between him and the Redskins will go down to the July 15 deadline for franchise-tagged players, per JP Finlay of CSN Mid-Atlantic. “Deadlines do deals,” said Cousins, who added that July 15 “will be a telling date, as it was last summer.” Cousins and the team weren’t able to find common ground then, leading him to play last season under the $19.95MM franchise tag. As of now, Cousins is set to make around $24MM as the Redskins’ franchise player in 2017, and that number will climb to $34MM-plus if the club tags him again next offseason. While astronomical, that figure wouldn’t necessarily scare off Washington, according to president Bruce Allen.
After Matt Jones ran for 123 yards in his second NFL game, it seemed like big things were in the running back’s future. Less than two years later, he might be on the outs in D.C. Jones does not appear to be a part of the Redskins’ plans for 2017, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, and he will not take part in the team’s voluntary OTAs.
Jones was a healthy scratch most of last year and the team was said to be shopping him prior to the draft in April. After selecting Oklahoma running back Samaje Perine in the fourth round, the Redskins might not have much of a need for Jones. Washington has Rob Kelley as the projected lead back and Chris Thompson as the pass-catching specialist, so they could round out the RB depth chart with Perine plus Keith Marshall and/or Mack Brown.
It’s not immediately clear whether the Redskins are thinking about cutting Jones outright, but the team and the player have definitely cooled off on each other. If the Redskins can’t find a suitable trade for the 24-year-old, then Jones may become an intriguing waiver wire option for the other 31 teams in the league.
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Redskins team president Bruce Allen said Monday he’s interviewed roughly a dozen candidates for jobs in Washington’s front office, but executives with interest in the Redskins’ general manager position are worried about the level of power they’d have in the team’s decision-making structure, according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link).
Washington may not even hire a formal general manager to replace the fired Scot McCloughan, and one report suggested the club had submitted a front office plan to the NFL that included a restructuring of duties but no new GM. Allen himself pushed back against that notion, but the Redskins could simply choose to promote staffers from within. Doug Williams has been mentioned as a possible candidate to take on an expanded role within Washington’s personnel department, while scout Alex Santos and contract negotiator Eric Schaffer could also be in line for new responsibilities.
If they do opt to hire a GM, though, the Redskins could find a shortage of suitors, per Cole. McCloughan reportedly wasn’t allowed to hire his own scouting team or find his own additional staffers, leaving potential Washington candidates wary of how much control they’d wield. Previous reports have indicated Allen will act as the Redskins’ de facto general manager no matter what other hires the club makes.
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A third consecutive franchise tag for quarterback Kirk Cousins would net him north of $34MM for the 2018 campaign, but that hasn’t dissuaded the Redskins from considering another franchise tender, as JP Finlay of CSNMidAtlantic.com writes.
“Yes,” said Redskins president Bruce Allen when asked if his club could deploy the franchise tag on Cousins next season. “In the collective bargaining agreement, we really have one year and an option that we can do at the end of next season if we don’t get a contract.”
The NFL’s CBA would require Washington to pay Cousins 144% of his 2017 salary if it used the franchise tag for another year. Given that Cousins is scheduled to earn a fully guaranteed ~$24MM during the upcoming campaign, he’d be due almost $34.5MM in 2018 (that figure, too, would be fully guaranteed). If the Redskins opt to go that route, Cousins would have raked in roughly $78.5MM from 2016-2018.
Trade rumors surrounded Cousins throughout the offseason, but now he’s almost assuredly staying put in Washington for the 2017 season. Cousins, 28, has been adamant that he hopes to remain with the Redskins for the long-term, and Allen said Monday the team is optimistic an extension will eventually be hammered out. The two sides have until July 15 to reach a new deal, or else Cousins will play out the year under the franchise tender.
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Redskins president Bruce Allen says the team has maintained a dialogue with Kirk Cousins‘ agent (Twitter link via Josh Keim of ESPN.com). Allen said he remains optimistic they can reach a long-term deal.
The Redskins have been publicly telling everyone that things are pointing in the right direction with Cousins, but it seems like the two sides are still oceans apart on a potential extension. Earlier this year, the Redskins proposed a five-year deal worth $20MM annually, but Cousins rejected that in favor of playing out the season on his one-year, $24MM repeat franchise tender. If the Redskins were to franchise tag him for a third consecutive season, he’d make a whopping $34MM in 2018, so an average annual value of $20MM won’t be enough for him to give up his chance at free agency.
The deadline for franchise tagged players to sign extensions is on July 15th. It’s possible that the deadline will spur action, but if it does not, then the Redskins will have to wait until after the season has concluded to restart talks.
Here’s more out of D.C.:
- Allen said he’s met with a dozen people about a front office job in Washington (Twitter link via Keim). He went on to say that he’d like to add two or three people to the front office in some capacity. The Redskins do not intend to hire a new GM, so it sounds like they’ll simply reorganize the front office with the addition of some new faces. Presumably, it will be Allen and owner Dan Snyder calling the shots.
- Redskins coach Jay Gruden says that wide receiver Josh Doctson will be participating in full during OTAs. The TCU product played in only two games last year thanks to an Achilles injury.
- The Redskins will not be relocating any of their outside linebackers to defensive end before camp starts.
- The Redskins don’t plan to move one of their outside linebackers to defensive end before training camp. The team drafted Ryan Anderson to join a stable of outside ‘backers that includes Ryan Kerrigan, Trent Murphy, Preston Smith and Junior Galette. But none will be tried at 3-4 end, John Keim of ESPN.com reports. Washington may have a crowd here, but it’s not full of reliable players. Murphy will serve a four-game suspension, and Galette hasn’t played since 2014. Free agents Stacy McGee and Terrell McClain preceded Jonathan Allen‘s arrival in what will be a new-look defensive end corps. Washington lost Chris Baker and cut Ricky Jean-Francois this offseason.
- Former Redskins GM Scot McCloughan saw current Washington third-string quarterback Nate Sudfeld as a player who could be a starter after a few development seasons, J.P. Finlay of CSNMidAtlantic.com writes. This will be Year 2 for the 2016 sixth-round pick, who sits behind Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy on the depth chart.
Franchise-tagged quarterback Kirk Cousins has spoken highly of Redskins brass lately, but it remains doubtful that the two sides will agree to a long-term contract by the July 15 deadline, writes Rich Tandler of CSNMidAtlantic.com. Cousins has little incentive to take Washington’s $20MM-per-year offer, observes Tandler, as he’s set to make a fully guaranteed ~$24MM as the team’s franchise player this season and could earn another $34MM in 2018 in the unlikely event it places the franchise tag on him again. Otherwise, Cousins could be in position next offseason to hit free agency and ink a lucrative contract with either the Redskins or someone else.
- Redskins coach Jay Gruden believes that outside linebacker Junior Galette should be able to join the team by the end of July, as Nona Princiotti of The Washington Times writes. “He’s running and lifting, all that stuff right now,” Gruden said. “We’ll probably keep him out of the team stuff for OTAs but hopefully he’ll be full go at training camp.” Galette signed with the Redskins prior to the 2015 season but he has yet to play a down for D.C. The pass rusher tore his left Achilles tendon two summers ago and tore his right Achilles last year.
The Redskins auditioned Josh Norman’s older brother, Marrio Norman, as Nora Princiotti of the Washington Times writes. “Josh has been touting him pretty hard for the last year and a half, so we wanted to give him a shot and give him a look,” head coach Jay Gruden said. “You know, he’s got a skill set. I’ll tell you what, he’s a good player. He’s played in a couple different leagues and runs around out there good.” The elder Norman, who also plays cornerback, last spent time on an NFL roster in 2014 (Baltimore), and also boasts three stints in the Arena Football League.