Daniel in VA– “Will Skins Franchise Kirk for the 3rd time? Does he even want to sign long term?”
B&G Report– I think I’d be a rich man if I knew that answer Daniel, but none the less it’s a valid question. In my humble opinion I don’t think Kirk Cousins wants to be in Washington for multiple reasons. The fact that Kirk never countered the last contract offer, speaks volumes of his desire to sign long term. I understand Redskins Brass lowballed Kirk for the second consecutive year, but I believe there are layers to his issues. I’ve mentioned in previous articles that the Coach-QB relationship isn’t as good as some experts might believe. Kirk likes to mention that he studies the play of future Hall of Famers Brady, Brees , Rodgers etc and always mentions “The Process”. Cousins undoubtedly observes how franchise QB’s have more of a partner relationship with their teams, that’s exactly what I believe Kirk is looking for. Also the disrespect has been well documented. First off team President Bruce Allen is a glorified PR rep, masquerading as the voice for Dan Snyder. I believe Allen is the primary reason why Kirk will not sign long term. Allen simply doesn’t know how to deal with high profile quarterbacks. The primary reason Kirk won’t sign a long term deal is obvious. He has all the leverage and knows he’ll make the most on the one year Franchise/Transition tag. In the end I just don’t see the Redskins franchising Cousins for over $34 mil a year. Offering Cousins a realistic contract also seems unlikely. The transition tag which will cost around $28 million, seems like the possible play in my opinion. In this scenario, the Skins would have an opportunity to match any contract offered to Cousins by other QB needy teams. The problem with this scenario is the Skins risk another team blowing Kirk away with a great offer, that they can’t or won’t match . Redskins brass might be unwilling to match a contract with huge guarantees. They would then lose Kirk and get nothing in return. They had a chance to trade him per multiple reports during the last NFL draft, but they declined. So I believe we’ve seen the last of Cousins, unless the Skins compound their issues by tagging him again. That would entail eating up over 20% of the Skins 2018 salary cap, which seems like a bad move without any long term commitment from the quarterback.
Pete in MD-“What positions do the Skins need to sign in FA & draft?”
B&G Report– First off thanks for your question and hopefully I can provide a bit of clarity. I believe It will be tough to get notable Free Agents, especially if the Kirk contract situation goes south. Free Agents pay close attention how teams treat their own and so do their agents. Unless the Redskins overpay for free agents, they will be among the bottom of the league in regards to desired destinations. Even if Cousins returns, the Skins need more than Colt McCoy as a backup. So if Kirk signs long term, the Skins still should draft a QB in rounds 3-5. If Kirk leaves, first round quarterback it must be. After the quarterback position, the defense requires the most attention. I can envision the Skins signing a few second tier Defensive Lineman, CB’s, LB’s, but I doubt any of them will be household names. The last few drafts have unearthed some real potential (Doctson, Fuller, Morea etc..) Bashaud Breeland is sure to leave in free agency, so a #2 CB will be needed. The Skins already have players they can develop at that position though. Having Kendall Fuller will soften the blow, after Bree departs in FA. The Skins should invest the majority of their draft picks on defense. Hopefully they can also get a few impact defensive free agents as well. As far as offense goes, they are in better shape. Drafting a workhorse RB who can make the big splash plays is a necessity. Kansas City Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt is my prototypical back. I actually had him going to the Skins, in last years mock draft. I like Chris Thompson, but he’s more of a scat/3rd down back. I like Samaje Perine as the second back, but his ability scares nobody at this point and has no breakaway speed. A B&G reader from Twitter, PDC1019@PDC1010 recently mentioned I should evaluate Georgia RB Sony Michel. This kid is dynamic and should be available when the Skins make their selection in round two. I’ll feature Michel as well as other players, in The B&G Report Draft Prospect Spotlight in the coming weeks. After running back, LG seems to be a position of necessity. Left Guard Shawn Lavau’s time in Washington seems to be numbered. I expect his replacement to be found in the mid rounds of the draft. My personal favorite is Notre Dame Guard QuentinNelson, he’s a top 25 prospect at this point in the evaluation process. That is a little too high for the Skins to draft another Guard though. Although Spencer Long could still resign and move back to his old position. I’d be content with that move for now, until another LG is developed. Long previously turned down a contract extension prior to the start of the season, so he might not be an option. That was when he was the starting Center, but Chase Roullier seems to be the future starter now. I also think the Skins need to find a veteran wide receiver in free agency. Drafting another high round WR should not be an option. JoshDoctson has the ability to be great, but needs a true vet receiver to mentor him. A vetran pass catcher needs to have the ability to contribute at least 800 + yards a year, as well as solidify a leadership role amongst the receivers. Miami Dolphins wide receiver JarvisLandry fits the bill and is a free agent. Landry could show Doc how to utilize his athleticism and become a true receiving threat. Landry won’t come cheap though, so he might be priced out of the Skins plans early in free agency. In the end, the draft is the lifeblood of a team and the Skins just need to continue to build.
Jason in SC– “Should the Redskins pursue a QB like Andy Dalton who played for Jay Gruden or sign Alex Smith who offers more athleticism. Of course this only applies if Kirk leaves.”
Well it’s been another awesome Skins Q & A session. I received a bunch of great questions and look forward to continued reader feedback! Stay tuned for the next “Rookie Primer”! HTTR!🏹🏈