Typically I do the Sunday Daily Slop in this place, but there really isn't many new stories from yesterday or the end of the week in this down time before mini-camp and training camp. So instead I wanted to pose a couple of discussion topics that people can respond to in the comments or post any other stories they want to discuss.
These topics aren't necessarily new, but I thought they were good topics for today:
Are the Redskins doing the right thing in not pushing for a contract extension with Kirk Cousins?
-I know this is talked about constantly, but there is a reason why so many people are talking about it and that is that the decision carries a lot of risk on either side of the coin.
If the Redskins don't extend Cousins and he plays about as good as he played last season (or better) it will cost the Redskins a lot more money in the long run. Right now a 5 year contract extension with Cousins will probably cost between $95-100 million ($19-20 million a year average), with about $40 million in fully guaranteed money. Already the Redskins are paying $19.9 million this year and it's fully guaranteed, so that is around 1/5th the total money, but 1/2 the guaranteed money. The thing is though if Cousins has another strong year, his ask for the next four seasons will not only be above the $19-20 million a year average (especially with the cap continuing to rise), but his guarantee will go up as well. To sign Cousins for an additional 4 years you will probably need to pay $85 million+ and $37-40 million of that in guaranteed money, bringing the 5 year total to $105 million, but $57-60 million of that guaranteed. (this would be the bare minimum)
On the flip side of Cousins struggles this year and you signed him to that 5 year $95-100 million deal, you would begin to regret it right away. It would be tough to get out of that deal until year 4 (year 3 is possible, but still pricey). Now if Cousins is just average, he might be overpriced until the Redskins can cut him, but it's not like they could find a better option outside of trading up to the top of the draft (presuming a premier QB is available), so they may end up overpaying for the production, but it might still be the best QB they can get their hands on.
Will the Redskins be able to cobble together a quality rushing attack?
-Right now the Redskins RB depth chart is one of the worst in the league, and even the "upside" on the roster looks pretty limited. Now it is quite possible that Matt Jones, or maybe Keith Marshall is the long term answer and the Redskins front office is right to have faith in them, but that could be a big risk. The NFC East figures to be more competitive this year so the Redskins probably need more from the running game to win the division again, and it remains to be seen if they have the talent currently on the roster.
They still could add a veteran or someone who gets cut from another team during camp, but right now Matt Jones looks to have little competition in the backfield for a feature role. Chris Thompson is the only other back with any experience and he's at best a 3rd down change of pace back. Even ignoring his injury history he doesn't have the body type or skill set to be an every down back. Beyond him the Redskins have Mack Brown, who was actually in the Florida back-field with Matt Jones in college and was signed to the Redskins practice squad last year, and 7th round rookie Keith Marshall. If Jones struggles with his production or fumbling issues again there is nothing behind him that could take over, and even a committee approach would be dicey. The Redskins have to rely on Matt Jones to be a better runner this year and consistently get tough yards that alluded this offense last season.