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Looks Like Someone Has a Sixpack of the Mondays

As the draft looms, Redskins fans assess the offseason to date and wonder if the the biggest addition will arrive in free agency or the draft.

Washington Redskins v Chicago Bears Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images
  1. Like most Redskins fans, I spend more time than I should wondering just how much winning my favorite team has done off the field. You is supposed to be something we do. Perhaps the most generous grade I could give the team at this point in the offseason is “Incomplete.” We have been here before, though the road to “incomplete” in the past has rarely been as bumpy and chaotic—which is quite a statement. For all the disastrophes we have had front row seats for over the last 20 years, the rocky nature of this offseason hits harder for some reason. I think it is because we all kind of saw the franchise as a steadily improving, somewhat stable organization on the cusp of making some serious noise. While none of us are strangers to front-office shakeup, rocking a boat that seems to have achieved some measure of smooth sailing strikes most of us as...frustrating. As far as grades are concerned at this point, “Incomplete” is as generous as it gets.
  2. Before I move on to other areas, I want to make sure I keep repeating the one thing that has me excited about the upcoming season: we have a quarterback. I understand the circus surrounding Kirk Cousins and the Redskins with regard to his contract, but that didn’t seem to impede his performance last season. I still believe Kirk Cousins is the kind of quarterback you expect to be able to win at least eight games with—even without DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon. If we got our answer to what Kirk’s year would look like when he was playing for the chance to make $24 million on his next deal, wait until you see how well he plays with a $35 million deal hanging in the balance!
  3. Clearly, a multi-year deal with Kirk Cousins would go a LONG way towards stabilizing the ship. If we were to wake up to that news tomorrow, Redskins fans might very well dust off a spot in that offseason trophy case we keep at the ready. On that was Chick Hernandez that reported Kirk Cousins was not going to sign a long termn deal with the Redskins as long as Bruce Allen was team president just three weeks ago. You can make up your own mind on whether you believe that is true or not. I find myself believing that to be more true than not, though I find it hard to imagine Kirk would turn down a “highest paid player in the league” kind of offer from Bruce. To date, Bruce Allen hasn’t channeled his inner-Robert Redford and gone all “Indecent Proposal” on Kirk. I am not sure that he will. One thing Bruce has done is he has started saying things like the following: “We have Kirk this year with an option on the next year.” I call this “Operation: Freak Kirk the F Out.” If you think for one second that Kirk is biding his time in Washington waiting for the chance to jump, this kind of wording out of Bruce has to scare him. Simply acknowledging the possibility of a third tag is preposterous to many who think paying a guy $35 million is the dumbest move imaginable. Enter Dan Snyder. I COMPLETELY think the Redskins will tag Kirk a third time. The issue to me is that if Bruce is bluffing about tagging Kirk a third time, he is also saying that Kirk is in line for $59 million in guaranteed money over the next two seasons—from Washington. That kind of sets the baseline for any deal the Redskins would hope to get done in the next few months, and I am not aware that this bar has been limbo’ed under yet. Put simply: you can’t threaten publicly to pay someone $59 million and then formally offer him less.
  4. Alright...we can check the Kirk box today. On to the good news most Redskins fans have been waiting weeks to hear: Pro Bowl linebacker Zach Brown will visit the Redskins. As much as fans love Mason Foster and Will Compton, the fact of the matter remains that the team could upgrade those spot or spots in free agency or the draft. Zach Brown would be the splashiest signing of the offseason, and would very well be the first meaningful upgrade in free agency for the Redskins. You all know how much I love the idea of Terrelle Pryor catching balls from Kirk this year, but our offense is lower on the priority list when it comes to offseason areas to address. Even with the signings of D.J. Swearinger, Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee, nobody is out there saying the Redskins defense is vastly improved (or even marginally improved, given we have no idea how McClain and McGee are going to pan out as full-timers, and so far many seem to think Su’a Cravens and Swearinger play similar roles). Our inside linebacker play has a ton to do with that. Bottom line: Zach Brown, a speedy inside linebacker coming off a career year, would be a splashy upgrade for this defense and would cause folks to begin readjusting their outlooks.
  5. Should the Redskins get aggressive and make a strong offer for Brown’s services, I think it would signal that the team doesn’t believe Reuben Foster or even Haasan Reddick will be on the board at #17 overall. Perhaps that even partially explains why Brown hasn’t been signed yet by linebacker-needy teams like Washington. If you thought you could draft a Reuben Foster and plug him into your starting lineup, you might not pay up for a 28-year old linebacker looking to cash in. Personally, I don’t think there is even a slight chance Foster is still there when we draft. If anything, his blowup at the combine is convincing people more that he has the proper mindset to play inside linebacker for them. I think the Redskins need to do what they can to get Zach Brown in the fold.
  6. Tomorrow night on The Audible, we are going On the Clock. I’ll be cooking up draft day scenarios and our crack team of Tim Strachan, Kevin Ricca, Steve Shoup and myself will lob buzzer-beating decisions. I would love to incorporate a few story lines suggested below in the comments section, so feel free to concoct some a few draft day dingers. As always, please keep your dingers clean. Thank you.