Redskins to Place the Franchise Tag on QB Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins

It sounds like the Redskins will have their quarterback in place after all, as the team is going to franchise QB Kirk Cousins in advance to today’s deadline, this according to Grant Paulsen of 106.7 The Fan.

Talks between Cousins and the Skins broke down recently, but that’s not going to stop the team from making sure they don’t lose the quarterback.

Last season was a breakout one for Cousins, as Washington went 9-7, and the QB threw for 4,166 yards with an impressive 29 touchdowns and just 11 picks.

The non-exclusive franchise tag for quarterbacks is worth $19.953MM.

GM McCloughan Says He Met With Kirk Cousins’ Agent at the Combine

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Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan said he met Kirk Cousins‘ agent at the scouting combine as well as with the free agent quarterback last week, reiterating a desire to reach a long-term deal, John Keim of ESPN.com reports.

Earlier Wednesday, coach Jay Gruden said he feels “pretty good” that the team will agree to a deal with Cousins after the way the quarterback turned the page on the Robert Griffin III era last season.

McCloughan said it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that they would have to apply the franchise tag on Cousins by the March 1 deadline. McCloughan said the preference is completing a long-term deal to provide flexibility and more money for other contracts.

“It’s an option we have, but I’d rather get a long-term deal done and not have to worry about the tag,” McCloughan said. “I had a good conversation with [Cousins] last week in my office. He’s a quality guy. He wants to be a Redskin and knows the players, he knows he’s respected. The coaching staff respects him and he respects them. That’s very important in this business.”

McCloughan has a long-time relationship with Cousins’ agent, Mike McCartney. McCloughan said they have continued to talk, though the sides had reached an impasse.

“There are conversations going on every day,” McCloughan said. “I know [Cousins] respects the Redskins quite a bit and I know he wants to be here. … I’ve been through this many times and it takes a little time. It’s not something you do overnight.”

Bruce Allen Says RG III Won’t Be Back with the Redskins in 2016

Redskins President Bruce Allen said today what everyone already knew, that being quarterback Robert Griffin III won’t be back with the team in 2016.

The move doesn’t come as a surprise after the 2015 season ended and the relationship between Griffin and the Redskins over the last year.

Here’s the comments from Allen as reported by ESPN:

“I see Robert getting an opportunity with another team,” Allen said. “We’ve heard from some teams that are interested. I think he’s going to have a choice of a couple teams that will let him excel in the future.”

The Redskins have been able to release Griffin since Feb. 8, the day after the Super Bowl. They can release him any time until 4 p.m. March 9, when the new league year begins. If Griffin were still on the roster at that point, his 2016 option would kick in and he would count $16.155 million against the salary cap.

The end of the RG III era with the Redskins comes after he led the team to the postseason in his rookie season, and then by his final year he sat and watched as Kirk Cousins led the team to the postseason.

He’ll find some team to pay him in 2016, it just depends on which one and how much and the type of opportunity.

Report: Talks Between Redskins and QB Cousins Break Off

Kirk Cousins

The Redskins and quarterback Kirk Cousins are at a fragile point in their relationship, as today Adam Schefter of ESPN reports via Twitter that talks between team and QB have broken off, and there’s no further talks set.

It’s interesting to see what Cousins thinks he’s worth after leading the team to a NFC East title this past season, and also what the Redskins are willing to pay him.

Redskins President Bruce Allen Feels a Deal with QB Cousins Will Get Done

In an interview that touched on a host of pressing offseason issues, Redskins President Bruce Allen told ESPN980 Wednesday that he expected the ongoing contract talks with quarterback Kirk Cousins would “work itself out,” Liz Clarke of the Washington Post reports.

“Kirk wants to be a Washington Redskin, and we want Kirk to be a Redskin,” Allen said, confirming that contract talks with Cousins’s agent are under way. “It’ll work itself out.”

Speaking to radio host and former Redskins tight end Chris Cooley from the site of Sunday’s Super Bowl, Allen also said that he expected quarterback Robert Griffin III, once the face of the franchise who was demoted to third string on the eve of the 2015 season, would get an opportunity to place elsewhere and, depending what he did with the opportunity, could reclaim the magic of his rookie season.

“I think he’s going to get an opportunity,” Allen said. “It’s what he does with it.”

Redskins at Cowboys NFL Week 17 Inactives

Redskins inactives: Robert Griffin III, Matt Jones, Dashon Goldson, Quinton Dunbar, Perry Riley, Trent Williams, Jason Hatcher

Cowboys inactives: Jameill Showers, Vince Mayle, Rodney Smith, Chaz Green, La’el Collins, Morris Claiborne, Sean Lee

Redskins Ink Former Cowboys RB Christine Michael

The Redskins announced today they have signed running back Christine Michael to their practice squad.

In a corresponding move, the team has released practice squad running back Mack Brown.

Michael played collegiately at Texas A&M, where he rushed for 2,791 yards and 34 touchdowns while also catching 44 passes for 323 yards with an additional receiving touchdown during the course of 40 appearances.

His 34 rushing touchdowns were tied for the fifth-most in school history.

The 5-foot-10, 221 pounder was selected by the Seahawks with the 62nd overall pick in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

He would appear in four games as a rookie, recording 18 carries for 79 yards.

During the 2014 season, Michael played in 10 games, recording 34 carries for 175 yards. In Week 10 against the New York Giants, Michael ran for a career-high 71 yards on just four carries.

On Sept. 6, 2015, Michael was traded to the Dallas Cowboys.

After being inactive for the first three games of the season, Michael got his first action with the Cowboys in Week 4 against the New Orleans Saints.

Redskins Roll with Big Game from Cousins to Beat Saints 47-14

Led by a huge day by quarterback Kirk Cousins, the Redskins laid a stomping Sunday of the New Orleans Saints at home, winning easily 47-14.

How good was Cousins? Try 20 for 25 for 324 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. Good enough for a perfect 158.3 passer rating. He led the team to their fourth win against five losses.

”I’m getting better as a quarterback,” said Cousins. ”When you’re in the zone and things are going really well, you’re just playing and your mind is free and you’re not allowing things to inhibit your play.”

Cousins hit big plays all day, hitting for scores of 78 yards to running back Matt Jones, 16 and 8 yards to tight end Jordan Reed, and 11 yards to receiver Jamison Crowder.

”Kirk’s going to take his lumps, man, but he’s going to keep grinding and you can see the results starting to pay off,” Redskins coach Jay Gruden said.

The Redskins piled it on, leading 37-14 at the end of the third quarter, then tacked on more points 42 seconds into the fourth on safety Dashon Goldson’s 35-yard TD return of an interception of Saints QB Drew Brees.

Brees was 19 for 28 for 201 yards, two first-half TD passes to Brandin Cooks and two fourth-quarter interceptions. The Saints fall to 4-6 on the year.

Alfred Morris had his best game of the season, rushing for 92 yards on 15 carries to give some support to Cousins and the Redskins passing game.

The Redskins first series covered 96 yards in 10 plays, the team’s longest drive in 15 years. It included an early 42-yard pass to DeSean Jackson, then ended with Cousins’ 16-yarder to Reed.

”I see his confidence growing each week,” Reed said about Cousins. ”I feel like he’s putting in hard work and that’s given him confidence to know that he’s going to go perform on the field.”

The schedule gets tougher for the Redskins, who take on the undefeated Panthers next week on the road.