Report: QB Kirk Cousins to File a Grievance if Redskins Place Franchise Tag On Him

Current Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins knows all too well that the team has no intentions of playing him as their starter in 2018 after the team’s trade with the Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith.

There’s still rumblings that Cousins could have the franchise tag put on him, but a report from the Washington Post states that Cousins would not take that act lying down, and would file a grievance if in fact that happens.

Here’s the report from the Post.

Cousins will file a grievance through the NFL players’ union if the Redskins stick a franchise tag on him, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The basis for the complaint is simple: Cousins could argue that the organization is violating the terms of the collective bargaining agreement because the team has no intention of engaging in good-faith negotiations on a long-term deal, or having him play under the franchise tag amount of $34.5 million guaranteed in 2018.

Several league sources have characterized the potential act of tagging Cousins as a “spiteful” move, citing the spirit of the franchise tag and the ongoing saga involving both camps. The franchise tag is typically used to buy teams more time so that they can continue contract talks on a possible long-term deal. Players who are tagged have to sign a multiyear contract or extension by 4 p.m. on July 16.

Redskins Gab 2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report: UCLA QB Josh Rosen

Some say that UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen is going to be the top pick in the draft since (per usual) the Browns have the top pick and (per usual) need a quarterback.

But then again they may let him slip, or go with another QB meaning that Rosen, who this last season threw for 3756 yards, 26 touchdowns and 10 picks will be free, and who knows what team could try to move up and draft the 21-year-old from Manhattan Beach, California.

Here’s a look at Rosen and what various places are saying about him.

NFL.com Scouting Report

Overview

One of the top recruits of the 2015 class, Rosen decided to stay close to home to play his ball in Westwood. He was a first-team USA Today All-American as a high school senior, throwing for 3,186 yards and 29 touchdowns while his St. John Bosco squad won the California State Championship. UCLA coaches saw enough of his talent in the spring of 2015 (he graduated from high school one semester early) that they made him the first Bruin freshman opening-weekend starter ever. He won Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and several Freshman All-American honors after setting several school records and completing 60 percent (292-487) of his passes for 3,668 yards and 23 touchdowns (11 interceptions). Despite being only a freshman, he was in command of the offense and used his NFL size and arm to sling the ball all over the field. Rosen’s sophomore season had its peaks (400 passing yards against Arizona State) and valleys (three interceptions vs. Texas A&M), and eventually ended with a season-ending injury to his throwing shoulder after six starts (59.3 completion percentage, 1,915 yards, 10 touchdowns, five interceptions). The surgery to his shoulder was not considered major, so he was throwing effectively in spring 2017 practices. Rosen had the performance of the year in the season’s opening weekend, leading the Bruins in an amazing 45-44 comeback win with 491 passing yards and four touchdowns. He struggled over a four-game stretch at the start of the Pac-12 season, throwing eight of his 10 interceptions on the year. He did earn second-team All-Pac-12 notice, however, by completing 62.6 percent of his passes (283-452), throwing 26 touchdowns, and ranking second in the country with 341.5 passing yards a game (3,756 total). Rosen also suffered two concussions during the year, missing one regular season contest and their bowl game against Kansas State.

Analysis

Strengths Tennis prodigy with impeccable footwork and delivery balance. Plays with excellent coordination between eyes and feet. Gets head around quickly on play-fakes. Has experience under center. Anchors in pocket and doesn’t creep around needlessly. Trusts his protection and doesn’t take eyes of targets when pressure mounts from the edge. Climbs pocket when appropriate. Willing to stand and deliver in face of pressure. Completed 63 percent of his passes when blitzed in 2017. Accuracy totals negatively impacted by 31 receiver drops this year. Holds his water in pocket. Mechanics are terrific. Rarely over-strides and throws with consistently bent front knee. Throwing motion and follow-through are effortless. Extremely confident and intelligent. Throws receivers open. Might be best back shoulder thrower in the game. Shows ability to speed up operation time for move to next level. Very good usage of shoulder fakes and hitches to move defenders or buy additional time for receivers to uncover. Touch passer who can throw feathers when needed.

Weaknesses

Durability is a concern. Carries slight build and has had injury issues dating back to high school. Carries ball low in pocket with slight upward pre-throw hitch. Too casual in pocket set-up. Decision making and post-snap reads are inconsistent. Refuses easy throws at times. Arm talent and strength are below average. May need to make greater effort to drive field and seam throws. Poor career deep ball completion rate. Excess air under ball allows challenges. Lacks gun to challenge safeties with rip throws over the top. Needs better anticipation. Poor mobility. Struggles to elude early pressure. Completed just 42.4 percent of his throws when forced to move. Too much hero ball. Extends plays and takes unnecessary chances rather than throwing it away. Scouts question his passion for football and whether he will be a willing student.

ESPN’s Take on Rosen

2017 stats: 283 of 452 passing (62.6 percent) for 3,756 yards, with 26 touchdowns, 10 interceptions; two rushing touchdowns, three lost fumbles; 67.1 Total QBR (No. 42 in FBS)

Who is this guy, and why should we care?

Rosen caught everyone’s attention with a 3,670-yard freshman season in 2015. NFL scouts love the way he looks in the pocket — his footwork, throwing motion, anticipation and accuracy. After an injury-plagued 2016 season, he rebounded in 2017 with numbers nearly identical to those he put up as a freshman. Injuries set in again, though, and with Chip Kelly and a new coaching staff on the way in, Rosen will enter the draft. He’s enough of a prospect to merit consideration at No. 1 overall.

Kiper’s draft ranking: No. 2 QB and No. 5 overall prospect. From Kiper’s Mock Draft 1.0: “Rosen is the top pure passer in this class. He looked better than Darnold when UCLA and USC played late in the season.”

McShay’s draft ranking: No. 1 QB and No. 1 overall prospect. From McShay’s Top 32: “Rosen is far superior [than Darnold] going through his progressions and has a pretty deep ball. He’s a better QB right now, but that doesn’t mean he will be down the line.”

NJ.com on Rosen

Josh Rosen should be the No. 1 pick in the draft. From a talent, acumen and film perspective, he’s the best in this year’s deep quarterback class.

If the Browns were smart, they’d take him and not look back. But there’s a reason the Browns are the Browns, and Rosen’s personality concerns are real. So as the rumors of Cleveland’s infatuation with Wyoming’s Josh Allen get louder, it seems increasingly likely Rosen won’t be their pick.

The measurables

No concerns with Rosen’s frame. He’s 6-4 and 218. He’ll likely pack on a few more pounds once he gets with an NFL strength and conditioning coach. But he has the height to see over the offensive line, and the weight to withstanding punishment from the defense.

The Stats

Unlike Sam Darnold, Rosen enjoyed his best statistical season this past year. Despite playing on an undermanned UCLA offense, he threw for 3,756 yards with 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He completed a career-high 62.6 percent of his passes, and had a quarterback rating of 147.0.

NFL Draft Diamonds

Overview

Rosen was the best Quarterback on the Bruins roster in the Spring of 2015 and was expected to fill in for 3-year starter Brett Hundley. Rosen would go on to have an impressive 2015 season going 245 pass attempts without an interception. As a freshman, he passed for 3,670 yards, 23 touchdowns, and completed 60 percent of his passes. He would go on to be named Pac-12 Freshman Offensive Player of the year, as well as earning Freshman All American honors. He would injure his shoulder the following year midway through the season as a sophomore and would go on to miss the remainder of the 2016 season. In 2017 he would go on to pass for 3717 yards and 26 touchdowns. The highlight of his 2017 season saw Rosen lead a 35 point comeback against Texas A&M.

Strengths

Rosen has the skill set to be a franchise Quarterback in the NFL. Rosen can be an accurate passer who can make throws in tight coverage and is poised in the pocket. Has a big arm. Throws a tight clean spiral. Has height to see over his offensive line. Has a good quick release on the ball. Can make strong and accurate throws on the run. Will take chances on some plays which can be a big trait in the NFL. Not very mobile but can keep plays alive by moving outside the pocket. Keeps his eyes down field even when under pressure.

Weaknesses

Struggles and hesitates when under pressure. Takes to many risks when under pressure. Is not a very consistent accurate passer. Can avoid pressure but not very quickly and relies too heavily on his offensive line to keep plays alive. Has questionable decision making that has led him to turning the ball over. Rosen needs to improve his vision for the NFL. He Suffered a shoulder injury his sophomore season that required him to miss the remainder of the 2016 season. One of his biggest weaknesses is his poor intangibles as a bad teammate and a leader.

OLB Junior Galette Thinks the Redskins Might Let Him Go

Junior Galette wants more playing time and, after spending the last three seasons in Washington, the outside linebacker is under the impression the Redskins will let him look for that opportunity on the free agent market, Scott Allen of the Washington Post reports.

“I haven’t spoken to them personally,” Galette told 106.7 The Fan’s Danny Rouhier and Craig Hoffman this week. “But speaking to my agent, Drew Rosenhaus … he just basically said they’re pretty much gonna let me test free agency, because I’m pretty sure that if it was the other way around, I think they would have offered me a deal and nothing has been offered. There’s nothing else left for me to believe but they want me to test free agency.”

The Redskins took a chance on Galette during the 2015 offseason, signing him for the league minimum after New Orleans released him because of his off-field troubles, including a domestic violence charge that was later dismissed. Galette’s regular season debut with the Redskins was delayed two years after he suffered season-ending Achilles’ injuries in consecutive summers. After registering 22 sacks over his final two years with the Saints, Galette had three sacks in 16 games for Washington last season.

Galette, 29, told 106.7 The Fan he still has a lot left in the tank and that his sack total last season didn’t tell the entire story of his effectiveness. Rouhier mentioned a recent tweet from NFL.com’s Matt Harmon, who shared the top 12 pass-rushers in 2017 based on pressure rate among players who had at least 200 pass-rush plays. Redskins linebacker Preston Smith, who had eight sacks last season, ranked first at 15.9 percent. Galette ranked third at 15.1 percent. Ryan Kerrigan, who led Washington with 13 sacks, ranked 10th (13.4 percent).

“I consider myself elite,” Galette said. “You look at the numbers, it is what it is. I don’t care what you tell me. I had back-to-back [double-digit sack years] in New Orleans. I think only four players were during that span and I was on pace, had a promising career. I still do, I feel like, but pass rush is so relative. There are so many things and other variables that play into pass rush, so if you just look at my [stats] and it says that I’m top-three in the win percentage and the sacks don’t match, okay, so you look at the tape and you’re like, ‘Wait, how come the sacks don’t match?’ Well, maybe this guy deserves more playing time. If you give me more playing time, that’s how it works. In ’13, I had I think 800 snaps in New Orleans, in ’14 I think I had 750. In both those years, [I had] double-digit sacks. It just is what it is. That’s just how pass-rush goes. You need the opportunities. If I had made all the sacks that I missed — about eight or nine this year — I’d have double-digit sacks, but that’s almost impossible to do. … I feel like as long as you’re disrupting the quarterback, then you show that you’re really effective in just how promising that you are with getting after the quarterback.”

Redskins Safety Su’a Cravens Applies for Reinstatement in the NFL

Redskins safety Su’a Cravens has applied to the NFL for reinstatement off the reserve/left squad list, Kimberley Martin of the Washington Post reports.

It’s another step in a long process back to the field for the 22-year-old, who was placed on the reserve/left squad list in September after he made the surprising announcement that he planned to retire. Though the Redskins initially talked Cravens out of retirement and added him to the exempt/left squad list, it soon became clear that Cravens would not be suiting up in 2017.

In December, his agent issued a statement explaining that Cravens was medically cleared to resume all football activities after dealing with “post-concussion syndrome” and undergoing “targeted treatment and rehabilitation.”

Redskins Gab 2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report: N.C. State DE Bradley Chubb

N.C. State defensive end Bradley Chubb is an impact player who many teams will have their eyes on when the NFL Draft takes center stage this offseason.

Touted as the best defensive player in the draft by many, he’s a talent that could make a huge impact on a team right away depending on where he ends up.

Here’s a look at Chubb and what various places are saying about him.

NFL Draft Diamonds

SCOUTING REPORT: BRADLEY CHUBB, DE. NC STATE

HEIGHT: 6’4”

WEIGHT: 275

PROS: Plays with a very high motor and does not quit on plays. Chubb also plays for 4 quarters and wears down O-lines for 60 minutes. Great team leader and displays an energy that teammates feed off. Displays lots of burst off the edge and can beat offensive lineman with techniques, both inside and out. Uses his hands well to get around the edge and has enough speed to get to mobile quarterbacks. Has really good size and long arms that he uses efficiently to get into the backfield and disrupt plays. He plays the run well and is a dominant presence on the edge against opposing running backs. 190 career tackles, 53 tackles for loss, 25 sacks, and a handful of forced fumbles make Chubb a statistical dream for the draft, and his play on the field backs it up. He should be a first-round prospect come April.

CONS: Has been known to get beat in run blocking and sometimes gets handled at the LOS against the run. His speed and energy also mean that he over-pursues at times and runs past the play. Coaches have asked him to drop into coverage in the past and, while adequate in those situations, his pass coverage is overshadowed by his abilities as a pass rusher. He is also a bit heavy at 275 and will likely need to shed a few pounds once he enters the league.


USA Today Draft Wire

One of the nation’s most dominant and disruptive defenders, Chubb has been a one-man wrecking crew for the Wolfpack, racking up 48 tackles for loss and 20.5 sacks over the past two seasons. Despite opposing offenses scheming to avoid him, Chubb has continued to put up huge numbers and make a seismic impact.

A tailor-made 4-3 defensive end, Chubb is one of the most complete prospects in this year’s draft class. Though there may be more athletic pass-rushers available this year, Chubb’s combination of power, technique and a physical playing style make him this year’s best edge defender.

A Story on NFL.com about Chubb

The scoop: “If you compare him to Derek Barnett, he has similar production but he is a much more explosive athlete. I think he is way ahead of (Boston College’s Harold) Landry as a pro prospect. — AFC scout on N.C. State DE Bradley Chubb

The skinny: I’m not sure why a comparison to the Philadelphia Eagles rookie defensive end was made for Bradley Chubb, but let’s dig in. Chubb (6-foot-4, 275 pounds, per school measurements) is bigger than Barnett (6-3, 259) and I would agree that Chubb is the better athlete. Barnett has better hands. Chubb is faster than Barnett and might be the best pass rusher in the 2018 class. I’m undecided on where I project him, but he will be drafted earlier than where Barnett, the 14th overall pick in 2017, went.

What Walter Football Says on Chubb

“Chubb is a quality defender against the run. He can hold his ground, at times, and has the ability to shed blocks to get in on tackles outside of his gap. However, he could use more strength in his base and needs to get better at shedding blocks that are coming downhill straight at him. That would help him against NFL offensive linemen. Chubb is good at getting upfield to knife through his gap and cause havoc in the backfield. For the passing-driven pro game, Chubb looks like a solid base end who would fit really well in a 4-3 defense. That is what he has played at N.C. State, and he has shown some versatility to move inside and rush as a tackle in obvious passing situations. He could continue that in the NFL. Right now, Chubb looks like a tweener for a 3-4 defense between a five-technique and outside linebacker. At this time of year, one never knows if listed measurements are accurate, and players can change their weight during the process, so that could be subject to change.”

Redskins Gab 2018 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Penn State RB Saquon Barkley

Saquon Barkley is a dynamic player who some have going as early as #1 to the Browns in the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft. Today we give you a look at what this big-time player has to offer wherever he ends up in the draft.

NFL.com Scouting Report by Daniel Jeremiah

What I liked: I’ll do my best to condense my thoughts here. I pretty much like everything about Barkley’s game. He has patience, vision and power as an inside runner. He can step through tackles or drop his shoulder and run through them. He is very quick laterally to avoid defenders in the hole. He has an excellent burst to the perimeter on outside runs. Once he gets the corner, he’s elusive in space and has the speed to go the distance.

He’s very dependable in pass protection. He’s assignment aware and does a nice job squaring up blitzing linebackers to stall their charge. He also has very strong, reliable hands. He can pluck the ball away from his frame and he’s explosive after the catch. He gets rave reviews from teammates and coaches for his tireless work ethic. His weight-room accomplishments have been well noted this offseason.

Where he needs to improve: There aren’t many areas where Barkley needs to improve. There have been a few occasions where he gets “bounce happy” instead of staying inside and taking a 2-3 yard gain. He has some negative plays as a result of his eagerness to hit the homerun. I’d love to see him used in a more diverse way in the passing game. He has the ability to split out and run routes like a receiver, but his opportunities were limited last year. Hopefully that will change this fall.

Biggest takeaway: Barkley is everything you’d want in a modern-day running back. He can run with power, generate explosive runs and contribute on passing downs. As a player, he reminds me a lot of Ezekiel Elliott coming out of Ohio State. I thought Elliott was one of the best pass-protecting college running backs I’d ever evaluated and Barkley is right on that level. Both guys have that ideal blend of size/speed and they are very instinctive football players.

Walter Football’s Take on Barkely going #1 to the Browns

Another Scouting Report on Barkley:

Strengths

Everything? Yeah, just about everything. Before we even get to his game, it’s worth noting that everyone who knows Barkley describes him as high character guy, including current Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead, describing him as “Smart, humble. He’s the rare guy whose humble attitude supersedes his talent.” On the field he is a powerful and explosive runner between the tackles, showing great vision on cut backs and the ability to run through someone if needed. He also has the ability to get outside on sweep plays and is extremely elusive in space. He has good hands and really improved his receiving game in 2017, contributing 54 catches. Add in that he is a great pass protector, something that can keep rookies off the field, and you are looking at one of the most complete running backs to ever enter the draft. Bonus: want to see someone power clean almost twice their body weight?
Weaknesses

There are basically no holes in Barkley’s game. He can get a bit indecisive in the hole at times and try to make too much happen, but those tendencies are due to him being better than everyone on the field. With his graduation to the NFL, I expect those bad habits to go away. He has a little room to improve on his pass catching as he dropped a couple easy balls over the year, but these critiques are splitting hairs.
Grade: A+

Saquon Barkley is a generational type running back. He’s an athletic specimen with a well-rounded game that will make an instant impact for an NFL team. How well he does immediately in the pros will be much more a function of where he lands than his skill set, he can do it all.

Albert Breer for SI saying that ‘Barkley is the Future of the NFL’

The Titans, built sturdy and tough up front, rushed for 195 yards on the vaunted Seahawks defense on Sunday. The Ravens spent the last two offseason getting younger and quicker on defense, and that group kept the Bengals and Browns out of the end zone in Weeks 1 and 2. Then in London, a Jaguars offense reworked this offseason with size in mind ran for 166 yards on them.

This is how the NFL works. Teams spent the last decade building around quarterbacks and receivers, and defenses are now stocked with 220-pound linebackers and 250-pound pass rushers. And now we’re getting the zig to that zag—personnel czars like Jacksonville’s Tom Coughlin and Tennessee’s Jon Robinson capitalized by building jackhammer offenses to run at those defenses, while creating better environments for their young QBs.

“That’s been going on since the 1970s,” said one NFC personnel exec. “It’s not a new trend, it’s the same cycle. New people rise in the football world, history repeats itself.”

Redskins Considering Tagging QB Kirk Cousins to Then Trade Him

In what sets up as an offseason game of chicken that would markedly influence the quarterback market, the Redskins will consider placing their franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins so they can trade him and recoup some of the compensation they are sending to Kansas City for quarterback Alex Smith, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports citing league sources.

Tagging Cousins would prevent him from becoming a true unrestricted free agent, able to sign where he wants once the new league year opens March 14, and could impact how other teams approach free agency and the draft. Without a franchise tag, Cousins would be considered the NFL’s top available free agent, expected to draw interest from Arizona, Denver, the New York Jets and other quarterback-needy teams.

But Washington might want a say in where Cousins winds up, which would enable the Redskins to try to extract compensation in the 2018 draft rather than having him walk away for nothing this year.

However, Cousins still would be able to wield some control of the situation and could force Washington into a challenging if not uncomfortable situation. Washington could not trade him until he signs the franchise tag, and if Cousins wanted, he could delay signing it for weeks or even months, with the Redskins having to count his approximate $34.5 million against their salary cap.

Cousins also could tell any of Washington’s potential trade partners that he is unwilling to sign a long-term deal there, dampening that team’s enthusiasm for surrendering a top draft pick for his services and holding up any potential trade.

If Washington decided to pull the franchise tag to get Cousins’ contract off its salary cap, it would lose the right to recoup a 2019 compensatory draft pick that it would get if Cousins were able to leave right away as a free agent. So tagging Cousins would undoubtedly carry risk.

Former Redskins GM Bobby Beathard Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2018

Former Redskins General Manager Bobby Beathard was bestowed with the NFL’s highest honor on Saturday, as he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame via the contributor category.

Beathard earned his spot in the Hall of Fame via the contributor category after spending nearly four decades in the NFL, including 22 years as an NFL general manager. Beathard was the Redskins GM for 11 years, winning a pair of Super Bowls and making the playoffs five different times. He then spent 11 more years with the San Diego Chargers, making a single Super Bowl (1994) but failing to secure a title. Beathard was also a scout for the Chiefs and the Falcons and a personnel man for the Dolphins when they won a pair of Super Bowls, giving him four rings total in his career.

Beathard spent 11 seasons as the GM of the Redskins before he went on to San Diego in the same position. With the Redskins he helped Washington to a pair of Super Bowl wins.

Beathard’s Redskins accumulated a 105-63 regular season record. The team’s winning percentage of .625 was tops in the NFC and second-best in the NFL.

“Bobby’s illustrious NFL career made him truly deserving of this honor, and the entire Washington Redskins family could not be prouder that the Pro Football Hall of Fame has secured the place in history he so rightly deserves,” said Redskins owner Dan Snyder. “Bobby was the architect of many of our dearest memories as Redskins fans, and the run of dominance he helped build will always hold a special place in our minds and in our hearts. We cherish his contributions to the Washington Redskins, and we are proud tonight to see that his contributions to the game will be forever immortalized in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”

Joining Beathard in the class of 2018 are Randy Moss, Brian Urlacher Terrell Owens, Brian Dawkins, and Ray Lewis, plus senior selections Robert Brazile and Jerry Kramer.

The ceremony for Beathard and the class of 2018 will take place on Saturday, August 4th in Canton, Ohio.