We’re back with another edition of the Redskins Mailbag. With the NFL draft approaching, we take a look at how current situations on Washington’s roster could impact plans in the draft, and a few topics in between.
The Kirk Cousins watch continues. His contract status, and how that relates to the draft, leads off the mailbag.
Thanks, as always, for taking part in the Redskins Mailbag, and keep those questions coming! Email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line, “Mailbag question,” and we’ll do it all over again next week.
I read an article today — via CBS — on the subject of Kirk Cousins’s contract. The article essentially argues that the Redskins’ actual deadline is April 27, the draft, not mid-July, because the team would lose all leverage afterward. What’s your take on this? What is the probability that the Redskins take a QB in the draft with Cousins still under contract and Nate Sudfeld in development?
— Yash Balasaria
Anything can happen between now and July 15, but I think the Redskins have to approach the draft as if they’re not going to have Kirk Cousins in 2018. The Redskins really don’t have great leverage now, and they won’t have great leverage after the draft. Cousins feels no pressure to sign a long-term deal right now. He remains in the driver’s seat. The Redskins have to either open the checkbook with a serious offer, or just resign themselves to the fact that Cousins will play out the year on the franchise tag, and then face the strong likelihood that they’ll lose him to free agency next year. Sure, there’s the transition tag option, but that’s pretty risky, because a team that really likes Cousins could simply offer him a deal outside of Washington’s price range and get him without having to give up any compensation.
So, the Redskins should consider using a second- or third-round pick on a quarterback who can be groomed to take over as the starter, or at least compete with Nate Sudfeld, in 2018 once Cousins signs elsewhere. If something changes, and Cousins and the team can work out a contract, then it’s not the worst thing to have a quality backup on your roster for the next four years. Never know when you might need him, or when another team would want to trade for him.
In an unrestricted free agent year, 34 years old, coming off injured reserve, facing certain competition from a draft class deep at his position, the odds are against Kedric Golston. But, he has surprised before. I think he deserves to compete again this season.
Do you think the Redskins will find a spot for Golston on the 90-man roster and let him show what he can do?
— Tom Bragg
It’ll be interesting to see what happens with Golston, who is now a free agent. He’s still rehabilitating from the very bad quadriceps injury that ended his season last year, and he’s close to getting cleared for football activities, I’m told. Then, once that happens, he’s ready to have a talk with the Redskins, or any other team, and hold a workout to show that he’s healthy and still has football left in him. As a career Redskin, Golston, 33, is well respected by team management, and within the locker room, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Golston is offered a contract and opportunity to prove himself during the offseason and training camp. The Redskins have some young talent (Anthony Lanier, A.J. Francis, Joey Mbu, Matt Ioannidis) that they want to develop. Plus, they have free agent additions Stacy McGee and Terrelle McClain, and they’ll have at least a draft pick or two. So, it’ll be crowded. But an opportunity could still be there for Golston during the offseason.
Trying to catch my first Redskins Training Camp this year with the family. Any advice on best days to go, where to stay/eat, etc.?
— Mike Garza, San Antonio’s No. 1 Skins Fan
The Redskins haven’t yet announced the dates for training camp, but around the end of July to second week of August, camp will take place in Richmond. I’d try to go midweek. The crowds will be smaller, and you’ll get a better view. Richmond has lots of hotel options, whether it’s downtown establishments, or places just outside of town that are more extended-stay style.
If you go, you absolutely have to eat to two places, Mama J’s — which has the best soul food around; get the smothered pork chops and the catfish bites with greens and mac and cheese, and the yellow cake with chocolate icing — and Tarrants’ Café; have the chicken and waffles. And, hey, if you have an extra day on the front or back end, you can make the 25-minute drive to Kings Dominion and ride some roller coasters.
Has there been any consideration on more-effective options at left guard? Jahri Evans provides a veteran option for a year or two (with a stable career) and can provide mentorship for Kouandjio, who the coaching staff seems to believe has potential.
— Adam Davis
I think the Redskins are content to go into offseason practices with Shawn Lauvao and Arie Kouandjio as their options at left guard. I’d expect to see competition between the two both there and in training camp. That doesn’t mean the team won’t draft a guard and add him to the mix. But I think center probably is a bigger priority. Even if Spencer Long remains the starter, the Redskins need an additional option so they have improved depth at center.
But back to guard, Lauvao is a good run blocker who struggles when the Redskins pass. Now a year-plus removed from multiple ankle surgeries, we’ll see how he’s moving. Kouandjio did some good things when called on while Lauvao was injured. He still has some work to do to become more consistent, but he does seem to have the potential to develop into a starter.
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