If the sides can’t find common ground in the next month, would the Redskins simply draft his replacement and allow him to walk as an unrestricted free agent in 2018? Cousins isn’t banking on gaining his freedom next offseason.
“If a team has franchise tagged me two years in a row, it’s because they expect me to play at a high level,” Cousins said. “If we play at a very high level and if we win a Super Bowl next year, I’m pretty confident they’ll tag me and bring me back. If the season goes the way everyone wants it to and hopes it will, then let’s hope I’m getting tagged again. There’s still more of this story to write.”
While he has the size, hands and speed to be a top-shelf receiver, Pryor still must improve his route-running acumen. The questions about Pryor’s continued growth at the position likely left him with fewer suitors on the open market than more experienced players with his athletic skills might have garnered.
Pryor’s stats down the stretch of last season waned as he dealt with a hand injury, but it’s fair to wonder if some teams viewed the struggles as defenses catching up with the new receiver.
Jones skipping OTAs feels like the first step in the third-round pick’s eventual release. Whether the Redskins grant him that discharge now or make him wait remains to be seen.
Given his youth and natural talent, Jones should latch onto another squad once he’s cut loose. If he can’t fix the fumbling problem, however, his second chance won’t last long.
An improving talent, Moses started each game the past two seasons, solidifying Washington’s offensive line opposite All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams. Moses ranked as Pro Football Focus’ No. 17 offensive tackle last season.
With both Moses and Williams locked into contracts through at least 2020, Washington has taken care of its tackle positions for the next several seasons.
Before his tragic two years in D.C., Galette was a talented, troubled pass rusher with the Saints. The 28-year-old hybrid end produced back-to-back double-digit sack seasons in 2013 and 2014 and earned a four-year extension in the process. But during the 2015 offseason, Galette was arrested on domestic violence and battery charges — both of which were eventually dropped — and was dealing with a torn pectoral that potentially needed surgery. The confluence of those scenarios made Galette expendable, and New Orleans released him.
Galette has not played a meaningful down since, but Washington is hopeful that the oft-injured end can put together another dynamic year in 2017 and give the ‘Skins a pass rush they’ve sorely missed the last two seasons.
The strength of the 1991 team was in its depth, boasting eight Pro Bowlers and three Hall of Famers. Washington had a trio of dangerous receivers in Hall of Famer Art Monk, Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders. Monk and Clark each broke 1,000 yards receiving while Sanders scored five touchdowns on 580 yards receiving. The backfield included Byner, as well as Ricky Ervins and Gerald Riggs, who combined to rush for 928 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Washington was a team that Casserly, who was in the building as the assistant GM before taking over as GM in 1989, said was built over a number of years. The resulting product was a mix of veterans and younger talent hungry for success.