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Cousins Signs His Franchise Tender; What Next For QB, Redskins?
Kirk Cousins signed his franchise tender this morning and as ESPN's Adam Schefter put it, the QB is now tradeable.

We'll see if that happens.

Others have reported that Cousins would be willing to play out this year in Washington once he signed his tender (and with good reason).

Remember, the worst possible outcome for Cousins is remaining a Redskin and playing on the one-year franchise tag, which gives him a $23.9 million guaranteed salary for the 2017 season.

Which isn't all that horrible.

As notes, the signing gives Cousins by far the highest base salary in the NFL this season, and it's guaranteed and can't be rescinded by the team. It also means Washington is free to trade Cousins to any other team, although as PFT's Mike Florio explained, as a practical matter Cousins could put the kibosh on any trade because any team trading for by insisting on a long-term contract extension that he would have to agree to.

Also worth noting, now that Cousins has signed the franchise tag two years in a row, he could be franchised again next year. BUT... A third franchise tag would guarantee him $34.5 million salary for 2018. Washington could apply the transition tag on Cousins next year, but that would allow him to freely negotiate with all 31 other teams, and Washington wouldn't be entitled to any compensation if he leaves.

Well played Kirk Cousins. Well played indeed.

But there are issues here from a fantasy perspective. The Redskins have lost both their starting wideouts in free agency with DeSean Jackson now a Buccaneer and Pierre Garcon signing with the 49ers leaving Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson, who missed his entire rookie season with a chronic Achilles issue, as their top wideouts to go with star tight end Jordan Reed, who also has problems remaining in the locked and upright position.

Cleveland's Terrelle Pryor made Washington the first stop on his free agency tour, but left team headquarters without a contract this morning.

Perhaps the ongoing front office issues weren't lost on Pryor. The team fired GM Scot McCloughan Thursday night and leaked word it was due to his drinking, a pretty convenient excuse when dealing with a man who has been open about his past drinking problems. In addition, the Washington Post reported that team officials admitted they would use that reason as an excuse to fire the GM if the need arose. Turns out a power struggle with team president Allen was sufficient cause to break that reason out.

Nice, huh?

Bottom line? Redskins. Dysfunctional front office seems increasingly dysfunctional. Their offensive coordinator, Sean McVay is now in Los Angeles as head coach of the Rams. Their top two wideouts gone in free agency.

And at running back? Head coach Jay Gruden has said it before and he said it again at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis: He likes Rob Kelley, he likes Chris Thompson and Mack Brown, and he still says Matt Jones can develop.

That said ... "When you get a great one, it makes a team different," Gruden told reporters. "And it takes a team from a pretender to an immediate contender. We're all looking for that."

As's John Keim noted, last season, Kelley rushed for 704 yards and six touchdowns, averaging 4.2 yards per carry. Most of his work occurred in the second half of the season when he was the full-time starter.

Thompson, their third-down back, rushed for 356 yards and caught 49 passes for 349 yards. He’s a restricted free agent and the Redskins are expected to eventually tender him an offer sheet, thereby keeping him around. Jones started seven games, rushing for 460 yards and averaging 4.65 yards per carry, before losing his job to Kelley.

“Robert was our starting running back, so of course I feel good about him,” Gruden said. “He’s a big, strong, physical kid. He’s going to get stronger. To throw him into situations we threw him into where he didn’t blink? He had no nerves whatsoever. He’ll get better and better, and he runs hard and with great vision. I like him a lot.”

But they still want to give Jones another chance. He’s big (6-2, 232) and has good speed. He just has to be more consistent with how he runs. Can he? “He can either go in the tank or come in and compete,” Gruden said.

So the Redskins don't feel they have to add more running backs, they just won’t turn down an opportunity if they can.

But best of all? The Redskins have a quarterback. And not everybody does.