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NFL 2016: Washington Redskins May Transition Kirk Cousins and Other Notes

The Washington Redskins are still trying to make sure Kirk Cousins is behind center when the team opens the 2016 NFL season. While Cousins’ agent and team management have discussed a new contract for their incumbent starter, NFL.com is reporting the team may use a transition tag to keep him in a Redskins uniform this coming season.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday that the Redskins are considering the use of the transition tag on the quarterback, according to sources informed of their thinking.

Additionally, Rapoport added the Redskins are “keeping all options open” on the matter. The team has not ruled out tagging and trading Cousins, according to sources.

The Redskins have announced that Robert Griffin III would not be back in the capital city this year, which makes it that much more vital to keep Cousins in town. The transition tag would give team owner Dan Snyder more flexibility in working out a new deal for the future.

According to the story online, the transition tag is a one-year tender offer that is the average of the top 10 salaries at the position. It guarantees the original club the right of first refusal to match any offer the player may receive from another team.

Another option would be to use the “franchise tag” on Cousins, but the cost might be greater. The franchise tag would act as a one-year tender offer for no less than the average of the top five salaries at the player’s position, or 120 percent of the player’s previous salary, whichever is greater.

Most crucially, the exclusive franchise tag gives the team all negotiating rights to the player. The deadline for applying the tag is March 1.

Either way, Cousins stands to make a significant amount of money in his new contract. He could also opt out and become a free agent if neither tag is used and the two sides cannot come to an agreement.

GASE BECOMING A PLAYER’S COACH

The one thing that might set Miami Dolphins new coach Adam Gase apart from his predecessor, Joe Philbin, is his connection to players in the locker room. So far, Gase has made it a point to speak to every player on the roster and appears to be more communicative since being hired in January. It’s still early in the get-to-know-you phase, but it seems to be working in Miami.

Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald wrote about Gase’s connection with the team from his notes at the Scouting Combine.

“The only thing I can do right now is talk to them, and I just let them know what I’m about and what I’m looking for and basically I give those guys a chance to tell me what they’re about,” Gase said Wednesday.

This is Gase’s first head coaching job in the NFL. He served as the offensive coordinator both in Denver and then Chicago before being offered the top job by Dolphins brass.

OKUNG WANTS TO RETURN TO SEATTLE

The world out of Seattle is there is a distinct possibility that starting left tackle Russell Okung could play for the team again in 2016. Okung is set to become a free agent. March 9.

As ESPN.com’s Sheil Kapadia reports, “it’s been a busy offseason for Okung. He had surgery after sustaining a shoulder injury in the team’s divisional round playoff game against the Carolina Panthers. He’s developed a program to help youth in the community he’s called home for the last six years. And in a few weeks, he will hear pitches from teams as he represents himself without an agent in free agency.”

Seattle wants its starting left tackle to remain with the team and help protect Russell Wilson’s blind side.

Okung said he wants to stay with the team, adding he is a “fixture” with the team and is the place where he owns a home and wants to be for the rest of his life.

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