INDIANAPOLIS -- The 2017 NFL Combine kicked off Tuesday morning. The Washington Redskins have been front and center ever since.
Here's a quick rundown of what's been happening and what's to come:
* General manager Scot McCloughan isn't here. That's crazy. Why he's absent from the league's biggest talent evaluation event isn't clear, though a team spokesman told Breaking Burgundy that McCloughan is away from the team dealing with family matters. McCloughan later told multiple outlets including 106.7 The Fan that there had been a death in the family, which led to #RedskinsTwitter unearthing a death notice from early February for his grandmother. The story has taken numerous turns from there, some I'll discuss later. For now I'll just say not everything adds up, but folks better be sure they have good sources when diving into these speculative waters.
* The Kirk Cousins contract negotiations have begun. It doesn't appear much progress has been made, however. The Redskins' initial offer for a long-term deal came in the $20 million range, per the Washington Post. As a reminder, with the franchise tag, Cousins will make $23.94 million in 2017
Redskins head coach Jay Gruden spoke Tuesday and made a key comment about the negotiation.
“Both parties have to come up with something. We can offer him the world, and if he doesn’t want to sign it, he doesn’t have to sign it and we have to do, maybe, a better job. I think it’ll happen, I really do. We’ll wait and see. I’m going to coach the players that are here, and I fully anticipate Kirk being the quarterback.”
This angle cannot be overlooked. That said, Cousins has all the leverage knowing he'll hit free agency in 2018 seeing as third straight franchise tag isn't financially realistic. Washington can still trade their starting quarterback, an option that becomes more likely if a long-term deal cannot be hammered out.
Mike McCartney, Cousins' agent, spoke earlier Thursday about the situation on NFL Network's Good Morning Football.
"The Redskins had let us know how much they value Kirk and how they see him as a franchise quarterback. I do think it was a question of whether they were going to put the exclusive tag or the non-exclusive tag on him. When they put the exclusive tag on him they tried to send a message that, 'Hey, kirk is our guy, we believe in him.' We took that the right way."
* Player availability begins Thursday afternoon with running backs and offensive linemen which means Interviews from Indianapolis.