Get caught up on Redskins changes: Cousins, Pryor, GM firing & more

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WASHINGTON DC – Winter in the tidal basin had been pretty mild this season—then everyone woke up to a gray, wet Friday with some people seeing snow and freezing rain that felt like hail.

The weather change seems appropriate as Redskins fans watch their favorite team changing in what seems like an instant.

Up until this week (the start of free agency) the Redskins organization had dealt with two major position changes. Fan chatter focused on new offensive and defensive coordinators at the helm and another year of franchise-tagged quarterback Kirk Cousins as the main topics of conversation in a fairly quiet off season.

On Thursday, DeSean Jackson and Chris Baker took their talents to Tampa Bay. Pierre Garcon, who spent five years in DC and last year was a good will ambassador for the Redskins in an aid visit to his home country of Haiti, has packed up and moved on as well. The wide receiver signed with the San Francisco 49ers.

As one report put it, the Redskins became the first franchise to ever lose a pair of 1,000 yard receivers in the same off season.

On Friday, the Redskins got an offensive weapon in the form of Terrelle Pryor. Pryor, 27, is a former college quarterback who converted to wide receiver with the Browns and posted big numbers last year– 77 catches for 1,007 yards and 4 touchdowns. During his NFL combine the second-year pro ran the 40 yard dash in 4.38 seconds.

There are also reports surfacing that the Niners could land Cousins sometime in the future due to his ties to the team’s new head coach (former Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.) On Friday, Cousins signed a contract worth close to $24 million for next season but some people speculate that it’s not what Cousins ultimately wants. Experts don’t believe the Redskins are ready to trade Cousins but it’s an option the team holds. The signing also shows the Redskins are not ready to commit a large, long-term deal for Cousins.

Free agency did bring some positives for the Redskins. The team bolstered its defense by signing Stacy McGee, 27, a 5th year defensive tackle with the Oakland Raiders.  Terrell McLain, 28, had his best year in 2016 with 60 tackles as Dallas Cowboy.

The defensive backfield also received some help through free agency. D.J. Swearinger, 25, comes to DC from the Arizona Cardinals. In four seasons, he’s picked off six passes and forced five fumbles. The Redskins front office believes Swearinger will be a safety next season with fellow South Carolinian Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland likely filing the starting corner spots.

The Redskins front office signed these players amidst a turbulent week in which it cut ties with General Manger Scot McCloughan. The team hasn’t given a reason for his departure. It released a short statement wishing him well and saying the team is still confident in its ability to sign players and prepare for the upcoming NFL draft.

Pretty mild response and optimistic forecast to what some fans could see as stormy weather ahead.

On Friday, the weather put a damper on turnout for a fan-led rally at Redskins Park in Ashburn that hopes to force owner Daniel Snyder to fire team president Bruce Allen. Another rally is set for Saturday.

Fan dissatisfaction over losing the big name receivers is certainly overshadowing the new additions at this point but there’s always the chance of seeing the sun again and putting a bad-stretch of weather behind us.

Redskins fans wait for autographs.

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