It’s getting down to crunch time. By March 9 at 4 p.m. ET, each NFL team will have made their decisions on which potential Free Agents they want to re-sign. If they are unable to come to terms with one of their star players, they had the luxury of the franchise or transition tag to retain their rights. It buys some time to work out a long-term deal with the player. And the Washington Redskins did just that. The team put the exclusive franchise designation on quarterback Kirk Cousins. That means none of the other 31 teams can negotiate with the five-year signal-caller. So does that mean the Redskins will try and re-sign another key player to prevent him from hitting the open market?

And who will they allow to walk away? Here’s a hint or two.

Bring him back

Defense has been a four-letter word in the nation’s capital in recent seasons. The Washington Redskins have allowed the fifth-most yards in the NFL each of the past two years. One of the bright spots in 2016 was a pass rush led by Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith and Trent Murphy. Another was veteran defensive end Chris Baker. He’s been the team’s best performer up front the last few years. He’s one of four defensive linemen slated for free agency this year but he’s also the least expendable. New defensive coordinator Greg Manusky is probably hoping to have the veteran performer back in the fold.

Let him go

You kind of get the sense that the Washington Redskins may not be able to afford all of their potential free agents when it comes to pass-catchers.

Wide receivers Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson, and backup tight end Vernon Davis can all hit the open market on the afternoon of March 9. Garcon led the team in receptions while Davis is a nice insurance policy when it comes to oft-injured Jordan Reed. So don’t be shocked if Jackson walks…or runs.

The big-play performer totaled 56 catches for 1,005 yards (17.9 average) and four touchdowns. Could he be headed for a reunion with the Philadelphia Eagles? We shall soon find out.

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