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Can RG3 be the best Redskins QB since Sonny?

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Can RG3 be the best Redskins QB since Sonny?

My friend Rick Snider of the Washington Examiner made some national waves with his column saying that Robert Griffin III would be the Redskins best quarterback since Sonny Jurgensen.Said Gregg Rosenthal on NFL.com, Griffin hasn't faced a single blitz or a live tackling drill. He hasn't even played against a veteran NFL player in practice. But he's already getting placed ahead of Joe Theismann, Billy Kilmer, Doug Williams and, uh, Rex Grossman.Snider may be getting ahead of himself a bit but if you look at the record, Griffin would not have to be an elite quarterback in order to surpass the three signal callers that Rosenthal mentions seriously (the mention of Rex, I think, was in jest). He would just have to be somewhere between good and very good for the duration of a couple of contracts.Kilmer did lead the Redskins to their first Super Bowl and although his passes werent pretty they were often effective. And the Redskins won two thirds of the 74 games he started over eight seasons. He made the Pro Bowl once, after that Super Bowl 1972 season.Theismann was the Redskins starter for eight seasons, from 1978 until he suffered that broken leg at the hands of Lawrence Taylor in the 11th game of the 1985 season. The Redskins were 77-47 (.621 winning percentage) in the games he started. Theismann went to the Pro Bowl twice and was the first-team All-Pro quarterback in 1983. The Redskins went to back to back Super Bowls with Theismann at the helm. They won it all in 1982 and lost to the Raiders the following year.Williams had the great playoff run following the 1987 season, capped by his marvelous MVP performance in the Super Bowl. But other than that stretch, Williams really doesnt have a place on the list of all-time great Redskins quarterbacks. In four years in Washington he started just 14 games and the Redskins were 5-9 in those games.Rosenthal didnt mention Mark Rypien, the Redskins other Super Bowl winning QB. He started 72 games for the team with the Redskins going 45-27 (.625). He made the Pro Bowl twice.Kilmer led the NFL in touchdown passes in 1972. None of the other three led the league in any major statistical category for a season. Jurgensen led the NFL in completion percentage twice, in yards passing five times, and touchdown passes twice.The biggest hurdle that RG3 would have in surpassing the post-Sonny quarterbacks would be in winning games. Although winning is highly dependent on other factors like having a solid defense and a running game, as Griffin himself said, the quarterback gets all the credit when the team wins and all them blame when the lose. Whether that is fair or not that is how he will be judged. To equal the winning percentages that Theismann and Rypien posted, the Redskins wold have to average about a 10-6 record every year. To match Kilmers winning percentage, Washington would have to go 12-4 year in and year out.Theismann was solid in the clutch; the folks at Pro Football Reference give him credit for 19 fourth-quarter comebacks and 24 game-winning drives. Griffin had a number of moments like that while winning the Heisman Trophy at Baylor and he could duplicate them in Washington.Theismann is the Redskins career leader with 25,206 passing yards. The NFL was just entering its pass-happy era during his career. It is easy to see RG3 breaking that record relatively early in his career. If Griffin averages 4,200 passing yards per season, a season that remarkable was Theismanns day but routine now, he would match Theismanns record by the end of his sixth season.And then there are things like playoff appearances, playoff success, and getting to and winning Super Bowls. It would be hard to put Griffin on the proverbial Mount Rushmore of Redskins quarterbacks unless he leads the team to a Super Bowl.

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As money skyrockets, don't expect Kirk Cousins to give discounts on open market

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USA TODAY Sports

As money skyrockets, don't expect Kirk Cousins to give discounts on open market

Kirk Cousins repeatedly said his free agent decision will not be just about money. Be clear, however, that money will be a huge factor in this decision. 

After the Redskins traded with Kansas City to acquire Alex Smith before the Super Bowl, it became obvious Washington will move on from Cousins. Whether that means the quarterback simply walks away in free agency or the organization attempts a highly risky tag-and-trade scenario, regardless, Cousins will throw footballs for another franchise in 2018.

Cousins wants to choose where he will play via free agency, and might even file a grievance if the Redskins do deploy a third franchise tag to control his rights.

Assuming Cousins hits free agency, a new report out of New York suggests the Jets will pay "whatever it takes" to land the passer. That could even include a fully guaranteed contract, and will certainly get close to a $30 million a year price tag. 

A notion exists too that Cousins might take less to go to a winner, and many think that could be the Broncos. Denver won five games in 2017, same as the Jets, though the Broncos have a strong defense and have been getting particularly awful QB play. 

The important thing to remember for curious Redskins fans watching the Cousins saga unfold: Don't expect much, if any, discount. 

The quarterback himself made that clear. 

"There’s other quarterbacks that come after you and it would be almost a selfish move to hurt future quarterbacks who get in a position to have a contract," Cousins said last year on 106.7 the Fan.

The quotes came after the 2016 season but before the Redskins again used a franchise tag with Cousins for the 2017 season. Washington wanted to attempt a long-term deal with Cousins at that point, though the quarterback decided to not negotiate and instead play on the tag.

The point remains that Cousins, and his representatives, believe the quarterback has a duty to other players to maximize his earnings. 

"If you don’t take a deal that’s fair to you, then you’re also taking a deal that’s not fair to them and you’re setting them back as well. So there’s different reasons. You just do the best you can."

If he hits free agency, Cousins will likely sign the richest contract in NFL history. Those opportunities don't come around often, and the quarterback should take full advantage. 

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Need to Know: Could Ty Nsekhe be the Redskins' answer at left guard?

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Need to Know: Could Ty Nsekhe be the Redskins' answer at left guard?

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, February 19, 23 days before NFL free agency starts.

Monday musings

—One possible solution to the left guard spot is perhaps being overlooked. Ty Nsekhe played there some last year, starting the game in Dallas and playing there until Morgan Moses got injured, forcing him to move to right tackle. Nsekhe is slated to be a restricted free agent but his return is likely. In December I asked Jay Gruden if Nsekhe might move to guard in 2018. “I think Ty is a big man and a very good tackle, but in the offseason when we have more time, maybe we can feature him at some guard when we’ve got all our guys back,” he said. “Feature him some” doesn’t mean that they will make him a starter; perhaps they want him to be the top option to fill in at four of the five OL positions. But it’s something to keep an eye on if they don’t land a left guard solution in free agency or the draft.

—When I posted about Albert Breer’s report that Kirk Cousins would file a grievance if the Redskins put the franchise tag on him in an effort to trade him, I pulled up a copy of the CBA to see the language on which Cousins could base his case. I read through the Article 10, which deals with the franchise tag twice and I saw nothing of it. But Mike Florio found it in Article 4, the one that deals with player contracts. “A Club extending a Required Tender must, for so long as that Tender is extended, have a good faith intention to employ the player receiving the Tender at the Tender compensation level during the upcoming season.” Since the Redskins clearly have no intention of employing Cousins after the Alex Smith trade, this seems to be a fairly simple case. In reality, it never is.

—I tweeted this last week:

However, possible cap casualties from other teams are not included in that group. That won’t turn the pool of players who will become available to sign into a bunch of potential franchise changers. Still, there could be a number of players in whom the Redskins could be interested in like RB DeMarco Murray, WRs Emmanuel Sanders and Torrey Smith, edge rusher Elvis Dumervil, and DL Brandon Mebane. A plus to signing players who have been waived is that they don’t count in the formula that determines compensatory draft picks. The Redskins have never really paid attention to that in the past but with potential high comp picks at stake if they lose both Kirk Cousins and Bashaud Breeland, this could be a good year to start.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

Timeline  

Days until:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 10
—NFL Draft (4/26) 66
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 202

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