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Does signing with the Browns set RG3 up for success?


Does signing with the Browns set RG3 up for success?

Four years ago the Browns made a serious run at trading up to be able to draft Robert Griffin III. Today, they signed him as a free agent.

The Rams, who held the second overall pick in the 2012 draft, preferred the Redskins’ offer to the one that Cleveland made. After Griffin’s rookie year it looked like the Redskins had won big time.

But things changed and the Redskins moved on from Griffin. After a little more than two weeks of looking for a landing spot, he ends up in Cleveland.

Hue Jackson, the Browns’ new head coach, should work well with Griffin. He is a an interesting blend of old-school no-nonsense and new-age positive energy who don’t treat Griffin with kid gloves. If anyone can get Griffin into the proper mental frame of mind to succeed, it’s Jackson.

But beyond that, there aren’t a lot of encouraging signs that this will work. For one thing, it’s being reported that the Browns are still intent on drafting a quarterback with their top pick, the second overall. That likely means that Carson Wentz of South Dakota State will be on board when May rolls around. Griffin may be the Week 1 starter in Cleveland (Josh McCown has been put on the trading block) but how long will he be under center beyond that?

And then there is the matter of the Browns’ offense. Jackson’s system is similar to Jay Gruden’s, and Griffin struggled with it in D. C. Perhaps Jackson could cater the offense to Griffin’s strengths but how practical is it to do that for a placeholder quarterback?

One more thing—the Browns stink. They earned that second overall pick last year with their 3-13 record. Four of their best players departed as free agents, including their two best offensive linemen. Jackson is new, the GM and other front office types are as well. They are in a total rebuild mode in a very tough AFC North.

There are those who are saying that Griffin really has nothing to lose here. If he succeeds in the situation his career will have been revived. If he doesn’t, it will be blamed on the Browns organization. And there is something to that.

But Griffin has plenty to lose in terms of a ticking clock. He signed a two-year deal with the Browns. If he emerges into free agency in 2018 without having shown that he is a viable pocket passer, a guy who can at least come in and run an NFL offense without needing his own special playbook, he could have trouble landing a job. Although someone might give him a shot, many around the league will wonder if, at age 28, Griffin will be worth taking on as a project.

In short, fans and the media may point towards the Browns longstanding dysfunction if Griffin doesn't succeed. But the GMs and coaches around the league will look at the tape and assess blame accordingly. 

It seems that there was not a better option out there for Griffin. Things may not be much better in a couple of years.

Many Redskins fans are wishing the best for Griffin. After the spectacular rookie year he gave them, they should. But they also should be prepared for the worst. 

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 21, five days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington

Should the Redskins pursue Dez Bryant? This topic was one like a meteor, very hot for a short period of time before it quickly faded out. It started to heat up as soon as the Cowboys cut Dez (about a month too late) and when it was reported that he wanted to play against Dallas twice a year it really picked up steam. But then people started to actually think and figured out that signing Bryant didn’t make much sense for the Redskins. Add to that the reports that the Redskins had no interest and would not look into signing Dez in the future and the Redskins fans quickly lost enthusiasm for the topic.

Seven-round Redskins mock draft—I think that most Redskins fans would be happy with this mock. Well, I’ll say some Redskins fans, most is a pretty strong word in this case. 

Is the draft pool deep enough for the Redskins to trade back? There is plenty of talk about the Redskins trading down in the first round to recoup the third-round pick they gave up in the Alex Smith trade. But they need to be careful. Many consider the draft to be top heavy and they may lose their chance to pick up an impact player if they trade back too far. The question then becomes one of quality vs. quantity. 

Three questions as offseason workouts get underway—There will be plenty more questions that we can ask about this team. But we don’t really know what to ask before the draft, particularly when it comes to the defensive line and running back. One the personnel settle into place we will know what we don’t know. 

Tweet of the week

On Chris Cooley’s thought that the Redskins might try to trade back and get Da’Ron Payne in the draft and the use the assets obtained to move up to get Derrius Guice. 

This is related to the questions about trading back. On paper it looks like a good idea, assuming the Redskins want Payne. We’re pretty sure they would like to have Guice but we haven’t heard as much about the Alabama defensive lineman. 

I had many reply that Guice won’t be there in the second round. It’s possible, perhaps even likely, but you just don’t know. There was zero chance that Jonathan Allen would be there at No. 17 last year, right? 

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


Days until:

—OTAs start (5/22) 31
—Training camp starts (7/26) 96
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 141

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Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

The NFL started taking into account a new factor when putting together its schedule this year. The concept is called rest disparity. It stems from a complaint made by the Giants last year. And, of course, when the Giants have a cold, the NFL sneezes and immediately does whatever it takes to cure the cold. 

Here is how Peter King laid it out this morning on the MMQB:

Last year, I heard the Giants were not pleased with their schedule because they felt they were too often playing teams more rested than they were. In consecutive October weeks, they played teams coming off byes, for instance. The NFL calculated a figure for every team based on the number of combined days of rest for their foes or for the team, calculating, for instance, in those two weeks, the Giants were a minus-14 (minus-seven for each of the foes, Seattle and Denver, coming off byes). In all, by my math, the Giants were a league-worst minus-22 in “rest disparity.”

So the schedule makers worked to minimize the rest disparity this year. According to King, the worst rest disparity in the league this year is minus-11. The Giants are minus-eight. 

The question that Redskins fans will have immediately here is if the Giants’ rest disparity was reduced at the expense of the team in burgundy and gold. The answer that will surprise many is no. 

The Redskins rest disparity in 2018 will be either minus-one or zero. The variance is due to the possibility that their Week 16 game in Tennessee will be flexed to a Saturday game (see details here). If the game stays on Sunday, they will be at minus-one in rest disparity. If it gets moved, they will have had exactly as much rest over the course of the season as did their opponents, in aggregate. 

If you're interested in the nitty-gritty, here is how it breaks down. In eight or nine of their games, they will have had the same amount of rest as their opponents. They play one game coming off of their bye, a Monday night game in New Orleans. The Saints play the previous Sunday, giving Washington a plus-seven in days of rest. That is canceled out when they play the Falcons in Week 9 after Atlanta’s bye. 

Due to their Thanksgiving game, they get three extra days off going into their Week 13 Monday night game in Philadelphia. Two weeks later the Jaguars will have those three extra days of rest when they host the Redskins, having played on Thursday in Week 14.

They lose a day relative to their opponents coming off of those Monday night games against the Saints and Eagles. The Redskins get an extra day prior to visiting the Giants in Week 8 as New York has a Monday night game in Week 7. 

So far, that comes to minus-one in rest disparity. That will remain in place if they play the Titans on Sunday, December 23. If the game is flexed to Saturday, they will gain a day of rest on the Eagles in Week 17, zeroing out the rest disparity for the season. 

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