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Is keeping RG3 the right move for the Redskins?

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Is keeping RG3 the right move for the Redskins?

It appears that the Robert Griffin III saga with the Redskins is going to go on, at least for a while longer. According to a report all of the major decision makers in the organization have concluded that the best thing to do is to keep Griffin on the roster as the No. 2 quarterback behind Kirk Cousins.

But is it really the best thing to do? There are a number of sound reasons for the Redskins to move on from Griffin sooner rather than later.

—If he gets injured in practice or during a game, the team could be on the hook to pay him over $16 million next year.

—It puts a lot of pressure on Cousins. If he makes a mistake could be looking over his shoulder at the guy who was once the savior of the franchise.

—The very presence of Griffin in the building tends to create distractions. He can say the wrong thing to the media, put up a social media post that invites intense scrutiny or do any number of things that can put the spotlight on him and take it away from the other 52 players on the team.

—Giving Griffin a chance to move on and find another team could be the best for him. A fresh start could revive his career and give him a chance at success.

But there are valid counter arguments to each of these:

—The chances of him getting an injury severe enough to have him fail a physical next March are pretty slim. Practice is non-contact for quarterbacks. He could get hurt in a game but that is a chance they are willing to take.

—If Cousins can’t handle the pressure of having a quarterback who hasn’t played well for two seasons, how is he going to go into Dallas and win? Cousins has earned his opportunity but a quarterback in his position has to expect to have a competent backup behind him. Whether it’s Griffin, Colt McCoy, or someone else, Cousins should have a backup who is a threat to take his job behind him until he earns the right to be fully trusted.

—Griffin has every incentive to be a model citizen for however long he remains with the Redskins. He will spend the season auditioning for a 2016 backup job either in Washington or, more likely, elsewhere. If he ends up being a distraction his options will be extremely limited when he is looking for a job next spring. He is probably going to be on his best behavior.

—An NFL contract perhaps is unfair but it is what it is. If it is in the best interest of the team to keep him the contract gives them the right to do so. What the player wants is secondary to what the team wants. I recall that not too long ago many thought that Cousins should be let go or traded to give him a chance to start and prosper elsewhere. Things change and now Cousins has his chance to start.

The arguments for him to stay don’t necessarily invalidate the case for him to go. This move ultimately will be judged by results. If he takes over as the starter at some point and is productive the decision to keep him will be a success. If he should get injured and become a drag on the 2016 salary cap the decision for him to stay will be a disaster.

It is most likely that the outcome will be something in the middle. We will see how it all plays out.

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Redskins activate K Dustin Hopkins, waive K Nick Rose

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USA TODAY Sports

Redskins activate K Dustin Hopkins, waive K Nick Rose

After missing the last eight games, the Redskins brought back place-kicker Dustin Hopkins from the injured reserve and waived Nick Rose.

Hopkins became eligible to return from the IR this week and took part in practice all week. Jay Gruden wouldn't commit to one kicker or the other when he spoke earlier in the week, but the decision came down on Saturday.

Rose played well in Hopkins' absence, making 10 of 11 field goals including a 55-yarder. The rookie Rose had some struggles with extra points, missing two of his 20 attempts, though neither snap/hold combination was totally clean either. 

RELATED: REDSKINS-CARDINALS PREVIEW

Hopkins has the stronger leg and is capable of booting the ball out of the end zone on seemingly every kickoff. With Rose as kicker, at times the Redskins deployed a different strategy where kicks were aimed for the goal line, forcing a return. 

Washington's kicker for parts of the last three seasons, Hopkins has a career 84 percent field goal conversion rate and 94.6 percent conversion rate on extra points in 36 games. 

The Redskins sent Hopkins to the IR after a Week 6 win over the 49ers with a right hip rotator muscle injury. 

MORE REDSKINS: SLOW STARTS HAVE BEEN KILLING THE REDSKINS

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Week 15 Redskins vs Cardinals Preview: Show up, or get blown up

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Week 15 Redskins vs Cardinals Preview: Show up, or get blown up

For the second consecutive game, the Redskins got blown out on the road. First in Dallas, then in Los Angeles, Jay Gruden's team is reeling with mounting questions and pressures about 2018 and beyond. 

The best way to calm down the flames? Get a win.

Washington will have that chance on Sunday at 1 p.m. (full coverage on NBC Sports Washington at noon) when they host the Arizona Cardinals. Getting the victory won't be easy, however, no matter how bad the Redskins need it. 

  1. Turn the page - The Redskins have lost their last two games by a combined score of 68-27. The results have been terrible, and the outcome in Los Angeles could have been much uglier had the Chargers not pulled starting QB Philip Rivers. Still, those games are over, and Washington needs to focus on the Cardinals. Gruden spoke this week that his team cannot "wallow" in the past two losses. If the Redskins are looking back at their lost season, instead of looking squarely at Arizona, another blowout loss is likely to come. 
  2. Get it going - Kirk Cousins and the Redskins offense had by far their worst statistical output last week in LA. The offense must get back on track, and that means a better performance from Cousins and the 'Skins run game. Against the Chargers, Washington generated only 201 total yards and just nine first downs. Nine, their second worst total since having only 15 first downs against the Cowboys the week before. At this stage of the season, the Redskins defense will not win this team any games. The offense must do it, and that means improved play from the line, the quarterback and the skill positions. 
  3. Make a play - Turnovers can win or lose games, and in their last two blowout losses, it's no surprise the Redskins have been on the wrong end of the ledger. Washington has five turnovers in their last two games, and has generated only one takeaway in that span. (It can be argued that shouldn't even count, as it came on an interception from Chargers backup Kellen Clemens in the final minutes of a blowout.) Washington ranks dead last in the NFL in points per game allowed, and that won't improve with linebacker Zach Brown out this weekend. Generating turnovers, particularly against Arizona QB Blaine Gabbert, should be the defensive focus. 

Quote of the Week: Jay Gruden, asked about preparation before the Chargers game-

We didn't spend last week playing checkers.

News & Notes:

  • Gabbert has been sacked 15 times in the Cardinals last two games. Washington comes into Week 15 with the 13th most sacks in the league.
  • The Cardinals defense ranks in the Top 10 in yards per play, yards per game, and rush yards per game. Despite that, Arizona's defense ranks 25th in points allowed. 
  • D.J. Swearinger, who played for Arizona last season before signing in Washington as a free agent, is tied for fourth in the NFC in interceptions.
  • Jordan Reed won't be playing this week, or the remainder of the season. Washington moved Reed to the injured reserve this week. 
  • Arizona coach Bruce Arians was a college quarterback at Virginia Tech from 1972 to 1974.

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