Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, December 7, seven days before the Washington Redskins go to the Meadowlands to play the New York Giants.
Team turmoil is at it again
Here we are again.
Last year on December 8 the 3-9 Redskins played a Sunday afternoon game against the Chiefs in front of a crowd that was announced to be 56,247 but in reality it seemed to be about half of that. Before the game, an ESPN report said that coach Mike Shanahan was on the verge of quitting his job the previous January over supposed favored treatment that owner Dan Snyder gave quarterback Robert Griffin III. The report kicked off several weeks off turmoil that ended with Shanahan getting fired.
Today, a year minus one day later, the opponent is the Rams but the circumstances are very similar.
The Redskins are again 3-9. With ticket prices plummeting on the secondary market it looks like the stadium will not be very full. And, again, the most anticipated event of the day will not be the opening kickoff but the head coach's postgame press conference.
At issue is a report by Jason Reid of the Washington Post. There are many layers to the story and you should read it if you haven’t already. Here is the critical point:
Although it’s unknown whether Snyder and [general manager Bruce] Allen eventually will agree to trade Griffin, what has become clear from recent conversations with Redskins officials is that [head coach Jay] Gruden believes he needs a clean break from Griffin to focus on fixing Washington’s 3-9 mess. And if Snyder and Allen commit to Griffin as the starter in 2015, Gruden could be “one and done,” a team official said, alluding to Gruden possibly being fired despite four years remaining on his guaranteed five-year contract.
Although it is hard to believe that Gruden would be gone after one season, especially with four years and a reported $20 million left on his contract, firing a coach after one season is not as unusual as you might think. It has happened five times since 2007 in the NFL. And Snyder has a history with one and done too, having fired Marty Schottenheimer after an 8-8 season in 2001.
Once again Griffin is in the middle of the drama and that is ominous for his future. If one coach loses his job in a dispute over the third-year quarterback, who has struggled mightily this year, that could be on the coach. If another one is gone, the player instantly has a reputation for being a coach killer.
It should be noted here is that nothing has been decided, at least not according to Reid’s report or anything else that has come out. The fates of Griffin and Gruden will be sorted out over the next few weeks.
One thing to keep an eye on here is the status of Allen. He pushed Shanahan, who had personnel control, to make the record-setting trade to move up in the draft to get Griffin, according Reid’s article. And it was Allen’s decision to hire Gruden. Allen’s seat has to be getting hot no matter how this turns out. There is a strong possibility that his costly quarterback is a flame out before finishing his rookie contract or the coach he hand picked to help that quarterback succeed is out the door after a year carrying an eight-figure check from Snyder’s bank account. Perhaps the costly coach and quarterback both will be gone.
Could Allen survive that? Stay tuned.
In on-field football news: It looks like both WR DeSean Jackson and ILB Keenan Robinson will be out of today’s game with injuries. Beating the Rams already was going to be a tough task and now the Redskins will have to try to do it without their main offensive playmaker and their leading tackler.
—Today’s schedule: Redskins vs. Rams, FedEx Field, 1:00 p.m.
—Days until: Redskins @ Giants 7; Eagles @ Redskins 13; 2015 NFL Draft 145
If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. I'll answer all questions as soon as I can get to them. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.
In case you missed it
- Report: Gruden could be 'one-and-done' as coach of Redskins
- Report: DeSean Jackson will not play against Rams on Sunday
- Redskins make roster moves
- Can Colt McCoy produce a stronger start?
- Pros, cons, and X factors: Redskins vs. Rams game prediction
- Rebuilt D-line could be on the way for the Redskins