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OPEN THREAD: Fans or not, it's time to give RG3 some credit

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OPEN THREAD: Fans or not, it's time to give RG3 some credit

Months ago when Redskins coach Jay Gruden announced that Washington would start Kirk Cousins at quarterback instead of Robert Griffin III, many fans and media alike expected a firestorm to follow. RG3 won't be able to handle the bench, the thinking went, and will be a disruption to Gruden, Cousins and the Redskins.

13 weeks into the season, and that theory couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, Griffin has been a good teammate and even better person.

In an MMQB.com feature on Cousins, the story of the Redskins QB telling his teammates about his father's battle with cancer emerged. In the story, Cousins explained that Griffin told his replacement that he would pray for his father.

"This is about more than football," Griffin said in the story.

MORE NFL: REDSKINS IN THE PLAYOFFS? CHARLEY CASSERLY SAYS YES 

Indeed, it appears Griffin's 2015 season will go down as one about very little football. The 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year has not taken a regular season snap through 12 weeks, and barring injuries to Cousins and Colt McCoy, seems unlikely to see the field all year. With a potential $16 million injury payment hovering, the Redskins would be foolish to play RG3 unless circumstances completely dictated the move. 

And despite the benching and much talk about his work ethic, his film study and his place in the locker room, Griffin has maintained a calm, quiet dignity throughout the year. He goes to practice, works out and participates in charitable works with the team. Talk to people in Ashburn about Griffin this season, and it's hard to find a negative word. Walk the sidelines on gameday or enter the locker room after a Redskins game - win or loss - and RG3 is hardly visible except for supporting teammates.

The reality is a player that has only been active once in 11 games should be a good, supportive teammate, but consider the baggage and circumstances surrounding Griffin's 2015 season, and it's obvious things could have gone much different. 

A quick look at Griffin's social media accounts, once a source of much consternation, reveal a family man with a penchant for Baylor football. Nothing controversial. And what about those reports earlier this year that Griffin and Cousins could not be in the same room? Based on the MMQB piece, which reveals both QBs attend prayer group regularly, that seems nonsensical.

The Redskins are in first place in the NFC East, thanks in significant part to a solid season from Cousins. Griffin has done nothing to slow that progress, while both visibly and behind the scenes supporting his teammate. When the Redskins fielded a depleted secondary a few games into the season, the former franchise QB ran scout team safety in practice. Prior to a game against Cam Newton, Griffin ran scout team QB to show the Washington defense similar looks as the team would face against Carolina. 

Griffin remains a lightning rod. Undoubtedly, some RG3 critics will read this and refute every word. Regardless of the Redskins improvement this season, some RG3 zealots maintain he still should start over Cousins. Clearly an athlete cognizant of his image, it's possible RG3 has laid low on purpose, en effort to prepare for life after the Redskins. 

What is undeniable, however, is that RG3 has proven himself a good teammate this season. In past years, particularly the end of the Mike Shanahan era and at times in Gruden's first season, Griffin shared culpability in his and the team's undoing. A young man used to nothing but success, Griffin often said too much.

This season, that is not the case, on or off the field. 

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Need to Know: The most underrated Redskins events of 2017

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Need to Know: The most underrated Redskins events of 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, February 22, 20 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The underrated Redskin moments of 2017

Originally published 12/29/17

Sometimes in the NFL, something happens that grabs headlines and appears to be a momentous event that has ripple effects that will last all season and perhaps beyond. Other times something that is greeted with a yawn by fans and the media turns out to be something with lasting impact. Here, in no particular order, are three underrated events from 2017. Tomorrow we’ll look at three events that were overrated at the time they happened.  

Beating the Rams in Week 2—Nobody got particularly excited when the Redskins went to the LA Memorial Coliseum and beat a Rams team that had gone 4-12 in 2016. Sure, there was a belief that they were in good hands with Sean McVay but nobody saw them as anything better than a middle of the pack team. The win looks much more impressive now as the 11-4 Rams have locked up their division with a playoff game in their future.

Drafting safety Montae Nicholson—He was a fourth-round pick who had a shoulder injury and appeared to be a reach. But once he got on the field, the reasons the Redskins drafted him became apparent. His range and hard hitting had an immediate impact on the game. Nicholson had problems staying on the field and he will finish the year on IR, so his impact this year was diminished. Regardless, he has a good chance of being part of the solution to a position with which the Redskins have had issues for years.

Ty Nsekhe’s injury—Against the Raiders in Week 3, Shawn Lauvao’s facemask had an issue and he had to leave the game for a play. In came Nsekhe without an opportunity to warm up. He suffered a core muscle injury and had to undergo surgery. His absence didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, but Trent Williams suffered a knee injury the next week and other offensive linemen were sidelined with injuries over the next several weeks. Nsekhe was inactive until the Week 10 game against the Vikings and he didn’t start a game until the Thanksgiving game against the Giants. He sure would have been useful to have in the lineup instead of T.J. Clemmings or Tyler Catalina.

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) 7
—NFL Draft (4/26) 63
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 199

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Miami tagged Jarvis Landry, but what does that mean for the Redskins?

Miami tagged Jarvis Landry, but what does that mean for the Redskins?

Everything in the NFL feels like a powder keg, but the reality of Tuesday's opening of the franchise and transition tag period will play out as much more of a slow burn.

Few teams ever actually make moves on the opening day of the tag period, though the Dolphins bucked that conventional wisdom and used the non-exclusive franchise designation on wide receiver Jarvis Landry. 

Astute Redskins fans know the tag system all too well. Landry can now sign a one-year, fully guaranteed contract with the Dolphins worth more than $16 million, the average of the top-five paid receivers in the NFL.

They can also trade Landry and the compensation discussion with a non-exclusive tag begins at two first-round draft picks, though it can eventually be settled for much less. 

RELATED: BEST AND WORST OF REDSKINS' FIRST-ROUND DRAFT HISTORY

What, if anything, does Miami's move mean for the Redskins? Let's take a look:

  1. Not gonna work here - Landry never really seemed like a great fit for the Redskins as a free agent, and that was before the franchise tag. He's a really good slot WR, but Washington already has that in Jamison Crowder. Whether or not Landry actually gets a deal done with the Dolphins or gets traded, it seems highly unlikely the Redskins are his next team. 
  2. "Spirit of the tag" - Miami putting the tag on Landry so early in the process signals that the team might be trying to trade him instead of actually trying to sign him. If that's the case, and plenty of people are suggesting just that, it would seem to be in contrast with the "spirit of the tag." The idea is that a franchise or transition tag is supposed to be used as a tool by an NFL franchise to get a long-term deal done with one of their own players facing free agency. Using the tag as a mechanism to pull of a trade seems very different. Why does any of this matter for Redskins fans? As reports emerged that Washington might look to use a tag on Kirk Cousins and work to trade him, the Cousins camp has made clear they would file a grievance against that technique. Why? Because it would violate the spirit of the tag. Well, it sure looks like Miami is doing the same thing, and as of now, nobody has complained. The situations aren't identical; few resemble the Redskins long, slow, awkward dance with Cousins. But it's certainly worth monitoring. 
  3. Wide Receiver$ - The Redskins could use a veteran wideout to help their young group of Crowder and Josh Doctson. Well, with Landry getting tagged, the price tag just went up. The player that seems to make the most sense in Washington would be Jaguars wideout Allen Robinson. Coming off a knee injury in 2017, some thought Robinson could be signed on a somewhat team-friendly deal. If Landry can get franchised after a season where he didn't even get to 1,000 yards receiving, any thought of a team-friendly deal for Robinson is dead. Make no mistake, Landry and Robinson are good players, but the ever-increasing NFL salary cap will make both young receivers very well paid. 

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