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Pierre Garcon's pizza business appears to be taking off


Pierre Garcon's pizza business appears to be taking off


Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon is putting both his hands and his smarts that have helped him become such a successful NFL wideout into another career that he intends to stick with long after he hangs up his jersey for the last time: restaurant franchising.

In an effort to diversify himself and give him some options once he stops playing on Sundays, Garcon has decided to become an active restaurant franchiser with SpinFire Pizza, an establishment that allows customers to build their own pizzas and then churns out the creations in just 90 seconds, according to its website. In a recent interview with NewsOne Now to promote his business, Garcon mentioned how the financial troubles that many pro athletes encounter after they can no longer play was a big reason why he was initially motivated to get involved with SpinFire.  

"It's definitely hard to understand that this won't last forever, because it's so good when it's coming in," he said. "You'll be like, 'Oh, I'm making so much that I can live like this forever,' but when things stop coming in, it's a reality check." 

SpinFire's first location hosted a grand opening last October in Ashburn, an event that was attended by Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins among many other of Garcon's fellow Redskins, and opened a second location in downtown Rosslyn this past April. Garcon went on to discuss how he and his partners are looking to expand the brand throughout the DMV and onto college campuses as well. 

But while Garcon has looked to get his Redskins teammates involved as franchisees, he hasn't gotten anyone on board yet. With that being said, he could try and sell his burgundy and gold peers on the similarities between sports and business, which he thinks are pretty clear.

"It's just like football. We've been doing football since we were in elementary school, so now we just go out there and it's second nature to us. Once I'm in the business for a long time, it will become second nature."

However, Garcon is an NFL player, and NFL players are busy with all sorts of workouts, practices, and games. Therefore, #88 won't be making too many appearances in his restaurants, right? Wrong.

"I'm always in there," he said. "I'm in there making pizzas, actually putting on social media that I'm in there throwing dough, making pizzas for customers. I'm in there helping out because I want to learn."

Learning how things work isn't the only reason Garcon shows up, though. He also is sure to see things first hand so he can then act like his coach Jay Gruden and boss people around -- but not get any sideways looks from his workers when he does so.

"I can't tell one of the employees what to do if I don't know what I'm doing."

For a guy who's gotten used to hearing 90,000 cheering fans celebrate after his clutch catches and thrilling touchdowns, one would think making and selling pizza would be a bit of a downgrade from playing in front of a packed FedEx Field. However, Garcon finds just as much pleasure in making customers happy as he does in making opposing cornerbacks sad.

"I enjoy pleasing people, I enjoy serving people, I enjoy seeing a product and actually seeing someone happy about it," he said. "That's the best thing, when someone says, 'Oh, your pizza tastes good,' or 'Oh, your servers are great.' It's one of the great things that I'm happy to hear."

[MORE REDSKINS NEWS: Bruce Allen gives his opinion on DeSean Jackson's absence from OTA's]

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In talking 2018 NFL draft, Doug Williams actually explained Redskins' free agency


In talking 2018 NFL draft, Doug Williams actually explained Redskins' free agency

The Redskins spent modestly in 2018 free agency, and plenty of fans thought the team should have shelled out much bigger bucks. Talking with sources around the Ashburn facility, a prevaling notion became clear that the Washington brass believed they had a strong team in 2017, but they lost their chance to compete because of injuries. 

Well, the secret is out. Doug Williams said as much on Tuesday. 

"Coming out of Richmond last year, I liked this football team. I think we’ve got a tough football team, a smart football team. Some things you can’t control," Williams said Tuesday in a pre-draft media session. "We were very competitive up to a certain point, and when you have the injuries that we have, at a certain point, that competitive edge, you lose it because your best players are not playing."

Williams' words were true, and telling. 

First the true part:

  • In Washington's first five games of 2017, the team went 3-2. The Redskins only lost to eventual the Super Bowl champs Philadelphia and AFC West champs Kansas City. Washington only gave up more than 100 yards rushing once in those first five games, before rookie Jonathan Allen got hurt and the defense began to look much different. After Week 5, the Redskins only held one team under 100 yards rushing and finished the year dead last in rush defense.

Now the telling part:

  • The Redskins signed free agent WR Paul Richardson, and kept free agent LB Zach Brown. Beyond that, the team added inexpensive veterans in OLB Pernell McPhee and CB Orlando Scandrick. No splash moves, and recurring speculation that Washington was not offering top dollar to free agents. Bruce Allen acknowledged as much during NFL League Meetings when he explained that his team identified exactly how much they would offer free agents, their own and otherwise, and wouldn't go beyond that dollar figure. 

That means the focus of the offseason, at this point, is about this weekend's NFL Draft.

That also means the focus of the offseason, at this point, is not about Johnathan Hankins or any other free agent. 

"We’re going to deal with the draft now, and the second wave of free agents, if it’s somebody out there we feel like can help the Redskins,that’s what we’re going to do," Williams said. 

Throughout the offseason, Redskins fans wanted more action from their front office. It didn't happen, and Williams' basically explained why on Tuesday. The brass likes their team, and by default, expects better health and luck in 2018. 

When Williams talks about drafting the best player available, it's not just the typical NFL front office tripe. Right or wrong, the Redskins believe they have a team ready to compete in 2018, and any rookies that come in will only supplement that position.

"At the end of the day, I like this football team we’ve got. Like, last year when I walked out of camp, I thought we had a pretty good football team and I still feel the same way today," Williams said.

"At the end of the day, you get the best football player, and if that best football player is the guy that you want to plug and play, that’s all right. But if that’s the best football player that’s going to help your team overall, I think that’s the route you have to go."


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Doug Williams says Redskins will listen to draft trade offers but a trade up is unlikely

Doug Williams says Redskins will listen to draft trade offers but a trade up is unlikely

The Redskins aren’t in the quarterback business, so it’s highly unlikely that they will look to trade up in the first round of the draft on Thursday. But their phones will be open for business to move down. 

Speaking at the team’s pre-draft press conference, Doug Williams didn’t rule out trading up from the team’s first-round spot at 13thoverall but he doesn’t think it’s likely. 

“The chances of trading up might be a little slimmer than trading down,” he said. 

Williams said that the phones in the room will be ringing and that they will listen to any offers. But usually the team that wants to move up initiates the call and because the Redskins are set at one particular position they probably won’t pick up the phone. 

“If we were in the quarterback business, which is what this league is about, if we were in the heavy quarterback business we’d talk about moving up,” he said. “At this time, we can sit back and see what comes up if we stay at 13.”

The Redskins are set at quarterback after they traded their third-round pick and cornerback Kendall Fuller for veteran Alex Smith to replace the departed Kirk Cousins. Williams thinks that the Redskins already got good value from the pick. 

“When I think about Alex Smith, I say we got the best third-round pick in the draft,” he said. “I don't care what nobody says. You can't get a better third-round pick.”

Because they think they got a good player, albeit an older one, with that pick, the Redskins are not necessarily looking to make a deal to move back and recoup that pick on draft day. 

Williams emphasized that in order to move back, you have to have a team that wants to trade up. Often that is easier said than done. 

“They don’t just call you to ask you, they have to get a player that they want,” said Williams. “At that particular time, they’re afraid that somebody else might pick him. They might call you to ask you if you want to move back . . . If we move back, that’s because somebody called us to see if we want to move back.”

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