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RG3 improves on new QB ranks list, but still near bottom

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RG3 improves on new QB ranks list, but still near bottom

The doldrums of the NFL calendar require creative efforts from writers and analysts that cover the league. Without practice or games, few stories emerge in the summer weeks before NFL teams report to training camp, and to fill the time many outlets turn to rankings. None are more popular than quarterback rankings, and those lists have been largely unkind to Redskins QB Robert Griffin III this summer. 

Much noise was made a few weeks back when MMQB writer Andy Benoit ranked RG3 as the second worst quarterback in the NFL. 31 out of 32, just about bottom of the barrel. Benoit gave his reasons - largely that injury has robbed Griffin of much of his athleticism required to play his style of football - but a new list came out Tuesday from ESPN. The good news: RG3 got moved up in the rankings.

MORE 'SKINS: ALFRED MORRIS, STOPPED BEFORE HE STARTED IN 2014

The bad news: Griffin still ranks in the bottom tier, behind two rookies yet to play a snap in the NFL, and significantly behind every other NFC East passer. 

Mike Sando, author of the ESPN QB ranks, gives each player a more fair and thorough ranking than the Benoit piece, which was just the MMQB author's opinion. Sando's ranks poll 35 NFL insiders - including coaches, scouts and talent evaluators -  to place quarterbacks into tiers. Guys like Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck land in the Top Tier, then players like Matt Ryan, Tony Romo, Eli Manning and Russell Wilson place in Tier 2. Six quarterbacks made Tier 1, and another eight made Tier 2.

Tier 3 saw the most QBs, with 10 total landing there, but Griffin was not among them. RG3, the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2012, fell to the fourth and final tier. Criteria for Tier 4 was listed as: "typically reserved for unproven starters or those who might not be expected to last in the lineup all season." 

In the rankings, Griffin took the No. 28 spot. And Sando provided anonymous quotes from voters to explain, none of which are pretty:

  • "He is done. The reason why is, the injury slowed his legs, and his ego will not allow him to hit rock bottom and actually grind his way back up the right way."
  • "To get better in this league, you have to have a degree of humility. Griffin sees himself like Peyton, in that light. When he looks in the mirror, he is seeing things that everybody else is not seeing. That is why I was surprised when they gave him the fifth-year [option] and said it was an easy decision."

One of the voters, however, sounded a different tone. Griffin's star was so bright that 2012 season it seems some NFL personnel execs - like many fans - think RG3 can eventually get back to that level.

"With Griffin, I'm taking into account the new offense, the new personality at head coach, coming off an injury. He showed his rookie year that he could be a 1. He is a young guy. I'm going to give him the benefit because of that."

Behind Griffin came Josh McCown at No. 29, Brian Hoyer at 30, Matt Cassel at 31 and Geno Smith at 32. Baltimore's Joe Flacco ranked No. 10, and new Eagles QB Sam Bradford came in tied at No. 23, the last QB spot in the third tier.  

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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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Need to Know: The Redskins appear to be set at center

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Associated Press

Need to Know: The Redskins appear to be set at center

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, February 21, 21 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 Redskins appear to be set at center

Originally published 12/19/17

Chase Roullier might have been the Redskins’ fourth choice to play at center this year. But he could be snapping the ball for Washington for a long time.

Kory Lichtensteiger, the starter for the previous three years when healthy, retired. Veteran backup John Sullivan departed as a free agent. Spencer Long started six games this season before knee and quad problems pushed him to the sideline, elevating the rookie Roullier into the starting lineup.

The sixth-round pick started three games before breaking his right hand at some point during the game against the Saints. That’s his snapping hand and him finishing that game was an underrated act of courage this year. But he was out for three games before returning against the Cardinals on Sunday. Jay Gruden was pleased with his play. 

“Chase did good. He did good,” said Gruden. “It was good to see him back in there. His snaps were outstanding and handled the calls and play well.”

That was good but standard praise. What was interesting was what he said next.  

“I like Chase’s progress right now,” he said. “I think he is going to be a very good center for a long time here. It was a great pickup for us in the draft.”

It appears that you can at least pencil in Roullier as the 2018 starter at center, if not put him in with a Sharpie.

Where would this leave Long, who is slated to be a free agent in March? The Redskins could let him walk and go with the younger and cheaper Roullier. They also could sign him to be their starting left guard. That job has belonged to Shawn Lauvao. But Lauvao also is a pending free agent and he is 30 and he has missed large chunks of two of the last three seasons with injuries. When he missed the last 13 games of the 2015 season, Long went in at left guard and played well.

If that happens, that would give the Redskins a starting offensive line consisting entirely of players drafted by the team and with only Trent Williams over the age of 27 in Week 1 of 2018.

Regardless of what happens at left guard, it looks like Roullier will be the man in the middle for 2018 and beyond.

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) 8
—NFL Draft (4/26) 64
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 200