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Why is RG3 still with Redskins? "A pawn" in Cousins negotations

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Why is RG3 still with Redskins? "A pawn" in Cousins negotations

After not taking a single snap during the 2015 season - and with a $16 million salary taking effect after March 9 - many wonder why Robert Griffin III still finds himself on the Redskins roster. Washington could have released Griffin immediately following the Super Bowl, allowing both team and player to move on from a complicated relationship. Instead, that hasn't happened, and while it's highly unlikely RG3 remains with the Redskins, the team has still not let Griffin go.

"He’s kind of a pawn in this whole Kirk Cousins game," former NFL agent Joel Corry said of RG3.

Corry explained that as the Redskins and Cousins work on a contract to keep the 2015 starter in D.C., Redskins brass believes they can use Griffin as a bargaining chip. The thought process being the 'Skins have an extra layer of security, so should Cousins not accept the team's terms, the team can turn to RG3.

"The agent’s not going to buy it," Corry said of Cousins' representative Mike McCartney. "The agent's probably trying hard not to laugh."

There is some talk the Redskins are working on a deal to trade Griffin; an attempt to recoup some value considering the team gave up so much to acquire the former Baylor star in 2012. That, however, seems like wishful thinking.

"He will be gone before March 9, you couldn’t even trade him," Corry said, explaining that to trade Griffin would require his consent to rework his $16 million option. 

"He wants to be free to pick his own situation," Corry said. Adding that the thought elsewhere in the NFL is, "why would you give up a pick for [Griffin} when you can get him for free?"

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Roster machinations aside, odds are eventually Griffin will be thrust into a situation where he decides what is best for him moving forward. And Corry isn't so sure that the best move would be to hunt for a starting job.

"It might be in his best long-term interest to go some place where he can play for a QB guru as a backup," he said. 

Kansas City and Arizona stood out as good landing spots for RG3, Corry said, backing up Alex Smith or Carson Palmer respectively. Chiefs coach Andy Reid has found great success with mobile quarterbacks like Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick and even Smith, where Cardinals coach Bruce Arians knows how to get the best out of passers. Further, in Arizona, Griffin would sit behind an injury prone 36-year-old in Palmer, while playing with one of the league's best defenses.  

Yet RG3 may want the chance to prove himself as a starter again, and want the chance right away. In that case, Houston or Los Angeles would be the most appealing options. Both teams have strong defenses and some great parts on offense, but sorely lack for a QB.

"I don’t think he has a starting opportunity," Corry said. "If he’s gonna start the best place would probably be the Rams, which would be extremely ironic."

Ironic indeed. 2012 saw the Redskins give up a bounty to move up in the draft and select Griffin. The team whose pick they took? The then St. Louis Rams. Now playing in L.A., the Rams could want somebody with star qualities at quarterback, qualities that RG3 showed in spades during his sublime 2012 season.

And, as the saying goes, Hollywood loves a comeback story. 

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Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

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Usa Today Sports Images

Need to Know: The five highest-paid 2018 Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, February 24, 18 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 five highest-paid Redskins in 2018

Originally published 1/12/18

This is how the five highest-paid Redskins per their 2018 salary cap numbers stack up as of now. The list could change, of course during free agency and if a particular quarterback returns. Cap numbers via Over the Cap.

CB Josh Norman, $17 million—The Redskins do have a window which would allow them to move on from Norman. His $13.5 million salary for this year doesn’t become guaranteed until the fifth day of the league year so it would be “only” a $9 million cap charge to move on from Norman, who turned 30 in December. Don’t look for that to happen but the possibility is there.

OT Trent Williams, $13.86 million—He is one of the best left tackles in the business. Those of you out there who have advocated moving him to left guard should look at this cap number, which is way out of line for what a team can afford to pay a guard. At his pay, he needs to be playing on the edge.

OLB Ryan Kerrigan, $12.45 million—He has delivered double-digit sacks in each of the two seasons that his contract extension has been in effect. That’s good value in a league that values the ability to get to the quarterback.

TE Jordan Reed, $10.14 million—The Redskins knew that he might have a year like last year when he played in only six games when they agreed to Reed’s five-year, $50 million extension. They can live with one such season. If he has another one in 2018 they may rethink things.

G Brandon Scherff, $6.75 million—The fact that a rookie contract is No. 5 on this list is a good sign that, as of now, the Redskins’ cap is not top heavy like it was last year. The top three cap hits from Norman, Williams, and Kirk Cousins totaled $59 million, which was about 35 percent of the cap. This year the total cap numbers of the top three come to $43.3 million, 24.3 percent of the estimated $178 million salary cap.

Next five: OT Morgan Moses ($5.4 million), TE Vernon Davis ($5.33 million), DL Stacy McGee ($4.8 million), DL Terrell McClain ($4.75 million), S D.J. Swearinger ($4.33 million)

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) 5
—NFL Draft (4/26) 61
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 197

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Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price

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USA TODAY Sports

Martavis Bryant could make sense for the Redskins, at the right price

A 2017 midseason trade for Martavis Bryant made no sense for the Redskins. A 2018 offseason trade for Martavis Bryant, however, might make sense for the Redskins. 

Bryant is on the trade block, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, and will be an intriguing prospect for receiver-needy teams across the NFL. In parts of three seasons with the Steelers, Bryant has 17 touchdowns and a 15.2 yards-per-reception average. 

A big play threat from any place on the field, Bryant would immediately make the Redskins receiving unit more athletic and explosive. 

It's not all good news with Bryant, though.

He was suspended for the entire 2016 season after repeated drug violations and caused some distraction for Pittsburgh during the 2017 season when he asked for a trade via social media. 

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Is the talent enough to overcome the off-field distractions? Many would say it is. 

Last year, in just eight starts, Bryant grabbed 50 catches for more than 600 yards and three TDs. In their lone playoff loss to the Jaguars, Bryant caught two passes for 78 yards and a TD. 

Remember, too, the Steelers have an explosive offense, and Bryant is coupled with Antonio Brown on the receiver front along with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback and Le'Veon Bell at running back. The Pittsburgh offense is loaded. 

Washington's offense is not nearly the prolific unit that the Steelers send out, but Jay Gruden does design a good offense. 

The real question surrounding any talk of trading for Bryant is the cost.

The Redskins are not in a position to send away any more draft picks this offseason after giving up a third-round pick, in addition to Kendall Fuller, to acquire Alex Smith. Bruce Allen and the Redskins front office need to improve their team in plenty of spots, and the team's draft picks are quite valuable. 

Bryant only has one year remaining on his rookie deal, and it's hard to balance that sort of short-term investment with the value of adding a rookie committed to the team for at least four years. Perhaps a late-round pick would make sense, but it would need to be a sixth-rounder. 

This could be one of those rare situations in the NFL where a player for player swap could work, though pulling that type of maneuver requires a lot of moving parts. 

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