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The case for - and against - the Redskins trading for Antonio Brown

The case for - and against - the Redskins trading for Antonio Brown

The Redskins Talk Podcast took a look at how much it'd cost the Redskins to acquire Antonio Brown, and whether the move would be worthwhile.

Click play in the embedded podcast player below to listen to the entire podcast. 

The Redskins need an offensive playmaker. Anybody that watched many Washington games in 2017 saw that glaring need, particularly at the receiver position. 

And now, Antonio Brown is absolutely available. 

The Steelers wideout is probably the best receiver in football. He has elite speed, great hands and off-the-charts athleticism. In the past six years, he's had at least 100 catches and 1,200 yards every season. He's made the Pro Bowl six years straight, and he's been named All-Pro four times in that span. 

There is zero question about Brown's talent. Zero. He's elite. 

The questions come from what drove a big enough wedge between Brown and Pittsburgh that he's demanded a trade, and that the Steelers have agreed to try. 

Beyond that, the more pressing question for the rest of the NFL is where Brown will end up. NBC Sports' Peter King suggested the Redskins could be a landing spot for Brown.

Could it be? King wrote:

A smart guy in the league told me the other day: “Look for the desperate teams with Brown.” What team is more desperate than Washington, which is hemorrhaging fans, has no idea who the 2019 quarterback will be, has no idea who the 2020 coach will be, hasn’t won a playoff game in 14 years, and has an embattled owner searching for anything that will get his team out of the muck and mire of mediocrity? This also fits the Pittsburgh plan of wanting to send Brown out of the AFC. The problem, obviously, would be finding a quarterback to get the ball to Brown. But Washington’s a team that loves to win the offseason and hasn’t done so in a while. I’d be surprised if Bruce Allen and Kevin Colbert don’t talk about Brown.

Inside the Beltway, folks want to know if Brown's availability is the exact answer to the Redskins' lack of playmakers. A case can be made either way.

The case for the Redskins trading for Antonio Brown

Brown had 104 catches for 1,297 yards with 15 touchdowns last season. 

The Redskins top three receivers - Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder and Maurice Harris - had 101 catches for 1,224 yards and four touchdowns last season. Combined. 

Washington needs a big-play wideout, desperately. And don't forget Crowder could leave the team when free agency opens in a few weeks. 

With four selections in the Top 100, the 'Skins have a decent arsenal of valuable draft picks to offer in a trade. Additionally, the Burgundy and Gold have a bunch of late-round picks they could use to sweeten a trade offer. That includes three fifth-round picks and two seventh-round picks. Keep in mind, however, the 'Skins don't have a fourth-round selection. 

Word is the Steelers are being selective about what teams they will talk about trading Brown. Excluded from discussions will be teams in the AFC North and certainly the New England Patriots.

As the Steelers possible trade partners shrink, maybe the Redskins can make a reasonable offer of a second and third-round pick. Washington cannot offer a first, the team just has too many holes, but getting Brown and still having a third-round selection would be a tremendous coup for Bruce Allen. 

Brown wants big chunks of his remaining contract converted to guaranteed money. Washington is hard up against the salary cap, and to even entertain a move for Brown would require significant cap relief. That would likely come in the form of releasing numerous players and restructuring others. 

But, in an odd way, the Redskins could be better off moving Brown's cash to a signing bonus. It would give Brown the guarantees he wants, and allow Washington to spread that money out over the remainder of the contract. 

It's a long shot, but it's not impossible. Brown would be a tremendous talent upgrade if this scenario somehow unfolds. 

The case against trading for Antonio Brown

Everything you just read above? It's damn near impossible. 

Pittsburgh will want a first-round pick for Brown. The Redskins CANNOT give up a first-rounder for a receiver that's going to be 31 this fall. 

Washington needs a lot of help all over the field, and using that cap space and draft capital on one player does not make sense. Remember the trade for Robert Griffin III, combined with the $36 million salary cap penalty sent down from the NFL in 2012, that set the organization back for years? 

Giving up draft picks for Brown, combined with Alex Smith's remaining $40 million on the salary cap, could spell the same doom. 

Beyond that, there are serious questions about Brown the teammate. Not his work ethic, and not his ability, but his temperament and actions inside the locker room. The volatile wideout wore out his welcome with one of the best franchises in the history of professional sports. 

What will Brown's act look like in D.C.? The team has not handled high-profile, high drama talent particularly well over the last two decades. 

Not to mention, who is going to throw Brown the ball? All receivers like to get the football, and Brown might not realize how good he had it playing with Ben Roethlisberger. For all of his personality faults, Roethlisberger puts his receivers in position to make plays. Always. 

Will that happen with Colt McCoy and whatever other QBs the Redskins bring in for 2019? 

Making a flash move just for the sake of a flash move is a terrible idea. Not to mention the Redskins don't have anywhere close to the cap room needed to acquire Brown. 

Sure, Brown is an elite talent, but Redskins fans looking for long-term franchise success should shut this conversation down before it begins. 



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Morgan Moses explains why he was not offended by Dwayne Haskins' viral pep talk vs. Jets

Morgan Moses explains why he was not offended by Dwayne Haskins' viral pep talk vs. Jets

During the Redskins blowout loss to the Jets on Sunday, cameras captured rookie Dwayne Haskins pleading to his offensive linemen, asking "What do I have to do to help you?" 

The moment went viral on social media, as many people had differing opinions on the exchange.

On the surface, it appears as if the Redskins offensive linemen weren't interested in listening to Haskins. The team was down big to a previously two-win Jets team, and the rookie quarterback had not played well.

But Redskins right tackle Morgan Moses, when asked on The Sports Junkies about the interaction, said that wasn't it at all. The veteran explained why he wasn't bothered by Haskins' pep talk, regardless of what the footage may show.

"He's a young quarterback. He's only had two starts. So he's filled with a lot of emotion," Moses said. "That's why you see me talking to him after the fact that he came over there and said what he had to say. He asked us, 'What can I do to help you guys?' In that moment, it wasn't him coming out there and chewing us out or anything like that. I understood where he was coming from."

Moses explained that the Jets defense, who's coordinator Gregg Williams is famous for bringing pressure and blitzing, ran several different stunts and formations that may have confused Haskins. 

"As a young quarterback, and you have an exotic defense like that, you have a star safety [Jamal Adams] that's in the box, he's out the box, he's a hell of a playmaker," Moses said. "[Haskins is] trying to figure out where he's at. It's almost like he comes over there and is asking, truly, like 'Hey man, what can I do?' Because he probably doesn't understand everything that's happening.

"Obviously, he's looking downfield, looking for open receivers and things like that," Moses continued. "So when you get sacked, you're like 'Where is he coming from?' Simply, when there's a five-man protection and they're bringing seven, somebody is going to be free."

The Jets defense had their way with Haskins and the Redskins offense for much of the game. The rookie was sacked six times and was unable to put together much of anything before falling down 31 points in the fourth quarter. Two late TDs made the margin appear closer than the game truly was, and Haskins knows he has to play better.

Moses understands that Haskins has gone through things as a rookie that most players don't usually deal with. The right tackle has high hopes for Haskins, and praised No. 7's drive and willingness to get better.

"To give credit to the kid, he's a hell of a football player," Moses said. "He's in there willing to learn, he wants to learn, he wants to be great. He's playing through a lot of things that normal quarterbacks, rookie quarterbacks don't play through. His head coach got fired after a couple of weeks, and things like that. For him, he's just trying to find his way. We just have to do a better job of helping him find his way as well."


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Redskins’ young trio shows potential, but long after Jets game was out of hand

Redskins’ young trio shows potential, but long after Jets game was out of hand

The game was long since over when the young Redskins made their presence felt. 
Quarterback Dwayne Haskins and running back Derrius Guice combined for their first career touchdowns. Wide receiver Terry McLaurin had a 67-yard catch wiped out by a holding penalty, but later in the game made a spectacular play on a ball thrown 41 yards down field. 
That trio, for now, comprises what little hope Washington has for its immediate future. But if you chose to see their performance in the second half of a 34-17 loss to the woeful New York Jets as a small sign of progress, don’t bother. They don’t.
“It was okay. It wasn’t good enough,” Haskins said when asked to evaluate his play. “We didn’t win.” 
If Guice seemed hard on himself afterward, too, there was good reason. At halftime the Jets led 20-3. New York punched in two quick touchdowns early in the fourth quarter and it was 34-3. Nothing that came after by any player really mattered.
“It was embarrassing,” veteran linebacker Ryan Kerrigan said.
Kerrigan is 31 now. He’s seen far too many days like this in his nine years with the Redskins. Haskins was making his second career NFL start. He’s not used to losing like this. He and McLaurin went to Ohio State, not Rutgers. Guice was a star at LSU. Kerrigan knows a hard lesson that they do not: You don’t control much in the NFL.
It’s hard for any rookie to see a bright future when you walk off the field drubbed by a 3-7 team. Garbage time numbers don’t do much for anyone – even for top draft picks who should be the foundation going forward.   
“No, because it’s not just about us,” Guice said. “We’ve got to have linemen up there that’s going to block for all us. We’ve got to have all of that. It’s more than just three people.” 
Haskins completed nine passes in the first half for just 52 yards. He was sacked four times. There are plenty of things he needs to learn about playing quarterback at this level and pocket awareness is one of them. 
Guice played behind veteran Adrian Peterson in his return from a torn meniscus in his right knee during the first game of the season on Sept. 8. He carried the ball just four times for 16 yards in the first half. 
McLaurin barely had time to celebrate his 67-yard catch with 13:22 to go in the second quarter. Instead of setting up the Redskins with 1st-and-10 at the 12, a holding call and unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on right guard Brandon Scherff made it 1st-and-24 at the 6. It was the story of the day.
By the end of the afternoon the numbers didn’t look so bad. McLaurin, a 2019 third-round draft pick, had three catches for 69 yards. Guice, last year’s second-round draft pick, showed how dynamic he can be taking a screen pass 45 yards for a touchdown. For a player who missed his rookie season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee and missed eight games this season with the meniscus tear, it had to feel great. 
“A lot of emotions going through my head at the time,” Guice said. “But I knew I had to put it aside because we were losing. It’s not about me. It’s about the team losing that really stinks. It took the excitement out of it.” 
Haskins completed 19 of 35 passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns. There were more big plays than in his first start, a 24-9 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Nov. 3 before the bye week. 
But his numbers were ugly after a drive stalled with 3:38 left in the third quarter following another sack. While the Redskins punted, Haskins gathered his offense together on the sideline and gave an impassioned speech caught by NBC television cameras. It was a fire we haven’t seen from him before.  
“He’s a guy that’s taking on a role and we’re all following,” Guice said. “Like I always tell him ‘It’s your offense, you’ve got to tell me where to go with protections, tell the line where to go, tell us what routes to run. That’s on you.’”
Added Guice: “He has to lead us and we’ve got to all follow. It’s team, it’s a team, it’s a team. We’ve got to play as a team, we’ve got to win as a team and we’ve got to lose as a team. It’s on all of us. We all made mistakes, we all made errors. We’ve got to fix it fast.” 
Haskins’ numbers before his outburst were 12-for-20, 95 yards. In the fourth quarter they were 7-for-15, 119 yards, two touchdowns. Encouraging? Sure. But there’s so much more work to be done for the small group that comprises this 1-9 team’s future. 
The veterans who have been around, who have lost more than they’ve won, know promise and potential isn’t worth much in a league with such a short shelf life. The young players aren’t going to turn this around on their own. They need to play better and they need help.   
“You have guys who have been in the league a long time. As a young dude with a new voice, you have to earn their trust,” Haskins said. “You have to earn that ability to ask for what you see out there. As the game went on telling them what I want and what I think would help us make plays. They started listening to me, but I have to keep earning that.”