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How the Redskins emerged as the front-runners to trade for Josh Rosen

How the Redskins emerged as the front-runners to trade for Josh Rosen

Have the Redskins emerged as the favorites to land Josh Rosen? It's starting to appear that way. 

All signs point to the Cardinals taking Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray with the first overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft later this month, and if that happens, there's no way Arizona is keeping Rosen on the roster. 

That means the Cards need to move their 2018 first-rounder, and do so without a whole lot of leverage. 

Enter the Redskins, a team with a long-term hole at QB. Washington wants to add a young passer, but their current financial commitment to injured Alex Smith makes that hard. 

Rosen would be perfect because the Cardinals are already paid his signing bonus and he's owed less than $2 million for the 2019 season. 

The Murray-to-Arizona speculation started growing at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, and the Rosen-to-Washington rumors started almost immediately thereafter. They haven't slowed. 

The latest came from ESPN's Todd McShay, who said of Rosen on his podcast, "I keep hearing Washington. They are the most likely of teams. They seem to be the most interested in Josh Rosen."

Being the most likely makes sense. The 2019 rookie crop of signal callers lacks star power. 

Murray might be a star, but questions remain for Dwayne Haskins and Drew Lock. Still, expect both to go before the 'Skins draft with the 15th overall pick. 

Daniel Jones could be there at 15, and the Redskins will host the Duke QB next week for a pre-draft visit. Expect a visit from West Virginia QB Will Grier, too. 

Still, most talent evaluators would rank Rosen only behind Murray if the former UCLA star was in the 2019 draft class.

Josh Norris, a draft analyst at Rotoworld, believes Rosen could be a real fit in the Redskins offense. 

"Rosen would be a great pickup," Norris said via text message. "I think his success is very much tied to offensive line talent, and if healthy, Washington has a good one."

For months, sources inside Redskins Park have been clear that their first-round pick is not involved in a possible offer for Rosen. But don't rule out a package of picks spread out over two seasons, like a 2019 second-rounder and a 2020 third-rounder and an additional late round pick in either season. 

For the Redskins, Rosen might present the rare intersection of value and talent. 

For the Cardinals to move Rosen means they've lost tremendous leverage, as the team is setting forward with a new QB. Every NFL team knows that, and in turn, Arizona won't be made whole on their 2018 investment of the 10th overall pick. 

Rosen wasn't good as a rookie last year, but that doesn't mean he won't be good. And in Washington, he won't have the pressure of starting right away, as the team has Case Keenum and Colt McCoy to battle it out at starting QB for 2019.

Rosen to the Redskins is far from a done deal. 

But as long as Washington holds on to its 15th pick in 2019, it is the deal that makes the most sense. With four picks among the first 96 selections, the Redskins have the war chest and the need to pull this move off. 

Keep in mind, however, the Redskins front office usually makes big moves in silence. 

There was no hint that the 'Skins were moving to get Alex Smith last year until it happened. Same this year with Case Keenum. 

Bruce Allen runs trades in Washington, and Bruce Allen keeps his moves very close to the vest.

That doesn't mean it won't happen. That certainly doesn't mean it shouldn't happen. If a deal does happen, however, Redskins fans should be prepared to wait all the way up until maybe even draft day for any news to emerge. 

Or it could happen tomorrow. 

The NFL is a wild ride. Buckle up. In the Rosen pursuit, the Redskins appear to be in the driver's seat. 

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Montez Sweat expects to have his hand in the dirt more for Washington in 2020

Montez Sweat expects to have his hand in the dirt more for Washington in 2020

During his Thursday Zoom press conference with the media, Montez Sweat gave a 16-word answer that will have Washington Football Team fans around the nation and the world rejoicing, celebrating and maybe even tearing up.

The response came to a question about how Sweat's role will change in 2020 under a new staff that includes Ron Rivera and Jack Del Rio, and while it was short and simple, it was also glorious. 

"We're going to have my hand in the dirt more so than I was last year," Sweat said.

That's right, everybody. It sounds like the plan is for Sweat to rush the passer as much as possible this year, instead of sometimes rush the passer and sometimes drop into coverage like he was asked to do as a rookie.

Isn't that a novel idea?

Between that attack-first approach Rivera and Del Rio are "preaching" and the switch to a 4-3 scheme, which Sweat starred in at Mississippi State, the 2019 first-round pick is feeling confident about his immediate future.

Those factors aren't what makes him most optimistic, though. 

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In reflecting on his debut campaign, Sweat described how much more comfortable he got as the schedule progressed. The numbers back that up, too — 5.5 of his 7 sacks came in Washington's final eight contests.

That increase in production came as he began figuring out how to study for his opponents and how to better take on the lineman across from him. Those are things he's prepared to carry over into 2020, too.

"I feel like I developed more of a rush plan going into the games," he said. "Winning with speed and stuff like that isn't going to work most of the time. You have to get moves, you have to refine your technique."

Add all of that up, and Sweat is fully ready to do more for the defense after what he's personally labeled a slightly disappointing rookie season.

"I definitely didn't live up to my expectations and my standards," he said. "It was a learning year for me. I learned a lot, and I just want to show what I learned coming up this next year."

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Jerry Jones shares what the Cowboys will do during national anthem

Jerry Jones shares what the Cowboys will do during national anthem

It's become a question every professional sports team has had to or will have to answer at one point or another: "What will you do during the national anthem?"

Most NBA players have decided to take a knee, while a percentage of players in MLB and the NHL have decided to do the same. Some players remain standing, as is their choice, though people want to know everyone's plan. Especially Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys. 

Jones didn't reveal the specifics of his team's plan once their season begins on September 13, though he did reveal what the general theme of their demonstration to reporters Wednesday. 

"We're going to show grace. I'm going to show grace. And I'd like to show that kind of grace on a sensitive matter," Jones said, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. "Everybody is genuine here. I'm giving everyone the benefit of the doubt relative to any decision that I make. I have one thing: My job is to run the Dallas Cowboys. My job is to do what's right. We've asked for all of this interest and we've asked for our players to give everything they've got."

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Jones was notably anti-protest back in 2016 when Colin Kaepernick began kneeling during the national anthem. Nobody on his team took a knee during the anthem, and he later stated how proud he was of his team for it. Jones also required his team to stand for the anthem in 2017.

"We strongly, strongly support the flag," Jones said at the time. "In every way, we support -- it's almost ridiculous to be saying it -- the people that for generations and generations have given it all up so we can get out here and show off in front of millions of people on television. We respect that so much. That's the real business."   

But as Jones said Wednesday, "That was then, this is now." We won't know until the day comes whether the Cowboys will kneel during the national anthem or put on any other demonstration. But for now, we can acknowledge how Jones has changed his tune regarding this issue. 

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