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MLB, Oakland making plays to keep Kyler Murray playing baseball, not football


MLB, Oakland making plays to keep Kyler Murray playing baseball, not football

The Redskins might not be interested in Kyler Murray. The NFL might not be interested in Kyler Murray.

Either way, it sure seems like Major League Baseball and the Oakland A's are interested in Kyler Murray.

For those that don't know, Murray just won the Heisman Trophy at the University of Oklahoma and is one of the most electric quarterbacks college football has seen in the last decade. He's also a first-round pick of the Athletics and was expected to join their farm system this spring. That could change, however, as reports show Murray might be more interested in the NFL Draft.

Jeff Passan of ESPN reported that MLB is considering allowing the Athletics to guarantee portions of Murray's deal with Oakland, a fairly unprecedented move for baseball. Guaranteed money means a big-league deal in baseball, while draft picks usually operate with contracts that assume playing in the minor leagues.

"The notion of a player who has never taken an at-bat in the minor leagues winding up with a big league deal shows how special a situation Kyler Murray's is. It's not just the Oakland A's invested in him. It's Major League Baseball, too. Murray in MLB would be a coup," Passan wrote on Twitter.

Todd Dybas covers the Washington Nationals for NBC Sports Washington and explained that Murray's situation might mean more that just a normal draft pick for MLB.

"The one thing that struck me is we often talk in baseball about their inability to promote individual stars/names the way other leagues do. Allowing something like this sounds like a related idea, if not a direct result of that concern," Dybas wrote in a message. "Baseball, as an at-large entity, wants [Murray's] name recognition. [MLB Commissioner Bob] Manfred knows that, so they are tweaking the system."

The situation bears watching for the Redskins.

The No. 1 quarterback prospect in 2019 will be Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins. He was tremendous in 2018, and he also has NFL size.

As good as Murray was at Oklahoma, listed at 5-foot-10 and 190 lbs., he would be incredibly small for an NFL quarterback. Still, in a league without enough good passers and where rule changes are protecting quarterbacks at an ever increasing rate, now is the best time for a player like Murray to make it to the highest level. 

The reason this could hold particular interest with Washington is that while Haskins will likely be gone by the 10th pick, Murray might be available in the middle of the first round. The Redskins hold the 15th pick. 

Washington has plenty of holes. 

A first-round edge rusher or a cornerback or a safety or a guard would help the team significantly in 2019. But considering the Alex Smith injury situation, and that Colt McCoy is only under contract for 2019, it the 'Skins believe Murray can help for the long-term, the team must perform due diligence on his draft ability.

Only now, Washington and the rest of the NFL might be competing against Major League Baseball. 


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Breaking down Dwayne Haskins and Derrius Guice's first NFL touchdown

Breaking down Dwayne Haskins and Derrius Guice's first NFL touchdown

Although the Redskins suffered a brutal loss to the Jets in Week 11, a glimpse of hope occurred in the fourth quarter between two players the Burgundy and Gold expect to be a large part of the future of the franchise.

Rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins threw his first NFL touchdown pass, a 45-yard screen pass to second-year running back Derrius Guice. The touchdown was the Redskins first in 16 quarters, and also Guice's first NFL touchdown as well.

Redskins running backs coach Randy Jordan broke down how the play unfolded.

Jordan emphasized that on the play design, Guice was instructed to follow right guard Brandon Scherff on the screen and to follow his release. Scherff did an excellent job of releasing off his initial blocker and getting to the edge, allowing Guice to do the rest.

"The biggest thing for Derrius is trusting his landmarks, getting on the numbers, working his angle blocks and getting the ball out on the edge," Jordan said.

Guice found himself in open space down the right sideline, with only one Jets defender in his path from the end zone. The LSU product was not going to let New York safety Marcus Maye stop him from scoring.

"What I really like about this play, is at the very end, we always talk about scoring. Don't allow one defender to bring you down to the ground," Jordan said. "He ends up setting them up with a chop cut, a foot fire, ends up running by the [defender], and he ends up scoring for a big play."

Unfortunately for the Redskins, the touchdown came when they were down by multiple scores, as the big play had no impact on the final result. But Washington hopes the Haskins and Guice connection is a staple in the Redskins offense for years to come.


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One year after injury, Redskins QB Alex Smith’s wife posts emotional recovery video

One year after injury, Redskins QB Alex Smith’s wife posts emotional recovery video

Almost exactly one year ago, Redskins quarterback Alex Smith's life changed forever.

On November 18, 2018, Smith suffered a gruesome leg injury in the third quarter of the Redskins clash with the Texans, ending his season and putting his football career in jeopardy. 

The quarterback's road to recovery has been far from smooth. He's had multiple surgeries on his leg and was forced to wear a metal fixator for several months. But Smith has never given up, with the goal to eventually play football again.

On the one year anniversary of his injury, Smith's wife, Elizabeth, posted on Instagram a motivational montage showing how far Smith's recovery has come. 

Although he hasn't played at all in 2019, Smith has been around the Redskins plenty. He made the trip down to Richmond for training camp, he's a regular at practice, and has served as a mentor for Redskins rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

What the future holds for Smith football-wise still remains uncertain, but he's done everything he can to help the team while sidelined.