Su'a Cravens

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Su'a Cravens on his Redskins tenure: 'There is a false narrative on what exactly happened'

Su'a Cravens on his Redskins tenure: 'There is a false narrative on what exactly happened'

For many Washington Redskins fans, closing the chapter on Su’a Cravens’ tenure with the team comes as a relief.

Last week, the team moved on from the 2016 second-round draft pick for merely a fifth-round draft pick and a swap of other picks with the Denver Broncos.

On Monday, Cravens’ new team introduced him to the Denver press. The 22-year-old had some intriguing comments about his injury situation, his retirement, and him moving on from the Redskins.

“I wanted a fresh start, I don’t like the way things happened,” said Cravens.

Describing how his concussion issues changed his life and gave him a new outlook on the game, the former USC Trojan did not want his lone 2016 season to be the story of his entire NFL career.

“I’ve always been excited about football, you know, I’m a competitor.”

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“I was going through something I wasn’t even aware that I was going through. So the mindset that I had, back last year, it was completely different from how I am now. Once I got cleared and I took a step back and actually looked at how I was acting, the way I was treating my loved ones, the way my whole thought process was, it was a stranger. It was just crazy. I didn’t even realize you was just in a predicament that you was just completely unaware of. There was a point where I was done with football.”

“Some things change and sometimes you got to be mature about situations and when it came to last year it wasn’t really about what I wanted it was about what I needed to do.”

Once Cravens decided to make his return to football, though, the damage had been done. Not only did it appear the Redskins organization was over him, but his reputation took a hit as well.

“I think there is a false narrative on what exactly happened,” Cravens said. “One day I will be able to speak a little bit further on that. But I’m not a quitter, I’m not a guy who lacks love for the game.”

Boy, that day cannot come soon enough. 

Cravens spoke on how teams simply just didn’t want him in their division. But also, how teams weren’t confident in him. He constantly reiterated how he had not lost his love for the game.

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“When it came to the Broncos, it just felt like, ‘Nah, we want him. We want him here. He has a role that he can come in here and play, and that’s all I’ve been looking for: a place where they want me.”

“This is a job, and it doesn’t matter who you think you are, the ability that you may have it can all be gone the next day,” he said. “Having it taken away, with no choice… it kind of matured me in a way to where I would never take that for granted again.”

The full video of Cravens' introductory press conference can be found here.

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What we know - and what we think - of Su'a Cravens' situation with the Redskins

What we know - and what we think - of Su'a Cravens' situation with the Redskins

After a promising rookie campaign in 2016, Su'a Cravens seemed poised for a breakout season in 2017. He switched positions, going from inside linebacker to safety, and momentum was on his side during training camp in Richmond. 

Things quickly fell apart, however, as Cravens sustained a knee injury in the first preseason game. A procedure on his knee cost him the remainder of camp and the preseason, and then things got worse. Cravens was moved to the Reserved/Left Squad list before the Week 2 game against Los Angeles, ending his 2017 season without playing a snap. 

Much has been said and rumored about Cravens' NFL future. In an attempt to clarify, let's look at what is known and what is believed to be true. 

  • Known - Cravens applied for reinstatement from the reserved/left squad list.
  • Believed - Cravens wants to play in the NFL again, as soon as this fall. There was some question if Cravens wanted to play football again.
  • Known - Cravens got treatment and was cleared from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for head injuries in December. 
  • Believed - Cravens dealt with concussions his rookie season and was still dealing with after effects. Dr. Michael Collins at the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program is one of the foremost concussion doctors in the world; he wouldn't have cleared Cravens unless there was something wrong. 
  • Known - Cravens has three years left on his rookie contract as the 2017 season "tolled" toward his contract status, meaning the year never counted towards his four-year deal. 
  • Believed - There is a question if Cravens would be welcomed back in the Redskins locker room. From numerous conversations with people close to the situation, he would. A number of players stayed in touch with the young safety throughout his year off the team, and understand the circumstances surrounding his absence. If he would be welcomed back by the full coaching staff and all members of the front office might be a different story.

So what does it all mean? 

It's hard to see a scenario where Cravens comes back to play for the Redskins. The decision to end Cravens' 2017 season by placing him on the reserved/left squad list while he was dealing with injury and personal turmoil still lingers, and some inside the organization still can't understand Cravens' request for some mental health time. 

Cravens will have a trade market, especially with three years remaining on a team-friendly rookie deal. The Redskins must understand they won't get dollar-for-dollar value in a trade, as Cravens was a second-round pick in 2016. 

The Redskins need help all over their roster, and maybe it would make sense to try and move Cravens for another player rather than draft help. Denver is reportedly looking to move Emmanuel Sanders, and maybe the two sides could work a deal. That might not materialize, but Washington needs to look at creative options in moving the former USC star.

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayNBCS for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Su'a Cravens wants back in; officially applies to NFL for reinstatement

Su'a Cravens wants back in; officially applies to NFL for reinstatement

Su'a Cravens wants back in.

The No. 53 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft had a standout rookie season and was expected to do big things in 2017.

Cravens played in 11 games as a rookie, finishing with 34 tackles (24 solo), one sack and one interception.

Then, just weeks before the start of the regular season, Cravens informed the Redskins organization that he would not be ready to join the team and needed to get his mind right. Two weeks later he was officially placed on the reserve/left squad list.

Now, after Cravens had a full season to heal his lingering vision issues and recover from post-concussion syndrome, the versatile safety has officially applied to the NFL for reinstatement off the reserve/left squad list after being cleared for football activities in December.

Ian Rappoport of the NFL Network was the first to report the news

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The 2017 saga of Su'a Cravens was one Redskins fans probably don't want to revisit. But the latest bit of news is a step in the right direction for an athletically gifted football player who became an instantaneous fan-favorite.

If Cravens' reinstatement is approved by the NFL, he will count against the team's 90-man offseason roster. But that does not necessarily mean Cravens will be back with the Redskins next season. The team will need to evaluate whether or not they want to reintroduce him to the locker room.

But the fact remains that after wanting out of football, Cravens wants back in.

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Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below.

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