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Need to Know:A third-round quarterback for the Redskins?

Need to Know:A third-round quarterback for the Redskins?

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, February 9, 28 days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.  

Timeline

Days until:

NFL Franchise tag deadline (3/1) 20
Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 67
—NFL Draft (4/27) 77
First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 213

With the season over, looking ahead

It’s too early for mock drafts but that doesn’t stop writers and self-styled draft gurus from cranking them out to fill the time between the Super Bowl and the NFL Combine. And, just as the mock drafters hope, I saw something interesting in one of them.

More Redskins: Looking for first-round value

Chris Burke of SI.com did a three-round mock, which is a stretch for this time of year but at least he acknowledges that. In the first two rounds he had the Redskins taking defensive linemen, DE Derek Barnett of Tennessee in the first round and DT Jaleel Johnson of Iowa, with their first two picks. That would be a development that would make most fans very happy.

In the third round, he has the Redskins making a pick that could be more controversial, Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya. The former Hurricane is 6-4 and he has a rifle of an arm from the pocket. He also can’t do much when he must move.

But leaving aside the attributes of this particular quarterback, is taking a quarterback in the third a good idea?

Well, it depends. If the Redskins and Kirk Cousins agree on a long-term deal between now and the draft then the third round would be too high to take a quarterback who clearly would be a backup.

RELATED: Position outlook: Looking for playmakers at ILB

But suppose Cousins is on the franchise tag when the draft comes around? Although he could still sign a long-term deal prior to July 15 the Redskins will probably have a good feel for the prospects of getting a deal done. If things aren’t looking good, they would have to proceed as if 2017 will be Cousins’ last year in a Redskins uniform. If they can get a guy who they can groom for a year to step into the starting job in 2018 they need to seriously consider it.

I don’t know if Kaaya would be the right guy or not. But if he can make decisions and get rid of the ball quickly, that’s half the battle in succeeding in Jay Gruden’s offense.

Let’s look at it this way. If they decide the let Cousins walk they must think that it’s fairly easy to find someone who can produce in Gruden’s offense like Cousins does. If they’re right, the proper third-round pick should be able to fill those shoes, no?

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Jay Gruden returns to NFL as Jaguars offensive coordinator

Jay Gruden returns to NFL as Jaguars offensive coordinator

Jay Gruden has found a new team in the NFL as he was named the Jacksonville Jaguars' newest offensive coordinator for the 2020 season, the team has announced.

This will be Gruden's return to the league after he was fired as the Washington Redskins head coach earlier this year. He was relieved from his duties after an 0-5 start, the team's worst start under his tenure. 

The offensive mind, that was previously an offensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals during their playoff runs with Andy Dalton, will now look to rejuvenate the Jaguars' offense. For years Jacksonville has had one of the least productive offenses in the entire league.

Strapped to Blake Bortles for several seasons and then signing Nick Foles has not paid dividends for head coach Doug Marrone and his staff. Aside from their improbable run to the AFC Championship in the 2017 season, the team has finished as one of the bottom seven offenses in the league under his tenure. 

Gruden also takes this new job as the Jaguars quarterback position is unsettled.

Nick Foles was signed to a four-year $88 million deal last offseason but struggled after an injury derailed his season. When he returned, he eventually was benched after two straight weeks without a touchdown pass. Rookie Gardner Minshew filled in for Foles' place and put together an admirable 6-6 record as a starter, accounting for all six of the team's wins. 

While directing the offense in Cincinnati, Gruden led the Bengals to three straight seasons as one of the top-13 offenses in the league. Their best season they were ranked as high as fourth. However, that did not fully translate to Washington. The last two seasons saw the Redskins offense fall to one of the bottom four in the league. Their record was not much better under his guidance at 35-49-1.

He likely takes this position with a short leash as John DeFilippo was fired from the same position after one year on the job. 

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Report: Dan Snyder petitions state of Maryland for gambling license for new stadium

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USA Today Sports

Report: Dan Snyder petitions state of Maryland for gambling license for new stadium

As a return to the old RFK Stadium site for the Redskins seems less likely, Washington owner Dan Snyder appears to be moving forward with a new plan: Staying in Maryland but adding a gambling license. 

Snyder met with a number of Maryland lawmakers to discuss sports betting and acquiring a license for a new Redskins stadium, according to The Washington Post. The report contends Snyder wants to use "sports betting as part of an overall plan to build a domed stadium that could include hotels, offices and training facilities."

The story also suggests Snyder could build the stadium with his own money. 

The Redskins currently play their games in Maryland at FedEx Field and their lease runs through 2027. The stadium is dated and Snyder has openly talked about wanting a new facility for his team to play.

For years, publicly, Snyder has opined that his team belongs back in D.C. at the RFK site. At various times in the last two years that seemed plausible, but political red tape from the federal government continues to hold things up. The stadium sits on federal land, and while the city has tried to regain control of that site, it hasn't happened. Until the city takes control, which is far from happening, it seems unlikely the Redskins get back to the site. 

So if it's time to move forward with Maryland, it requires a bit of a fresh start. The Redskins and the state were holding talks about a land swap to build a new stadium near the MGM National Harbor along the Potomac River, but those talks stalled when it became obvious the team preferred a return to D.C.

Legalized sports betting in Maryland seems likely to hit the ballot this fall, and considering the state already has fully operational casinos, there's little reason to think the vote wouldn't pass.

That's the first step for the Redskins to get a sports betting license for their new stadium. The idea isn't novel; Ted Leonsis has been quite open about adding a sports book to Capital One Arena and already has an agreement with William Hill bookmakers to run the gambling operation. Similar deals are expected at Audi Field and Nationals Park. 

It remains a bit of a surprise that Virginia politicians seem willing to sit out the courtship of a new Redskins stadium. Former Governor Terry McAullife actively flirted with the idea of building a new Redskins stadium in the Commonwealth, but current Governor Ralph Northam almost seems disinterested in the idea. 

The Redskins practice facility is in Loudon County and the team holds training camp each summer in Richmond. The training camp deal is soon to expire and some believe if and when a new stadium facility gets built, that could also house training camp and practices. Currently, no professional sports teams play in Virginia, and the Commonwealth does not appear as near legalized sports gambling as Maryland or the District. 

Like anything with a gigantic project in a region with three different local governing bodies and the omnipresent specter of the federal government looming, a new Redskins stadium will require significant legislative hurdles and deal-making. Stay tuned. 

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