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Need to Know: Why the Redskins need to release RG3 today

Need to Know: Why the Redskins need to release RG3 today

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, February 23, one day before the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

Why the Redskins should release RG3 today

The time has come.

The Redskins need to release Robert Griffin III from his $16.15 million 2016 option contract and they need to do it today.

Perhaps they should have done it a while ago, sometime between August 31 of last year when Jay Gruden handed the keys to the franchise to Kirk Cousins and last week.

But they have held on to Griffin for a couple of reasons. They want to see if they can generate some trade action for him. That would involve the Redskins finding a team so interested in Griffin that they would want to give up a draft pick to get him rather than waiting until March 9 when the Redskins have to cut him. Then, if the Redskins can locate that team they would have to persuade Griffin to give up his right to shop his services wherever he wants to and negotiate a new contract with this team since nobody is going to trade for him at $16 million per year.

Sounds far fetched, right? Yeah, it’s not happening.

The other reason Griffin remains a Redskin is that organization wants to use him as some sort of leverage, a “pawn” in the words of one former agent, in negotiations for a new contract for Cousins. I would love to hear Cousins’ agent laughing when they tried to tell him that they could let Cousins walk and go with a $16 million player they benched and who wants nothing to do with him. In fact, watching Bruce Allen try to claim that with a straight face might be pretty amusing, too.

Even though both of these ploys have been pointless for quite some time there really hasn’t been any reason to let Griffin go. Why not keep him in hopes that an NFL team completely loses its mind or that Cousins’ agent Mike McCartney wakes up one morning suffering from some sort of temporary amnesia and forgets all of what has transpired regarding Griffin since 2012? But tomorrow the NFL Combine starts and that’s why the Redskins should cut ties with Griffin today.

Jay Gruden will be addressing the media on Wednesday afternoon. And won’t be just the local media, who know the story on Griffin and would keep questions on why he’s still there to a minimum. There will be national reporters and media from every NFL team. Any beat writer from any team who might be interested in Griffin will be there looking for quotes about RG3.

So, instead of talking about how his 2015 playoff team is going to look to make itself better this year he could be in a situation where he is getting peppered with questions about a player who will definitively not be with the team in two weeks.

And Gruden is not a very good liar. That’s a fine quality for a human being, not so much for one who would be expected to continue the bluff and say that Griffin could still be a part of their plans going forward.

So, which will it be? Can one of the voices of the Redskins appear in front of media from all over the league and paint a vision of what a bright future will look like? Or will Gruden have to keep up the charade and keep rehashing the team’s dysfunctional past?

The choice seems obvious but there is no guarantee that the organization will take the right course of action.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 44 days ago. It will be about 201 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL Combine 1; NFL free agency starts 15; 2016 NFL draft 65

In case you missed it

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The best players on the Redskins according to their Madden 19 ratings

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USA Today Sports

The best players on the Redskins according to their Madden 19 ratings

Madden 19 won't be released to the public until August 10, but the player ratings for the top players on each NFL team have been released.

The video reaches the Redskins a little after four minutes in. The top nine players on the Redskins, according to their Madden 19 overall ratings are as follows:

  1. LT Trent Williams, 91
  2. RG Brandon Scherff, 88
  3. FS D.J. Swearinger, 86
  4. MLB Zach Brown, 85
  5. CB Josh Norman, 84
  6. RB Chris Thompson, 83
  7. WR Paul Richardson, 83
  8. QB Alex Smith, 81
  9. WR Jamison Crowder, 81

The list has Washington's two best linemen up top followed by its best skill position players and Zach Brown. Beyond Williams and Sherff, there's some debate to be had. Both Richardson and Crowder can make a serious case to be the team's best receiver. Crowder had 22 more receptions and 86 more yards than Richardson in 2017, but Richardson had six touchdowns to Crowder's three.

Smith is coming off arguably the best season of his career with Kansas City. He put up over 4,000 passing yards for the first time in his career, posted career bests in quarterback rating, touchdown passes, interception percentage and completions. His rating as the fifth-best offensive player behind two other skill position players seems off.

These rankings will change throughout the season as more updates become available, but this is what there is to work with right now.

MORE REDSKINS COVERAGE

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Redskins schedule preview: Week 15 vs. Jaguars

Redskins schedule preview: Week 15 vs. Jaguars

We’re previewing every game of the 2018 season with a look forward and a look back. Up today, it’s the game against the Jaguars. 

Week 15 December 16, TIAA Bank Field

2017 Jaguars: 10-6, First in AFC South, lost AFC championship game 

Projected 2018 wins per Westgate SuperBook: 9

Early line: Redskins +8

Key additions: G Andrew Norwell, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, WR Donte Moncrief, 

Key losses:WR Allen Hurns, WR Allen Robinson

Biggest questions: 

  • QB Blake Bortles was very inconsistent during the season and there was talk of the team looking for a replacement for him prior to their run in the playoffs. Does he have what it takes to get the team back into serious contention. 
  • The team also got an inconsistent season out of RB Leonard Fournette, the No. 4 pick in the draft. Can he put together the monster season that would justify his draft status and help elevate the Jaguars to elite status. 
  • The Jaguars went from 25thin scoring defense in 2016 to second last year. Will they fall back to the pack this year?

Series history

The Redskins lead the all-time series 5-1. The Jaguars only win against them came in 2002.

Series notables

The first time: September 28, 1997, Jack Kent Cooke Stadium—In the second game ever played at the Redskins’ new stadium, Jacksonville took a 9-0 lead in the second quarter, but then-Jags QB Mark Brunell threw a pair of interceptions that set up two Washington touchdowns and the Redskins won 24-12. Gus Frerotte threw for 244 yards and two touchdowns and Terry Allen gained 122 yards on 36 carries. 

The last time: November 14, 2012, FedEx Field—Jay Gruden got his first win as the Redskins’ head coach in this one. Robert Griffin III went out of this game early with an injury and Kirk Cousins passed for 250 yards and two touchdowns in his place. It was the defense that dominated this game, racking up 10 sacks, tying the team record set in 1977. Ryan Kerrigan got four of those sacks, tying the team individual record for sacks in a game. The Redskins won 41-10.

The best time: October 1, 2006, FedEx Field—A taught, exciting game came to an explosive end when Santana Moss snared a pass that Mark Brunell perhaps should not have thrown and streaked to the end zone, giving the Redskins a 36-30 overtime win over Jacksonville.

The reason the throw was risky was that two defenders were near Moss as Brunell fired it to the speedy receiver. Somehow both of them missed it. Moss grabbed it, spun around and bolted the rest of the way to complete the 68-yard game winner.

It was Moss’ third touchdown reception of the day. In the first quarter, he caught a long pass from Brunell and executed a nifty spin move near the goal line to complete the 55-yard touchdown play. An eight-yard Moss TD catch early in the third quarter put the Redskins up by 10 but the Jags battled back to tie it with six seconds left. That set up Moss’ overtime heroics. 

The worst time: November 10, 2002, Alltel Stadium—The Redskins came into the game riding a two-game winning streak and at 4-4 they were squarely in playoff contention. A strong running game had been their best asset during their surge to .500 and, with the Jaguars sporting the worst run defense in the NFL, there was every reason to believe that the Redskins would take the land route to another win.

But coach Steve Spurrier had different ideas. "I was dumb enough to think we could throw it up and down the field," Spurrier said. "We ran a little bit here and there. We had a little success there early, and I got away from it too much. The second quarter, I kept thinking at midfield, we could throw the ball from there. But we didn't do it very well. So, looking back, I called a lousy game."

His defense didn’t play very well either. The Redskins scored first but the Jaguars scored 26 unanswered points and came out with a 26-7 win.

Redskins schedule series

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS  and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS  and on Instagram @RichTandler