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RG3 blackmailer pleads guilty

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RG3 blackmailer pleads guilty

DALLAS (AP) -- A former Baylor basketball player pleaded guilty Thursday to trying to extort 1 million from Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III by threatening to expose damaging information, prosecutors said. Richard Khamir Hurd, 26, pleaded guilty to one count of interstate communication of a threat related to extortion. He faces two to three years in prison when he's sentenced Nov. 21. The U.S. attorney's office said Hurd, a former walk-on basketball player at the school where Griffin won the Heisman Trophy, contacted one of Griffin's agents in June with a demand of 1 million in order not to release information that would damage the quarterback's reputation. According to an FBI affidavit, Hurd first gave the agent a deadline of June 18 but extended it to give the agent time to discuss the offer with others. Griffin's agent contacted authorities. Under the FBI's direction, the agent reached an agreement to pay Hurd 120,000 for the information and his signature on a non-disclosure agreement. Hurd arrived June 22 at a law office to sign the paperwork and collect the check. FBI agents arrested him afterward. Hurd's attorney didn't immediately return a phone message. Leaving court Thursday, Hurd responded to a request for comment with, "Sic em, Bears," the Waco Tribune-Herald reported. Griffin was drafted No. 2 by the Redskins this year and signed a four-year deal for more than 21 million. He has thrown for 747 yards and four touchdowns in three games. The Redskins are 1-2. A team spokesman declined to comment.

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Drafting a first round QB outside of the top two picks has largely backfired

Drafting a first round QB outside of the top two picks has largely backfired

Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes are two quarterbacks who were taken in the middle of the 2017 NFL Draft's first round, and they serve as two recent examples that you don't have to have a pick at the top of that round to land a star passer.

Problem is, they're basically the only recent examples, too.

In the past decade, teams who've tried to find their franchise signal-caller in the first round outside of either the first or second pick have failed time and time again. Since 2009, those prized QBs have mostly been selected No. 1 or No. 2 overall or mined beyond the first round. 

The following list, compiled by Redskins Talk co-host Mitch Tischler, shows how many mediocre to straight-up bad options franchises have found using picks 3-32:

  • Mark Sanchez — 2009 pick No. 5 — 37-36 career record
  • Josh Freeman — 2009 pick No. 17 — 25-36 career record
  • Tim Tebow — 2010 pick No. 25 — 8-6 career record
  • Jake Locker — 2011 pick No. 8 — 9-14 career record
  • Blaine Gabbert — 2011 pick No. 10 — 13-35 career record
  • Christian Ponder — 2011 pick No. 12 — 14-21-1 career record
  • Ryan Tannehill — 2012 pick No. 8 —42-46 career record
  • Brandon Weeden — 2012 pick No. 22 — 6-19 career record
  • EJ Manuel — 2013 pick No. 16 — 6-12 career record
  • Blake Bortles — 2014 pick No. 3 — 24-49 career record
  • Johnny Manziel — 2014 pick No. 22 — 2-6 career record
  • Paxton Lynch — 2016 pick No. 26 — 1-3 career record
  • Patrick Mahomes — 2017 pick No. 10 — 13-4 career record
  • Deshaun Watson — 2017 pick No. 12 — 14-8 career record
  • Sam Darnold — 2018 pick No. 3 — 4-9 career record
  • Josh Allen — 2018 pick No. 7 — 5-6 career record
  • Josh Rosen — 2018 pick No. 10 — 3-10 career record
  • Lamar Jackson — 2018 pick No. 32 — 6-1 career record
     

That list is one the Redskins — who own the 15th pick in the 2019 draft and who are beginning to be linked heavily to Kyler Murray — should pay close attention to.

The 2018 class is too young to judge, and as mentioned earlier, the 2017 class is providing quality returns. But none of the other names on that list have turned into anything useful, not to mention anything resembling special.

Of course, if you go back farther into the past, you'll find that QBs like Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers were snagged during the meat of the first round, so it's not impossible. However, the last 10 years have shown it can be very difficult to nail a pick in that range.

The logic feels simple: The truly elite talents, such as Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, Carson Wentz and Jared Goff, are snatched up immediately. The QBs who are found in the mid- to late rounds, meanwhile, are given more time to develop and/or find themselves on rosters that have been built up more.

Those non-elite first-rounders, on the other hand, are generally caught in between: not skilled enough to help turn around a team singlehandedly but, because they're high investments, they're forced into those tough situations and end up floundering.

There's no doubt that the 'Skins need a new hope under center. Where they should commit to that hope, though, is something that must be considered.  

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Daron Payne's outstanding rookie season rewarded with first-team PFWA honors

Daron Payne's outstanding rookie season rewarded with first-team PFWA honors

After being selected as the No. 13 overall pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft to fortify Jim Tomsula's defensive front, Daron Payne transformed what was considered an overlooked front line the year prior, establishing one of the NFC's premier defensive units.

Payne joins Da'Shawn Hand of the Detroit Lions (Alabama), Bradley Chubb of the Denver Broncos (NC State), and Marcus Davenport of the New Orleans Saints (UTSA) on this year's list as the only four defensive linemen to achieve the honor.

In his first 16 games for Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky, Payne racked up 56 tackles, five sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Payne is the first member of the Burgundy and Gold to be named to PFWA's annual list since Brandon Scherff was given the honor in 2016. 

Here's the entire PFWA All-Rookie team:

Offense

QB – Baker Mayfield, (CLE)
RB – Saquon Barkley, (NYG); Phillip Lindsay, (DEN)
WR – Calvin Ridley, (ATL); DJ Moore, (CAR)
TE – Chris Herndon, (NYJ)
C – Billy Price, (CIN)
G – Will Hernandez, (NYG); Quenton Nelson, (IND)
T – Mike McGlinchey, (SF); Braden Smith, (IND)

Defense

DL – Bradley Chubb, (DEN); Marcus Davenport, (NO); Da’Shawn Hand, (DET); Daron Payne, (WAS)
LB – Darius Leonard, (IND); Roquan Smith, (CHI); Leighton Vander Esch, (DAL)
CB – Jaire Alexander, (GB), Denzel Ward, (CLE)
S – Jessie Bates, (CIN); Derwin James, (LAC)

Special Teams

PK – Jason Sanders, (MIA)

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