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What — if anything — can Redskins learn from Patriots' situation with Jimmy Garoppolo?

What — if anything — can Redskins learn from Patriots' situation with Jimmy Garoppolo?

Despite reports of a highly motivated trade market for Jimmy Garoppolo, the New England Patriots decided to hold on to their backup quarterback this offseason. It's easy to dismiss the notion of keeping Garoppolo as just one part of the unique genius of Pats coach Bill Belichick, but that might be overly simplistic.

In an article last week for MMQB.com, Albert Breer wrote that New England ultimately decided there is more value in a QB a team trusts than a package of draft picks, even high draft picks.

Your off-season lesson for this week: Having a good young quarterback on your own roster is more important than what he’s worth as an asset.

The emphasis belongs to Breer, and it could be an interesting lesson for Redskins fans. 

A vocal part of the fan base believed that Washington should have moved QB Kirk Cousins before the draft. The logic went that since the Redskins can't get a long-term deal done with Cousins, the organiztion should maximize the value with the passer and trade him, potentially for the first or second overall pick in the 2017 draft.

Breer's argument, however, might poke holes in that theory. 

Belichick and the Pats decided to keep Garoppolo despite plenty of reasons to move the young signal caller. The first - and super obvious - reason being a healthy Tom Brady. That needs no explanation.

Beyond Brady, Breer explains that it seems more likely Garoppolo's stock will actually decrease in 2017, just because it's so high right now. Looking ahead to the 2018 draft, a number of quarterbacks are expected to be worth high selections, starting with USC quarterback Sam Darnold.

If there was a time to move Garoppolo, it would have been this offseason. And Belichick didn't do it. That suggests the Patriots want to keep the former Eastern Illinois product playing in Foxborough, especially if age ever catches up to the 39-year-old Brady. 

One more note on Garopollo - he is slated for free agency in 2018. Just like Cousins. It's entirely possible Jimmy G walks in free agency next season, and the Pats get no compensation. The exact same possibility is in play for Cousins and the Redskins. New England could franchise Garoppolo next offseason, too, as has been the case for Cousins the last two seasons in Burgundy and Gold. 

The truth is Garoppolo has thrown less than 100 passes in the NFL. Cousins threw more than 600 just last season. There is no true comparison for Cousins' situation, just as there isn't for Garoppolo's. Both players have great value. Cousins has proved he's an NFL starter. Garoppolo certainly looked like one in two starts in 2016. 

One key takeaway: Belichick opted to keep Garoppolo this year, even though the Patriots could have recouped a lot of value, and knowing that the 2018 QB market should be significantly better than the 2017 crop. And that's with a very uncertain contract future for Garoppolo and the organization.

In some ways, the Redskins and Bruce Allen made the same decision with Cousins. It could certainly backfire. Cousins might leave next offseason and Washington gets nothing in return. Still, the Redskins will have their passer for 2017, and with an improved defense, should be an NFC playoff contender. It also remains possible the team finalizes a deal with Cousins before the July 15th deadline. It's not probable, but definitely possible. 

But in a league where most can only hope to emulate the success in New England, maybe, just maybe, Washington is following the Patriots handbook. 

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Redskins winning formula is ugly but effective

Redskins winning formula is ugly but effective

Ugly, but effective. 

That might as well be the Redskins motto for the 2018 season. 

Washington won an important game Sunday afternoon, beating the Bucs 16-3. The score, much like the football match, was ugly. 

The Redskins offense generated little yardage and even less touchdowns. The team mostly relied on kicker Dustin Hopkins for points, and arguably more importantly, punter Tress Way for field position. 

Defensively, the Redskins were as effective as financial regulation during the mortgage boom. The team gave up more than 500 yards of offense but also created four turnovers. 

Josh Norman grabbed an impressive interception early in the game that basically set the tone for the afternoon. Tampa had moved the ball into the red zone but then coughed it up. 

And in many ways, it was a minor illustration of the Redskins season as a whole. 

This team is 6-3 and well on their way to an NFC East title. They’re either the NFL’s best bad team or bad good team, but they’re winning games and that’s all that matters. 

The Eagles and the Cowboys are 4-5, two games behind Washington in the division race. Washington’s formula for winning games isn’t pretty and could probably most generously be described as old school, but it still works. 

Beat the bad teams, like they did in Tampa, and the Redskins will be hosting a playoff game in January. It’s that simple. 

Much like their offense, there is nothing exotic or particularly exciting watching this Redskins team. 

Don’t turn it over. Play good defense. Play good special teams. 

It’s simple. And it’s effective. 

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Josh Norman implores fans to make FedEx Field a place to 'fear'

Josh Norman implores fans to make FedEx Field a place to 'fear'

Redskins cornerback Josh Norman had a plea for Redskins fans in a tweet Sunday night following the team's big 16-3 win in Tampa Bay: Make FedEx Field a stadium visiting teams 'fear' - not because the Redskins are leading the NFC East for the first time in years with a 6-3 record - but because of Redskins fans.

Shortly after the Redskins' win, Norman complimented the strong showing of fans in Tampa Bay, though he lamented that their home audience wasn't always the rowdiest.

"We come back to our home and guys...they just don't really care. They just boo everything. They're not really behind us," he said.

Norman snagged his second interception in five games in Sunday's win.

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