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Why is RG3 still with Redskins? "A pawn" in Cousins negotations


Why is RG3 still with Redskins? "A pawn" in Cousins negotations

After not taking a single snap during the 2015 season - and with a $16 million salary taking effect after March 9 - many wonder why Robert Griffin III still finds himself on the Redskins roster. Washington could have released Griffin immediately following the Super Bowl, allowing both team and player to move on from a complicated relationship. Instead, that hasn't happened, and while it's highly unlikely RG3 remains with the Redskins, the team has still not let Griffin go.

"He’s kind of a pawn in this whole Kirk Cousins game," former NFL agent Joel Corry said of RG3.

Corry explained that as the Redskins and Cousins work on a contract to keep the 2015 starter in D.C., Redskins brass believes they can use Griffin as a bargaining chip. The thought process being the 'Skins have an extra layer of security, so should Cousins not accept the team's terms, the team can turn to RG3.

"The agent’s not going to buy it," Corry said of Cousins' representative Mike McCartney. "The agent's probably trying hard not to laugh."

There is some talk the Redskins are working on a deal to trade Griffin; an attempt to recoup some value considering the team gave up so much to acquire the former Baylor star in 2012. That, however, seems like wishful thinking.

"He will be gone before March 9, you couldn’t even trade him," Corry said, explaining that to trade Griffin would require his consent to rework his $16 million option. 

"He wants to be free to pick his own situation," Corry said. Adding that the thought elsewhere in the NFL is, "why would you give up a pick for [Griffin} when you can get him for free?"


Roster machinations aside, odds are eventually Griffin will be thrust into a situation where he decides what is best for him moving forward. And Corry isn't so sure that the best move would be to hunt for a starting job.

"It might be in his best long-term interest to go some place where he can play for a QB guru as a backup," he said. 

Kansas City and Arizona stood out as good landing spots for RG3, Corry said, backing up Alex Smith or Carson Palmer respectively. Chiefs coach Andy Reid has found great success with mobile quarterbacks like Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick and even Smith, where Cardinals coach Bruce Arians knows how to get the best out of passers. Further, in Arizona, Griffin would sit behind an injury prone 36-year-old in Palmer, while playing with one of the league's best defenses.  

Yet RG3 may want the chance to prove himself as a starter again, and want the chance right away. In that case, Houston or Los Angeles would be the most appealing options. Both teams have strong defenses and some great parts on offense, but sorely lack for a QB.

"I don’t think he has a starting opportunity," Corry said. "If he’s gonna start the best place would probably be the Rams, which would be extremely ironic."

Ironic indeed. 2012 saw the Redskins give up a bounty to move up in the draft and select Griffin. The team whose pick they took? The then St. Louis Rams. Now playing in L.A., the Rams could want somebody with star qualities at quarterback, qualities that RG3 showed in spades during his sublime 2012 season.

And, as the saying goes, Hollywood loves a comeback story. 

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Need to Know: What to look for at Redskins OTAs

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Need to Know: What to look for at Redskins OTAs

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, May 23, 65 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

What to look for at OTAs

Redskins OTAs started yesterday. The no-contact drills are the first time during the offseason program that the offense and defense are permitted to line up against each other. The-no pads aspect of it does take off a lot of the edge but the reality is that this will be the closest thing to football we will see until training camp starts in late July. 

Here are some things that I will be looking for during today’s practice.

Who’s in? Jay Gruden told us earlier that we should expect to see some injured key players not participating as they continue to recover from 2017 injuries. Specifically, OT Trent Williams (knee), OT Morgan Moses (ankles), and TE Jordan Reed (hamstring/toe) will only be spectators if they are at Redskins Park at all. Other players who may sit out or participate only in light drills are RB Chris Thompson (leg), and ILB Mason Foster (shoulder). The Redskins have been relatively healthy the past few offseasons so we will see how they deal with the aftermath of the injury scourge that hit the team last year. 

Seven-on-seven—Sure, it’s fun to watch the full team drills with 11 on each side but since blocking and tackling is limited by the rules about contact, there isn’t much to be gleaned from watching an off-tackle run. But when they eliminate the guards, tackles, and interior defensive linemen it’s all passing and then we can watch how well Alex Smith and his receivers are connecting. One thing I’ll keep in mind is that Smith decided not to get the receivers together for a “passing camp” before the offseason activities started. He said that he wanted to get to know the playbook first. Because of that they can be forgiven if they are not quite as sharp as they might be. Also, how natural does Derrius Guice look coming out of the backfield to catch passes? His primary job will be to carry the ball, but if he is a legitimate pass-catching threat, the whole offense will be harder to defend.

Rookies vs. pros—In rookie camp two weeks ago we saw Trey Quinn putting defensive backs on the ground with some moves and Troy Apke showing great makeup speed on some long passes. But those tryout defensive backs and quarterbacks are no longer around. How will Quinn look against veteran Orlando Scandrick or second-year corner Josh Holsey? Will Smith’s ball placement negate Apke’s speed? In the one-on-one pass blocking drills, which emphasize technique over power, can Daron Payne get past Brandon Scherff?

The big guys—With Williams and Moses out, who will line up along the offensive line? Does Payne line up at nose tackle or is he used more as an end with Tim Settle in the middle? Is Ziggy Hood in the middle or will he work outside? How is Phil Taylor looking after a quad injury ended his season in training camp? As noted, the rules make it hard to tell much about linemen before Richmond but we try to glean what we can. 

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

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My reaction to this tweet from the NFL illustrating the changes to the kickoff rules:


Today’s schedule:Redskins OTA practice 11:30; Jay Gruden and Alex Smith press conferences, players available coming off the field, after practice, approx. 1:30

Days until:

—Minicamp (6/12) 20
—Training camp starts (7/26) 65
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 79

The Redskins last played a game 143 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 109 days. 

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New pieces on offense lead to plenty of questions for Redskins at OTAs

New pieces on offense lead to plenty of questions for Redskins at OTAs

Alex Smith in, Kirk Cousins out.

That's certainly the headline, but there are plenty of other questions for the Redskins, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.

For the last two seasons, most of the questions going into OTAs for Washington came from the defensive side of the ball. After consecutive drafts with a first-round defensive lineman selection, the defense should be much improved. 

On offense, however, there are a lot of new parts. 

  1. The headliner - No position in sports is as important as NFL quarterback. This will be Alex Smith's first action in a Redskins uniform with media present. The 34-year-old veteran is coming off the best season of his career, and if he can continue that level of accuracy and play-making, the Redskins could be poised for an explosive year.
  2. The speedster - Washington's wideouts lacked separation in 2017. It was apparent through much of the year, and likely played a roll in some of Kirk Cousins' reluctance to make tough throws. Free agent addition Paul Richardson is supposed to help, immediately. He has elite deep speed and the 'Skins brass hopes he can bring a similar element to the offense that DeSean Jackson provided a few years back. Time to prove it Paul. 
  3. The injuries - There are big reasons for concern, namely two very large men in Jordan Reed and Trent Williams. Reed will not participate in OTAs, and has been dealing with a foot/toe injury for the better part of a year. Williams, who seems highly unlikely to attend OTAs, underwent knee surgery in January. Beyond Smith, Reed and Williams are probably the two most important offensive players on the Redskins. OTAs aren't important, Reed and Williams participating, or even attending, OTAs is not important. Both men being healthy and ready to go in September is quite important. 
  4. The Rookie - Has Derrius Guice become the most popular player on the Redskins? Maybe. The dynamic rookie running back, with an interesting draft weekend slide, has the charisma and ability to be a star. The "off-field concerns" that hurt his draft status seem like myths at this point, but there was some injury concern his junior season at LSU (see video above). Guice has an opportunity to be a huge part of the Redskins offense, and all eyes will be watching the rookie. 
  5. The leap? - In 2017, Josh Doctson showed flashes of the player that warranted a first-round pick in 2016. Will 2018 be the year he proves it, week after week, game after game? Getting off to a good start with Smith should help, and even more important would be an injury-free offseason. 

There are questions for the defense too, particularly at cornerback after Josh Norman, but this year, the offense has more new parts. 


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