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.
The Redskins are about to find out what Robert Kelley can do and if their gamble to stay in-house at the running back position is going to pay off.
Whether Matt Jones is able to play on Sunday against the Bengals or not, it seems inevitable that Kelley, the undrafted rookie out of Tulane, will get a lot of carries. His career high in rushing attempts in a game is five. If Jones doesn’t play, Kelley could surpass that total in the first quarter. Jay Gruden said that Kelley, not Chris Thompson, will get the lead back role.
“You know, Chris has such an important role as far as third downs and his specialty role that we need him in that role and he’s not a very big guy,” Gruden said. “We don’t want to give him the ball 35 times between the tackles, you know? We’d like to have a more physical guy do that. Chris is going to get plenty of touches without a doubt but if Matt can’t go it’ll be mainly Chris and obviously Robert.”
Even if Jones can go, his knee injury and his fumbling problems are likely to reduce his normal workload. Some of his carries are likely to go to Kelley.
While many would like to see what Kelley can do in extended action there is no way of knowing how effective he may be. It is something of a crapshoot. Kelley is averaging an impressive 6.1 yards per carry, but that number is inflated by 45-yard run against the Eagles. Still, 21 of his 31 carries have gone for five yards or longer. If he can get five or more on two out of three carries and protect the football on Sunday the coaches will be very happy.
One person with a vested interest in seeing Kelley succeed is Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan. All offseason, fans and many in the media were asking where the veteran running back was. Few thought it would be wise to go into the season with just Jones, who is in his second season and his first as a starter, and Thompson, who has just one full season in the third-down role.
But no veteran running back was signed, and the job as the third running back went to Kelley. If he can handle the role then McCloughan’s strategy will be vindicated. If not, the GM will have some egg on his face as he searches for an acceptable alternative to Jones.
The Redskins may be forced to cover one of the best receivers in the NFL without one of the best corners in the NFL.
Coach Jay Gruden is very familiar with the receiver, the Bengals’ A.J. Green. Cincinnati drafted Green in the first round in 2011, Gruden’s first year as the offensive coordinator there. In three seasons with Gruden, Green averaged 87 receptions, 1,278 yards, and 10 touchdowns.
Green has done quite well in the wake of Gruden’s departure in 2014 to become the Redskins’ head coach. He is on pace for a career season, with 50 receptions for 775 yards through seven games. Stopping the Bengals offense means stopping, or at least slowing down, No. 18.
“A.J. is a different animal,” said Gruden. “You know, he is 6-foot-3-and-a-half, 6-foot-4. He’s very strong, and he’s got the ball tracking ability unlike anybody we’ve ever seen.”
The Redskins have just the guy to slow Green down under contract but Josh Norman’s status for the game is up in the air as he is in the NFL concussion protocol. The All-Pro cornerback will visit an independent neurologist later today. He may get clearance to make the trip to London with the team. But even if he does a setback of some sort could keep him out of the game.
MORE REDSKINS: RYAN KERRIGAN LEADS JERSEY SALES IN TWO STATES
If Norman can’t play, the Redskins will play a mix of coverages.
“A.J. has been pretty effective against just about any corner he’s ever gone against,” said Gruden.” And you have to do different things against him. You know, if you think we’re going to play Cover 0 with man-to-man the whole time, you’re going be really mistaken.
“We’re going to have to change up the coverages, figure out ways to beat him up a little bit at the line of scrimmage, and play a safety over the top from time to time, play a third, play somebody underneath him, and then play some man-to-man. We’re going to have to play some man-to-man eventually, whether it’s [Quinton] Dunbar, whether it’s [Bashaud] Breeland, [Greg] Toler, whoever it is if Norman doesn’t go.”
It sound like the Redskins are going to take a “kitchen sink” approach to covering Green or perhaps they haven’t yet figured out how to handle him.
Green is the best receiver the Redskins have faced since taking on Antonio Brown of the Steelers in the season opener. They had all offseason to try to figure out how to handle him and they had Norman but Brown still caught eight passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns. So maybe they have to try to figure out how to win even if Green goes off.
And this season’s results show that’s possible. The Bengals are 3-4 despite Green’s gaudy stats. So teams are figuring out some way to mitigate the damage that the star receiver inflicts on a regular basis.