RG3 named Rookie of the Month

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RG3 named Rookie of the Month

On Thursday, the National Football League named Redskins' quarterback Robert Griffin III as their Offensive Rookie of the Month for September. Last season, Ryan Kerrigan, picked up NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month honors in September as well. Griffin III is the first Redskin to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month since 2000 when offensive tackle Chris Samuels was bestowed with the honor for the month of October.

During the first four games of the regular season, Griffin III has completed 86-of-124 passes (69.4 percent) for 1,070 yards with four touchdowns and a passer rating of 103.2. After the Redskins victory over the Bucs, he became just one of three players in league history to pass for more than 1,000 yards in the first four weeks of their respective rookie seasons, joining Carolinas Cam Newton and Miamis Ryan Tannehill.

Furthermore, Robert leads all quarterbacks in rushing TD's, having rushed 41 times for 234 yards and scoring four touchdowns. His four rushing touchdowns are tied for most in the league with the Redskins 'other' rookie Alfred Morris and Houston running back Arian Foster. The only other Redskins signals callers to accomplish this feat in a single season are Joe Theismann (1979) and Eddie LeBaron (1955).

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What Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs means for the Nationals

What Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs means for the Nationals

After a weekend full of rumors and speculation, it appears as if Yankees' flamethrower Aroldis Chapman is in fact headed to Chicago to join the Cubs.

The Yankees will reportedly send the closer to "The Windy City" in exchange for highly prized 19-year-old shortstop prospect Gleyber Torres as well as outfield prospects Billy McKinney, Rashad Crawford and reliever Adam Warren, according to multiple reports

The Nationals were one of the other two teams in the mix for Chapman's services, but the organization was not willing to give up the amount of young talent the Yankees wanted in return.

RELATED: WHO SHOULD THE NATIONALS TARGET AT THE TRADE DEADLINE?

With Chapman — and his 105 MPH fastball — off the table, there are two questions that need to be addressed: 1) Where do the nationals go from here and 2) Did the Cubs just become unstoppable?

The market for elite or even high-end pitching at the trade deadline is at an all-time low this season.

Chapman was the top prize, and after him, the drop off is quite significant.

Both of the Nationals' playoff appearances have ended with late-game pitching blunders and it has become clear that Jonathan Papelbon, while competent as a closer, is far from a shutdown reliever, and a patchwork unit of Sammy Solis, Shaun Kelly, Felipe Rivero and Oliver Perez doesn't yet appear to be stable enough to handle an entire postseason run.

The issue for the Nationals is that in order to acquire a closer like, Wade Davis of the Royals, the team will have to be willing to give up at least two of their highly prized young stars like Trea Turner, Joe Ross, Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez.. If the team was unwilling to do so for Chapman, would the do it for Davis? 

If the Nationals do think they are just "one piece away," they could give up far less for someone like Brewers' closer Jeremy Jeffress, who has a 2.23 ERA with 23 saves and 30 strikeouts this season.

But again, the playoffs.

Jeffress is in just his second full season in the big leagues and what the Nationals need isn't just a talent closer, but one who won't get rattled in big moments and can close the door when the pressure is on.

As for the Cubs, getting Chapman is expected to be the final piece to the 108-year puzzle.

If the Nationals want to make the World Series, they will — more likely than not — have to go through Wrigley Field. The Cubs made it very clear during their early Mary series that they will not let Bryce Harper beat them. They also made it very clear that opposing pitchers cannot make more than a single mistake.

Now that the Cubs solidified their bullpen with the hardest-throwing pitcher in professional baseball, no matter how good the Nationals are — and they are very good — they may need some October magic to stop the Cubs from representing the National League in the World Series.

RELATED: UPDATED MLB POWER RANKINGS

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Michael Jordan pens statement on police shootings, vows support to reform groups

Michael Jordan pens statement on police shootings, vows support to reform groups

Michael Jordan is known first and foremost as one of the greatest NBA players of all time. And now as the owner of the Charlotte Hornets. But on the list of Jordan's various identities, activist hasn't ranked near the top (then again, neither has his stint as a Washington Wizard). 

Perhaps using his political voice sparingly makes his message louder when the time comes. Jordan seems to have judged today as one of those times. 

The six-time NBA champion spoke out against police shootings of African Americans and the slaying of law enforcement officers in a rare statement published in The Undefeated

"As a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers," Jordan wrote. 

The piece drew on his own experiences, both similar and different from those of the average black man. 

“Over the past three decades I have seen up close the dedication of the law enforcement officers who protect me and my family. I have the greatest respect for their sacrifice and service," he wrote. "I also recognize that for many people of color their experiences with law enforcement have been different than mine."

Jordan vowed to make $1 million donations to two groups he believes will help communities "come together as Americans, and through peaceful dialogue and education, achieve constructive change."

The first is the Institute for Community-Police Relations of the the International Association of Chiefs of Police. "The Institute for Community-Police Relations’ policy and oversight work is focused on building trust and promoting best practices in community policing," he explained. 

The other is the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, where Jordan hopes to contribute to "ongoing work in support of reforms that will build trust and respect between communities and law enforcement." 

In closing, Jordan affirmed his belief that America is "the world's greatest country." And that the nation's problems are within its people's power to fix if communities work together. 

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Grading the Caps' offseason moves: Caps sign Zach Sanford

Grading the Caps' offseason moves: Caps sign Zach Sanford

The quest for the Stanley Cup doesn't begin on the ice, but during the offseason as general managers build their teams for the upcoming campaign. The Caps have made a number of moves this summer to try to make their team better and get over the playoff hump.

Let's break down and grade each move the team made this offseason to help figure out whether it was the right move for the team.

Today's move: Signing Zach Sanford

Every year at development camp there is always one or two players who stand out. This year, it was Zach Sanford. Not only was his physical prowess on display, (6-foot-4, 191 pounds), but his skill was as well. He looked comfortable with and without the puck and was miles ahead of most of the other prospects in terms of development.

Even so, it was a bit surprising to hear the Caps were pushing to sign him to an entry level contract. He still had two years of eligibility at Boston College and the Caps' roster is loaded. Why push for him to sign just to spend the season in the AHL?

The reason why the Caps did it most likely has something to do with Jimmy Vesey.

RELATED: CAN CAPS RELY ON JOE CANNATA AS THEIR NO. 3 GOALIE?

Vesey was drafted by the Nashville Predators in 2012. By staying in college for four years without signing with Nashville, he will become a free agent on Aug. 15 and looks set to test the market. The same thing may be playing out between Washington and Thomas DiPauli, the Caps' fourth round pick from 2012 who remains unsigned. This type of thing is rare and it certainly seemed to catch Nashville off guard, but it did serve as a reminder to teams: sign your prospects before they have the chance to leave.

Sanford was drafted in 2013 out of the Eastern Junior Hockey League. The rules for players drafted out of junior leagues are similar to those drafted out of college. Full disclosure, I do not speak legalese, but based on my understanding of the collective bargaining agreement that sets the rules for signing players, by playing one year in juniors after getting drafted, Sanford could have become a free agent in August of 2017. It does not technically matter that he will have played only three years of college, all that matters is that it will have been four years after he was drafted.

So what does that mean for him this season? The Caps are set at center with Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Lars Eller and Jay Beagle. Plus, Marcus Johansson and Andre Burakovsky can play if need be. Barring injury then, Sanford will spend the season in Hershey.

Brian MacLellan has hinted at trying to keep room under the salary cap open for prospects to cycle in and get some NHL experience throughout the season. Sanford will have to adjust from playing in the NCAA to the AHL, which is quite a jump, but don't be surprised if Sanford gets his first taste of the NHL later in the 2016-17 season.

Grade: Incomplete

Vesey may have changed the game when it comes to prospects. Teams need to get these guys signed when they can or risk losing them. The Caps may well lose DiPauli and they didn't want the same thing to happen to Sanford.

This gets an incomplete, however, until what position Sanford plays this season. He played wing and center in college. Considering his size, he could be a good power forward and someone the Caps are tempted to call up to plug into the bottom six, but I absolutely do not want to see this unless it is at center. You can never have enough centers and it would be better for the team in the long-term to commit to developing him as a center rather than rushing him as a wing.

Granted, I am not a scout. If the Caps have determined he has no NHL future as a center, then they should ignore this and develop him as a wing. That's not what I saw at development camp, however.

If Sanford spends the season in Hershey as a center, then this move is a solid A. If the Caps try to rush him into their lineup as a winger this year, however, that would be a mistake. Patience is a virtue.

MORE CAPITALS: DID CAPS MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION WITH CHIMERA AND LATTA?