Was RG3 victim of extortion?

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Was RG3 victim of extortion?

From Comcast SportsNet
DALLAS (AP) -- A former Baylor basketball player is facing a federal extortion charge for allegedly threatening to release "derogatory information" about Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III unless he was paid. Richard Khamir Hurd, 25, was arraigned Monday in federal court in Waco. His bond was set at 25,000. A person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press that Griffin, the Baylor quarterback who was the No. 2 overall draft choice of the Washington Redskins, was the target of the alleged extortion attempt. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because authorities had not disclosed the fact. Griffin was at an NFL rookie symposium Monday in Ohio, where players were not made available to reporters. Court documents say that last week, Hurd contacted a representative from a St. Louis agency, threatening to publicize derogatory information about a client unless he was paid a "substantial sum" of money. The representative is identified in documents only by the initials B.D. Griffin's agent is St. Louis-based Ben Dogra, who didn't respond to messages Monday. The documents don't name Griffin. According to court documents, Hurd met at a Waco business Friday with someone who agreed to handle the transaction. After signing a non-disclosure agreement, handing over the information and receiving a check, Hurd was arrested by an undercover FBI agent, documents said. Hurd's attorney did not return calls seeking comment. Hurd's mother, Marlene Hurd, told The AP on Monday she'd heard that her son was in jail but wasn't aware of the details. "Whatever it is, I pray by the grace of God that he's innocent," she said. Griffin's Heisman Trophy, the first in the history of the world's largest Baptist university, came after he led the Bears to only their second 10-win season in 112 years. In his three-year career, Griffin set or tied 54 school records. Washington traded three first-round picks and a second-rounder to the St. Louis Rams to move into the No. 2 slot to draft Griffin. The past year also saw Baylor win the NCAA women's basketball championship with a 40-0 record and reach the round of 16 for the second time in three years in the men's tournament. However, less than a week after the Lady Bears won the title, the NCAA put the Waco school on three years' probation after an investigation turned up hundreds of impermissible telephone calls and text messages sent to prep recruits by coaches and assistants on the two basketball teams. Hurd played basketball at Baylor as a walk-on, from the 2004-05 season through the 2007-08 season, after a high school career at Heritage Christian Academy in Cleveland north of Houston, according to Baylor sports information. His brother, Lamar Hurd, also played at Heritage Christian and later at Oregon State. The brothers helped Heritage Christian become one of the top private school programs in Texas, and the school's former coach, Jerome Tang, is now a Baylor assistant.

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Morning tip: Wizards consistent with firm stance on Porter, trade deadline posture

Morning tip: Wizards consistent with firm stance on Porter, trade deadline posture

Otto Porter is in the final year of his rookie scale contract, and while players in his situation tend to be trade chips the Wizards aren't floating him with Thursday's deadline approaching. 

He's never been available, though everyone in the league is available pending what's being offered in return. Every team in need of a small forward is going to have Porter, who is in the midst of a career season as the NBA's top three-point shooter, 

Like Bradley Beal a year ago when he wasn't given an extension to his rookie deal, Porter is in a similar position making $5.9 million this season.The Wizards will have to tender him a qualifying offer ($125%) at the end of June to make him officially a restricted free agent which gives them first right of refusal to mach an offer sheet to retain him. Or they can immediately come to terms with Porter as they did with Beal.

 

Why isn't Porter considered expendable?

The Wizards have one of the best starting fives in basketball. In the East, especially with the Cavs missing Kevin Love, it could be argued that they're the best in the conference. With John Wall and Bradley Beal able to dominate possession and create for others, Porter is content and most effective playing off the ball. He's shooting 46.5% from three-point range. Unless the Wizards are getting a Paul George caliber player in return, they're not putting the cart before the horse by gutting this starting five for a role player for the bench.

With the need for bench scoring, why didn't they trade for Lou Williams who was available from the Lakers?

He's on a good contract at $7 million per through 2017-18, but the Rockets gave up a wing defender in  Corey Brewer and a 2017 first-round draft pick for the short-term. At 40-18, they could grab the No. 2 spot from the Spurs by season's end. The Wizards gave up a 2016 first-round pick for Markieff Morris which made sense because they had a hole in the starting lineup and stretch players at his position are more difficult to find that high-volume shooting guards. Plus 2016 was a weak draft. The 2017 draft is much better therefore a first-round pick is more valuable. All draft picks aren't created equal. The Wizards need bench help. A second-round pick is a fair swap to fill such a void, unless the trade partner is also willing to take a bad contract.

Why hasn't anything happened yet?

Every year, the flurry happens in the last 24 hours leading up to the deadline  (Thursday, 3 p.m. ET). This is why makes the Sacramento Kings making a decision so early in the process on DeMarcus Cousins more head-scratching. There are a lot of contingency plans and dominoes that will fall. It's hard to determine what the Wizards will do. A player who isn't available now might end up on the market. A "no" from an earlier conversation can become a "yes." President Ernie Grunfeld likes to put a lot of irons in the fire and let things simmer.

Who is selling?

The Lakers, Timberwolves, Nuggets, Kings, etc. See a pattern? Teams that aren't winning and willing to part with pieces to rebuild with draft picks from playoff-bound teams or teams with playoff aspirations. Mavs owner Mark Cuban recently made it public that he'd be willing to take on a bad contract for draft picks. Of course, those picks are only as valuable as they're used correctly. Draft badly and picks are a burden.

 

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Need to Know: Why can't the Redskins sign Garcon and Jackson?

Need to Know: Why can't the Redskins sign Garcon and Jackson?

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, February 22, 15 days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.  

Timeline

Days until:

—NFL Franchise tag deadline (3/1) 7
—NFL Combine (3/2) 8
—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 54
—NFL Draft (4/27) 64
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 200

Why not both Garçon and DJax?

Today's question is from my Facebook page. 

Thanks for the good words, Dennis. There are a few reasons why the Redskins are unlikely to bring back both Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson and why it’s possible that neither wide receiver will be back for the 2017 season.

One factor is age. Garçon will be 31 early in training camp and Jackson will turn the same age on December 1. While both are in great shape, investing fairly big money (more on that in a moment) in even one aging receiver is risky. Investing it in two is asking for major cap problems in a year or two.

Both receivers will get substantial contracts. In a market that is thin at the position, each player will get three- or four-year deals worth around $10 million per year. While either one could be cut prior to the end of the deal, the contracts likely will be structured so that if they are released after a year or two the team letting the player go will have to absorb an uncomfortable salary cap hit.

Having that much money tied up in two aging players at one position is dicey in and of itself. But a complicating factor here is Jamison Crowder. He is the team’s future at the position. This year he will complete the third year of his rookie deal making him eligible for a contract extension. If he continues to improve he will want something in that $10 million per year neighborhood. He might not get that much but he’ll get at least $8 million.

So, looking at 2018, if they signed both Garçon and Jackson this year and extend Crowder next season the Redskins would have three receivers taking up close to $30 million in cap space. That is too much. The Redskins were second in the league in spending on WR’s last year with “only” $23.5 million. The organization would be squeezed when it came to paying players at other positions.

I’ll hit on one more thing quickly, since I’m going to write a full post about it soon. Assuming the Redskins tag Kirk Cousins, they suddenly don’t have a whole lot of cap space. Their $64 million available would shrink to around $40 million. That’s still a pretty good chunk of money but they also must get 1-2 defensive linemen and perhaps a safety in free agency, and be prepared to handle possible extensions for Morgan Moses, Spencer Long, Trent Murphy, and Bashaud Breeland.

They could still squeeze one or both receivers in under the cap this year. That would mean some short-term gain for some long-term (as in the next two or three seasons) pain.

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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.