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A Redskins quarterback competition in name only?

A Redskins quarterback competition in name only?

Redskins’ GM Scot McCloughan gave some clarity to the Redskins’ quarterback situation during a radio appearance on 1067 The Fan on Thursday. Or did he?

Coach Jay Gruden has said that Robert Griffin III is “the No. 1 guy” and would run the first-team offense during OTAs and in training camp. Host Grant Paulsen asked McCloughan why there wasn’t an open quarterback competition.

“It is open. It is open,” McCloughan replied, apparently repeating himself for emphasis. “But, you know, it’s Robert’s job to lose. It’s definitely wide open . . . I can promise you this, the guy that wins the job is going to be the starter Day One. Right now Robert has the opportunity to walk out there Day One and get the first snaps.”

“Our bottom line is to win football games. That’s why I’m here, that’s why Jay’s here, that’s why Bruce is here, that’s what Dan wants. We have to win football games. The best players are going to play.”

The question here is, how can it be an “open” competition if it’s already one player’s job? That’s not really a “wide open” deal there.

“It’s his job to lose” could be said of any player’s job. In theory, Trent Williams can play his way out of his job as the starting left tackle. But his job is not “open”. They won’t go through training camp and have him take about half of the reps with the first team and have Morgan Moses take the other half and then decide who plays better. It’s Trent Williams’ job.

On the other hand, right guard Chris Chester’ job truly is “wide open”. He will be pushed hard by Spencer Long and perhaps by rookie Arie Kouandjio. There could be some alternating of snaps with the first unit. When the starters line up for the first preseason game it would not be shocking to see Long in there.

Chester is in what most of us would call a competition for the starting job. Williams is not. Is Griffin’s position more like that of Chester’s, where Long has a fighting, very legitimate chance to take away the job? Or is Griffin more like Williams, in a competition in theory only? It's probably somewhere in between but it sure sounds more like the latter than the former.

It should be noted that having a true quarterback competition comes with a price, especially for a younger quarterback like Griffin. He needs all of the snaps he can get with the first team in order to get ready for the regular season. Cutting those in half to determine a winner would not serve Griffin—or Cousins or McCoy if one of them one the job—very well.

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Peter King, Ian Rapoport say Redskins can't afford to let Kirk Cousins get away

Peter King, Ian Rapoport say Redskins can't afford to let Kirk Cousins get away

After he signed the franchise tag a couple of weeks ago, the speculation, rumors and, for some fans, panic around Kirk Cousins has largely quieted down.

The Redskins can ink their quarterback to a long-term deal any time between now and July 15, but talks may not pick up until summer rolls around. A trade can also occur, but no recent reports have indicated that one is in the works.

Therefore, it currently looks like Cousins and the franchise that drafted him back in 2012 will be together for at least one more season. And according to Sports Illustrated's Peter King, that's a wise choice by the Burgundy and Gold.

"I think they did the absolute right thing in making sure Kirk Cousins is gonna be their quarterback this year," King told CSN Redskins Insider JP Finlay at the NFL owner's meetings in Phoenix. "I absolutely, unequivocally would not trade him. That's a white flag." 

As for why King wouldn't move on from No. 8, his explanation was very simple.

"You don't get rid of a guy who's got the second-most passing yards in football over the last two years," he said.

MORE REDSKINS: WILL JAY GRUDEN'S ROLE IN DECISION-MAKING EXPAND THIS YEAR?

Finlay also gathered input on the Redskins' and Cousins' relationship from the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, who's another major voice in the league's media. Rapoport first stated that he would be "beyond stunned" if the 28-year-old was not in D.C. for the 2017 campaign and then laid out how he envisions the year unfolding.

"I do not believe he will sign the extension before the season," he said. "So, he's going to go out there, play on another one-year deal, bet on himself like he did last year. You hope it's the same thing. And then we'll see, because I know there's some talk about him not signing an extension — I'm not so sure about that. Everyone has a price, right?"

"If they offer him $25 [million] a year, Andrew Luck's deal, I would imagine plans would change pretty quickly, right?" Rapoport continued. "So you get to the end of the season, assess where you are, assess the value and see if you can make a business deal. It's terrible to have to pay so much money to your quarterback. The only worse thing is not being able to pay so much money to your quarterback." 

King and Rapoport are clearly both in agreement that losing their rising signal caller would be a huge blow to the Redskins. But while King says Washington should keep Cousins because of his production, Rapoport took a different route when concluding how the negotiations will end up.

"Really good quarterbacks never leave their team. It just never happens," he said. "So I would think there's a way to work this out."

RELATED: PRESTON SMITH ENTERING VITAL YEAR

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Josh Doctson's short tweet delivers good news for Redskins

Josh Doctson's short tweet delivers good news for Redskins

Josh Doctson’s tweet left 136 characters on the table but he didn’t need any more to deliver some good news to Redskins fans.

The wide receiver was the Redskins’ top pick in the 2016 draft. At 6-2 and an ability to high point the ball he repeatedly demonstrated at TCU, it was hoped he would add a different dimension to the Redskins’ fast but relatively short receiving corps.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 6.0

But it didn’t happen. An Achilles tendon injury flared up during preseason activities and he was very limited in OTAs. He was on the PUP list during training camp and the preseason games. Doctson was on the 53-man roster to start the season but after 31 snaps and one reception in two games he was shut down for the season.

Jay Gruden was apparently frustrated by the injury and throughout the season he wasn’t sure when Doctson would be ready.

MORE REDSKINS: 3 takeaways from talking to Allen

But last month via social media Docston sent out some pictures of him doing some strenuous work at Redskins Park. It appears that he was in Tampa today working with Jon Gruden and some other Redskins. The tweet from Doctson came a short time after this picture from one of Terrelle Pryor’s social media accounts was posted.

It should be noted that doing work in shorts a T-shirts does not equal being effective in an NFL regular season game. But it’s a good first step and considering Doctson barely took any steps last year that’s a good development.

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.