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Can RG3 be the best Redskins QB since Sonny?


Can RG3 be the best Redskins QB since Sonny?

My friend Rick Snider of the Washington Examiner made some national waves with his column saying that Robert Griffin III would be the Redskins best quarterback since Sonny Jurgensen.Said Gregg Rosenthal on NFL.com, Griffin hasn't faced a single blitz or a live tackling drill. He hasn't even played against a veteran NFL player in practice. But he's already getting placed ahead of Joe Theismann, Billy Kilmer, Doug Williams and, uh, Rex Grossman.Snider may be getting ahead of himself a bit but if you look at the record, Griffin would not have to be an elite quarterback in order to surpass the three signal callers that Rosenthal mentions seriously (the mention of Rex, I think, was in jest). He would just have to be somewhere between good and very good for the duration of a couple of contracts.Kilmer did lead the Redskins to their first Super Bowl and although his passes werent pretty they were often effective. And the Redskins won two thirds of the 74 games he started over eight seasons. He made the Pro Bowl once, after that Super Bowl 1972 season.Theismann was the Redskins starter for eight seasons, from 1978 until he suffered that broken leg at the hands of Lawrence Taylor in the 11th game of the 1985 season. The Redskins were 77-47 (.621 winning percentage) in the games he started. Theismann went to the Pro Bowl twice and was the first-team All-Pro quarterback in 1983. The Redskins went to back to back Super Bowls with Theismann at the helm. They won it all in 1982 and lost to the Raiders the following year.Williams had the great playoff run following the 1987 season, capped by his marvelous MVP performance in the Super Bowl. But other than that stretch, Williams really doesnt have a place on the list of all-time great Redskins quarterbacks. In four years in Washington he started just 14 games and the Redskins were 5-9 in those games.Rosenthal didnt mention Mark Rypien, the Redskins other Super Bowl winning QB. He started 72 games for the team with the Redskins going 45-27 (.625). He made the Pro Bowl twice.Kilmer led the NFL in touchdown passes in 1972. None of the other three led the league in any major statistical category for a season. Jurgensen led the NFL in completion percentage twice, in yards passing five times, and touchdown passes twice.The biggest hurdle that RG3 would have in surpassing the post-Sonny quarterbacks would be in winning games. Although winning is highly dependent on other factors like having a solid defense and a running game, as Griffin himself said, the quarterback gets all the credit when the team wins and all them blame when the lose. Whether that is fair or not that is how he will be judged. To equal the winning percentages that Theismann and Rypien posted, the Redskins wold have to average about a 10-6 record every year. To match Kilmers winning percentage, Washington would have to go 12-4 year in and year out.Theismann was solid in the clutch; the folks at Pro Football Reference give him credit for 19 fourth-quarter comebacks and 24 game-winning drives. Griffin had a number of moments like that while winning the Heisman Trophy at Baylor and he could duplicate them in Washington.Theismann is the Redskins career leader with 25,206 passing yards. The NFL was just entering its pass-happy era during his career. It is easy to see RG3 breaking that record relatively early in his career. If Griffin averages 4,200 passing yards per season, a season that remarkable was Theismanns day but routine now, he would match Theismanns record by the end of his sixth season.And then there are things like playoff appearances, playoff success, and getting to and winning Super Bowls. It would be hard to put Griffin on the proverbial Mount Rushmore of Redskins quarterbacks unless he leads the team to a Super Bowl.

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Don't count out a third straight franchise tag for Kirk Cousins, and here's why

Don't count out a third straight franchise tag for Kirk Cousins, and here's why

For the second straight season the Redskins placed the franchise tag on Kirk Cousins. While the two sides are speaking amicably about a long-term deal, the July 15 deadline for those negotiations continues to inch closer without much expectation that contract will get signed. 

A second year on the tag is unprecedented for a quarterback. In 2016, Cousins made nearly $20 million playing on the tag. In 2017, that figure goes up to $24.

If the Redskins don't get a deal done with Cousins, many think the organization would not again go with the franchise tag because the price tag jumps to an exorbitant $34 million. 

Think again. 

Asked on Monday if another franchise tag would be an option for Cousins in 2018, Redskins team president Bruce Allen was clear.

"Yes," he said. "In the collective bargaining agreement, we really have one year and an option that we can do at the end of next season if we don’t get a contract."

Those options include the exclusive franchise tag, the non-exclusive franchise tag and the transition tag. Both franchise tags carry the same cost, but the non-exclusive allows Cousins' representatives to shop his services around the NFL. If a deal gets struck, and the Redskins don't match the contract, Washington is due two first-round draft picks as compensation for losing their franchise player. 

The transition tag carries a $28 million price tag, and the Redskins can match another contract but risk only receiving a possible 2019 third-round compensatory pick if Cousins walks.

Considering those options, another year on the non-exclusive tag might make sense. The NFL salary cap will be at least $168 million, which means Cousins at $34 million would account for about 20 percent of the Redskins' salary cap.

That's a crazy allotment for one player. Crazy. The Redskins do have about $54 million in cap space for 2018, so technically, another franchise tag could work. 

But the entire manner of the contract dealings with Cousins and the Redskins has been quite unconventional. The Redskins have already made history by franchising Cousins a second-straight year. 

"I think even Kirk said it, there’s a lot of players round the league who are on a one-year deal. It’s the nature of it, we’d like to get him a long-term deal and I think he should want to get one," Allen said. "Kirk’s played well on a one-year contract the last two seasons."

At this point, it doesn't require a degree in advanced mathematics to understand that the Redskins and Cousins have a different picture of the quarterback's long-term value. That could change by July 15th, it could, but it doesn't seem likely. The Cousins camp has little incentive to bend, as $24 million fully guaranteed for 2017 represents a great payday.

And maybe the Redskins don't plan on bending because the option of a third-straight franchise tag doesn't worry them. Or at least the option of letting Cousins shop his services on a non-exclusive tag, and then making a decision to match a deal or receive compensation seems a worthwhile endevaor. 

For Cousins, he's not counting out any possibility. 

"People, I’ve heard say, ‘There’s no chance they franchise tag him or even transition tag him the following season,’ and I chuckle because if the team has franchise tagged me for two years in a row," Cousins said to an ESPN podcast in March. 


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Redskins' offseason program ramps up with start of OTAs today

Redskins' offseason program ramps up with start of OTAs today

The Redskins’ offseason starts to move into high gear today as organized team activities, better known as OTAs, get underway at Redskins Park.

Players have been participating in workouts at Redskins Park since April 17. The first phase of those session consisted of strength and conditioning. In the second phase, they were permitted to run plays but not with the offense lined up against the defense. Finally, in OTAs, they will go offense vs. defense.

RELATED: Who are the Redskins' roster locks?

The practices, however, will not resemble an August scrimmage in Richmond. The players wear helmets but no pads and contact is not permitted. While players do block other players and there are collisions between players going after passes, the action is more like pushing and shoving that it is hitting.  

The part about no contact should be taken seriously. Seattle ran afoul of the no-contact rule last year and it cost them. The Seahawks were fined $400,000, lost their fifth-round pick in this year’s draft and they will not be permitted to hold their first week of OTAs this year. The Redskins will be very careful to keep within the rules.

MORE REDSKINS: Allen says new stadium ahead of schedule 

OTAs will be held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in each of the next three weeks. The sessions will be open to the media on Wednesday of each week. While player attendance is strongly encouraged the practices are voluntary.

The week after OTAs end the team will hold its minicamp on June 13-14. Minicamp is essentially a continuation of OTAs but player attendance is mandatory.

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.