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Is Favre a good fit for the Redskins?

Is Favre a good fit for the Redskins?

If Brett Favre was to enter the market as an unrestricted free agent, would the Washington Redskins consider bringing him in? Should they?

I didn't consider this at all when the news that Favre had inquired with the Green Bay Packers about the possibility of a return last week. Wake me when it's over, I thought then.

It's looking more and more, though, that Favre will end up playing somewhere in 2008. Peter King thinks that it will happen as does Pat Kirwin on Sirius NFL Radio.

If Favre does indeed want to play, all he has to do is tell the Packers that he is no longer retired and that he intends to report to training camp. They then will have three options: bring him back, trade him, or release him.

The pressure to bring him back would, of course, be overwhelming. Imagine if in July of 2003 that Darrell Green announced that he would like to return for another season and the Redskins said, no thanks, we're moving forward with the people we have. Now imagine the hue and cry of protest coming from Redskins fans in that situation and multiply it by a factor of about 1,000. That would be the reaction in Wisconsin and around the country if the Packers told Brett Favre to drop dead.

It's possible, though, that the Packers won't be so eager to welcome back the living legend. They have gone through the offseason preparing Aaron Rodgers for the role of starting quarterback. The word is that one of the reasons that Favre decided to retire in February is that the Packer organization gave him strong hints that they were ready to move on from the Favre era.

So, let's say that Green Bay is willing to take the PR hit in the short term and do what they think is best in the long term and let Favre walk.

Are the Redskins shoppers in a market for Favre? And, assuming that he has considerable say over where he goes, would he be interested in coming to Washington?

I've heard in a few places that the Skins would be in the picture. As far as I can tell, this was nothing more than speculation, an attempt to connect the dots. Whenever a big-name player is on the market, there are those in the media who will speculate that Dan Snyder will make a play for him.

This, however, might go beyond the usual kneejerk reaction. There are a few reasons why Favre would be a good fit for the Skins and vice versa:

  • He would need to play for a team that employs the West Coast offense. With limited time to prepare, Favre would have to be able to get up the speed in a hurry. That would mean going to a WCO system, one that he could operate in his sleep. Jim Zorn is bringing a West Coast system to the Redskins. He's from the Mike Holmgren school and Favre had his greatest success
  • He would want to play for a contending team. Favre doesn't want to come back if he doesn't have a realistic shot of contending for a title. The problem is that most perennial playoff teams have an established QB. The Redskins have made the playoffs two of the last three years with two different starting quarterbacks in the playoffs and a third playing most of the last year and a half. That's hardly a settled situation.
  • The Redskins are willing to take a risk. While this offseason has been rather quiet, don't forget the deal that wasn't made—the offer of two draft picks for Chad Johnson. If there is an opportunity, the Redskins will listen.

There are very, very few teams that meet these criteria. The Vikings would fit the bill, but the fact that Favre might not want to join a team in the same division as the Packers works against that (certainly, if he gets traded, this destination is out of the question). Baltimore probably was better than its 5-11 record last year and could be called a contender but they don't run the WCO. There has been talk of Favre going to Carolina but, again, no West Coast offense.

I might be missing another team with the right combination of scheme, quality of surrounding talent, lack of an established QB, and aggressive style to fit the mutual needs of Favre and a new employer, but it's certainly a short list.

Should they look into bringing Favre aboard, of course, the Redskins would face the same dilemma as do the Packers in regards to the development of their young quarterback. Jason Campbell was drafted just a few picks after Rodgers, as a matter of fact. While Campbell has shown promise, enough for Zorn to anoint him the uncontested starter, he hasn't played well enough to cement his role. If you're offered the chance to bring in a Hall of Fame quarterback who has another couple of seasons left in the tank you have to take a serious look at moving Campbell back to the bench.

I have no doubt that Snyder and Vinny Cerrato would kick Campbell to the curb to bring in Bret Favre. Snyder has stated that he won't bring anyone on to the roster that Zorn does not want.

So, if it comes down to Zorn making the call to OK a deal or spike it, what does a rookie head coach do? Does he cast his lot with Campbell and sink or swim with the untested QB? Or does he go for the Hall of Famer for two years and perhaps start off his head coaching career with a bang?

I don't mean for this to come across as something that I think should happen or will happen. At this point, it's an intriguing possibility but as is the case in any deal the devil would be in the details.

But I do think that, in the very near future, there is a very good chance that the Redskins will have to make a choice as to whether or not they will make a play for Brett Favre. It seems likely to me that they will seriously consider the possibility.

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How a simple bet between Alabama rookies Allen and Anderson could pay big dividends for Redskins

How a simple bet between Alabama rookies Allen and Anderson could pay big dividends for Redskins

The Redskins ranked at or near the bottom of the NFL in a number of defensive categories in 2016, and the first and second round selections in the 2017 Draft should help to address that.

A huge part of the Washington defensive problems stemmed from an inability to get off the field on third downs, and Jonathan Allen and Ryan Anderson should immediately provide a pass rush boost. In 2016, the duo combined for 18.5 sacks, 8.5 coming from Anderson and another 10 from Allen, two huge pieces for the excellent Alabama defense.

On the pro level, Anderson may actually be in position for more sacks as he's likely to play outside linebacker in the Redskins 3-4 scheme. Allen will be more of an interior presence, a natural fit for the 'Skins defensive end spot in the 3-4.

That doesn't mean the two won't compete to hit quarterbacks. 

RELATED: Gruden squashes notion that Alabama defenders do not succeed in NFL

Asked Saturday if there would be a bet between the two college teammates about who gets more sacks their rookie season, Anderson quickly responded, "definitely."

Though he was surprised by the bet, Allen wasn't going to back down from the challenge. (Full video above)

"I guess there is now, I didn't know about it 'til now," Allen said. 

As for the stakes of the bet, Allen said the pair of rookies will figure that out behind closed doors. 

"His bank account is a little longer than mine so we will have to figure something else out," Anderson said.

What's clear from hanging out with both players is their familiarity with one another will help both players transition to the NFL. Allen and Anderson said they had an emotional response when they learned they would continue to play together in Washington. 

"There's very few players that have better film or resume than this guy right here," Allen said of Anderson. 

Anderson, as the Redskins press group has quickly learned, has a certain way with words. Honest and funny, but to the point.

"I'm excited to have one of my dogs with me here," he said of Allen. 

The Redskins ranked ninth in the NFL in sacks in 2016, but will lose Trent Murphy for four games to start the year. Sacks are just one metric to measure defensive success, though an easily quantifiable and fun metric for fans.

Where Washington has to improve is on 3rd downs. In 2016, they allowed a confounding 97 third down conversions, good for 31st in the league. There's only 32 teams. What's worse? The 'Skins gave nine fourth down conversions too.

Regardless of sack totals, Allen and Anderson were brought to Washington to help this defense get off the field. Coming from the Crimson Tide, the two rookies seem up for the challenge. 

MORE REDSKINS: Grading the Redskins 2017 draft

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Grading the Redskins' 2017 draft

Grading the Redskins' 2017 draft

Since we don’t know how the careers of the players picked by the Redskins yesterday will turn out we must dig in a little more to come up with a grade for the draft headed up by Bruce Allen. Here’s my assessment, feel free to leave yours in the comments.

Strategy—B

There really isn’t enough to love or to hate here. They didn’t do much wheeling and dealing while on the clock, making only a minor deal with the Vikings to move up two spots in the sixth round in exchange for moving down 10 slots in the seventh.

For the record, the trade (picks 201 and 220 from Washington to Minnesota in exchange for picks 199 and 230) was just about a wash on the Jimmy Johnson trade chart, with the Redskins giving up a statistically insignificant one point of value.

Whether center Chase Roullier, the player they traded up to draft, makes the team and has an impact or not is not going to make or break the draft but it should be noted that they gave up something of value to get him so it was a player they wanted to make sure they got as his name was still on the board.

The deals that got them up to 10 picks had already been made by Scot McCloughan on draft day last year as he added picks in the fourth, fifth, and sixth rounds with various trades.

Perhaps they deserve the most credit for a potential deal they did not make. As their first-round pick got closer and defensive lineman Jonathan Allen remained on the board it had to be tempting for them to spend a mid-round pick to jump up and grab him before anyone else could. But Gruden said that they had a number of players to choose from as the pick approached and they decided to stay put. The gamble paid off as Allen fell into their laps at pick No. 17.

RELATED: Redskins roll the dice in the 7th round

Talent/fit/needs—A-

The Redskins needed to bolster their defense and they certainly gave it a go. Their first three picks were on defense as were four of their first five and six of 10 overall.

But the raw number of the picks doesn’t really tell the story; it’s the value of the picks that really matters. According to that Jimmy Johnson pick value chart, they spend 1,596 points on defense and 126 points on offense.

They hit on their biggest needs with their first two picks. They had not drafted a defensive lineman in the first round since 1997 and the neglect of the position was evident. In Allen they got a player with Pro Bowl potential in their biggest area of need.

Allen will help the pass rush from the inside and then in the second round they acquired some edge rushing ability with Ryan Anderson. It seems that this pick was strongly influenced by Scot McCloughan’s draft board. His height, weight, and combine numbers were not what a lot of teams are looking for in an edge rusher but his tough mentality and obvious love for the game are attributes that McCloughan valued.

Although Gruden expressed his confidence in Rob Kelley to be his running back it appeared to most outside observers that an upgrade was needed and they got that in Samaje Perine. You can’t have too many good corners and Bashaud Breeland is set to be a 2018 free agent so they took Fabian Moreau in the third round. They had no backup center Roullier could develop into that spot. Gruden said earlier this offseason that they needed a blocking tight end and that is what Jeremy Sprinkle is.

They didn’t hit on all their needs. With the top three inside linebackers set to be free agents next year many thought they would spend a top pick there. And although there were a few possible nose tackles on the board in the later rounds they bypassed that position. You can’t solve everything in one draft but the Redskins have now had eight drafts since converting to the 3-4 defense and they still haven’t found a solution at nose tackle.

As far as value goes, it doesn’t get much better than Allen, who was a consensus top-five talent who lasted until the 17th pick. Moreau may have been a first-round pick before tearing a pectoral muscle lifting weights during his pro day.

On the other end of the value scale, the fourth round seemed to be way too early to take safety Montae Nicholson. There is something to be said for taking a guy with good measurables who didn’t have good game tape and taking a shot at developing him. But the fourth round is too soon for taking such a chance.

READ MORE: Breaking down the Redskins late round picks

Overall—B+

After their first two picks, they didn’t shy away from red flags. Moreau and Nicholson both have injuries that will keep them out of action until sometime in training camp. Sprinkle had a highly-publicized shoplifting citation that got him suspended from Arkansas’ bowl game. Seventh-round pick Josh Harvey-Clemons failed multiple drug tests during college.

They did stay away from players with histories of high-profile violent incidents like Dede Westbrook, Joe Mixon, and Caleb Brantley.

How those red-flag players turn out will be the key to this draft. It’s fine to take some chances, especially when you go into the draft with 10 picks. But you have better win more than you lose.

There were enough players taken who seem to be sure bets to be productive, if there is such a thing in the draft, to make it unlikely that the draft will be a total bust. Allen, Anderson, and Perine are clean prospects who have very high floors. Allen and Anderson may have Pro Bowl ceilings.

Given that, they seem to be assured of having a least a productive draft (again, with the caveat that nothing in the draft is certain). If Sprinkle develops into a good third tight end who can block and be a threat to catch a pass, that’s a plus. If Moreau can develop into a starter, this could be a pretty good draft. If sixth-round WR Robert Davis can contribute on special teams and be a productive fourth or fifth wide receiver, that would be another plus.

In short, the Redskins did some good work towards giving this draft a chance to be a success. Now it’s up to the coaches, to luck, and seeing how players who are projected to play well at age 22 actually perform on the field when they get older and suddenly have a six-figure salary. 

MORE REDSKINS: Clear winner from Redskins 2017 Draft?