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Is keeping RG3 the right move for the Redskins?

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Is keeping RG3 the right move for the Redskins?

It appears that the Robert Griffin III saga with the Redskins is going to go on, at least for a while longer. According to a report all of the major decision makers in the organization have concluded that the best thing to do is to keep Griffin on the roster as the No. 2 quarterback behind Kirk Cousins.

But is it really the best thing to do? There are a number of sound reasons for the Redskins to move on from Griffin sooner rather than later.

—If he gets injured in practice or during a game, the team could be on the hook to pay him over $16 million next year.

—It puts a lot of pressure on Cousins. If he makes a mistake could be looking over his shoulder at the guy who was once the savior of the franchise.

—The very presence of Griffin in the building tends to create distractions. He can say the wrong thing to the media, put up a social media post that invites intense scrutiny or do any number of things that can put the spotlight on him and take it away from the other 52 players on the team.

—Giving Griffin a chance to move on and find another team could be the best for him. A fresh start could revive his career and give him a chance at success.

But there are valid counter arguments to each of these:

—The chances of him getting an injury severe enough to have him fail a physical next March are pretty slim. Practice is non-contact for quarterbacks. He could get hurt in a game but that is a chance they are willing to take.

—If Cousins can’t handle the pressure of having a quarterback who hasn’t played well for two seasons, how is he going to go into Dallas and win? Cousins has earned his opportunity but a quarterback in his position has to expect to have a competent backup behind him. Whether it’s Griffin, Colt McCoy, or someone else, Cousins should have a backup who is a threat to take his job behind him until he earns the right to be fully trusted.

—Griffin has every incentive to be a model citizen for however long he remains with the Redskins. He will spend the season auditioning for a 2016 backup job either in Washington or, more likely, elsewhere. If he ends up being a distraction his options will be extremely limited when he is looking for a job next spring. He is probably going to be on his best behavior.

—An NFL contract perhaps is unfair but it is what it is. If it is in the best interest of the team to keep him the contract gives them the right to do so. What the player wants is secondary to what the team wants. I recall that not too long ago many thought that Cousins should be let go or traded to give him a chance to start and prosper elsewhere. Things change and now Cousins has his chance to start.

The arguments for him to stay don’t necessarily invalidate the case for him to go. This move ultimately will be judged by results. If he takes over as the starter at some point and is productive the decision to keep him will be a success. If he should get injured and become a drag on the 2016 salary cap the decision for him to stay will be a disaster.

It is most likely that the outcome will be something in the middle. We will see how it all plays out.

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Redskins offseason questions: Can Kirk Cousins take the next step in 2017?

Redskins offseason questions: Can Kirk Cousins take the next step in 2017?

The good news for the 2016 Redskins was that they didn’t collapse after winning the division the previous season as has been their pattern in the past. The bad news was that they didn’t take the next step and improve from a franchise that can compete to make the playoffs into one that is playing multiple postseason games year in and year out.

That work begins right now for Jay Gruden, Scot McCloughan and the players. In the coming weeks, Redskins reporters Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will examine the biggest questions facing the Redskins as another offseason gets rolling.

RELATED: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice?

Will Kirk Cousins take the next step in 2017?

Finlay: The better question might be what constitutes the next step for Cousins? And going one step further, will it be with the Redskins? Answering the second part first, Cousins will be the 'Skins quarterback in 2017. Taking the next step is trickier, since the passer has thrown for more than 9,000 yards in the last two seasons.

For me, Cousins can still get much better, particularly in the red zone. If the Redskins scored at the same pace they pile up yards, this team would have won 11 games in 2016. 

In 2016, Cousins ranked 3rd in the NFL in passing yards, yet outside of the Top 10 in TDs with 25. To really enter the next phase of his career, Cousins needs to lead an offense that scores more, and that means 30+ touchdowns. He can do it. 

Tandler: I don’t look at the next step for Cousins being about numbers. Sure, maybe he can throw for 5,000 yards and 30-plus touchdowns on year. But being a top quarterback is more than that.

I want to see him go into Seattle next year and rally the Redskins from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter. I want to see him go into a playoff game and, unlike what happened against the Packers after the 2015 season, will the team to a win when the Redskins aren’t playing their best and when a QB like Aaron Rodgers is on the other side. I want to see him glare at a lineman who missed an assignment and correct a receiver who went the wrong way on a route.

To be sure, he has led the team to some comeback wins and he has played very well in some key games, like the division-clinching win in Philadelphia in 2015. But a top-flight quarterback can’t essentially negate one of those with a play like the season-ending pick against the Giants. Sure, any quarterback is going to have an off day. But you have to have more pluses than minuses on the ledger.

Cousins has been a starter for just two years so maybe he can develop into a top-shelf quarterback. Putting up good stats is part of the picture but he won’t be there until he elevates and motivates those around him. Maybe he can take that next step but until he does there is no way of knowing if he will. 

More offseason questions: 

What are reasonable expectations for Josh Doctson?

— Will there be a surprise salary cap cut?

— Should the Redskins defense switch to the 4-3?

— Is Spencer Long the answer at center?

— How many D-linemen do the Redskins need?

— Should the Redskins draft another QB? 

— With Sean McVay gone, will the Redskins run the ball more?

— Can Cravens handle the transition to safety? 

— Will the Redskins re-sign Pierre Garçon? 

— Will Rob Kelley be the lead running back in 2017?

— Defense in the first round?

— Will they make a change at left guard?

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTuneshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Some good news from Redskins Park: Josh Doctson running, catching football (VIDEO)

Some good news from Redskins Park: Josh Doctson running, catching football (VIDEO)

There hasn't been much good news out of Redskins Park lately, as the team deals with pending free agency for QB Kirk Cousins and others combined with rumors of infighting among the front office. So video of 2016 first round pick Josh Doctson running and cutting comes at a great time for beleaguered 'Skins fans. 

Doctson posted the video to his Snapchat account. When he last spoke after the Washington season ended, Doctson made clear he was feeling much better and that '100 percent health' is his main goal this offseason.

His rookie year, however, was a different matter.

The receiver out of TCU missed all but the first two games of the year. Even in those games, he played a very reduced role. Drafted 22nd overall, he had just two catches all year as an obscure Achilles' injuries landed him on the injured reserve. His plight could not be figured out by a slew of doctors and specialists, and the team finally decided to sit down their prized rookie.

A breakout year in 2017 would serve Jay Gruden's squad well, as the team stands to lose DeSean Jackson and/or Pierre Garçon to free agency. It looks likely the 'Skins will lose at least one of their starting WRs, and losing both is a distinct possibility. That could result in more than 2,000 receiving yards leaving the Redskins offense, and the team will need Doctson to pick up a good chunk of that production.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!