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Need to Know: Five reasons the Redskins should keep RG3 on the roster

Need to Know: Five reasons the Redskins should keep RG3 on the roster

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, September 3, two days before the Washington Redskins make their final cuts.

5 reasons to keep RG3 on the roster

There are some sound reasons why the Redskins should let go of Robert Griffin III. But there are also reasons to keep him. Let’s look at some why the Redskins should keep RG3 wearing their uniform.

—They will be paying him anyway. They are definitely on the hook for the $3.4 million prorated portion of his signing bonus and unless a long shot comes through and can get traded, they will pay him $3.3 million in salary. What is the point in paying him to play for another team?

—Especially if that team is in the division. You would have to think that Jerry Jones would be interested in bringing the Texas native to Dallas. And Griffin could be a perfect fit for Chip Kelly’s fast-paced college-style offense in Philly. In fact, there are already rumors in Philly that the Eagles might be interested in Griffin if he gets cut.

—Kirk Cousins does not have much of an injury history. But he has never had to take the pounding of a 16-game NFL season on his 6-3, 214-lb. frame. And Colt McCoy has had injury issues in his career. If anything happens to one or both of them, are the Redskins better off with some guy off the street or someone who knows the offense and, as noted, they are paying him anyway.

—Scot McCloughan said it himself earlier this year—you don’t give up on a young quarterback. Griffin is just 25 and he could catch on at some point, maybe soon. Why give up now especially since (sorry to be repetitive) you’re paying him anyway

—A trade market could develop for him. Most teams seem to have their quarterback situations settled. But an injury or a couple of highly ineffective games by the starter could change that. And an immediate opportunity to play or at least be the No. 2 might give Griffin some incentive to modify the 2016 option. What's the rush? If a market doesn't develop in the first few weeks of the season you can let him go in October.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Jaguars at Redskins, 7:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet

—It’s been 249 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 10 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Final cuts 2; Rams @ Redskins 17; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 21

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Redskins Playbook: 2017 schedule reveals some good news for Kirk Cousins

Redskins Playbook: 2017 schedule reveals some good news for Kirk Cousins

The Redskins offense performed at a high level in 2016, moving the ball well though the unit struggled in the red zone. Much of the success comes from Kirk Cousins' ability to quickly advance through his progressions and release the football before he takes too many hits.

Expect more of that in 2017, especially early in the season.

The Redskins don't face their first Top 5 sack defense until Week 9 when they travel to Seattle. From there, Cousins will face another Top 5 sack team when the Vikings visit FedEx Field in Week 10. 

After that, Washington's schedule doesn't feature a Top 5 sack defense until nearly Christmas. Unfortunately for Cousins, those two teams will come back to back in December when the Redskins host the Cardinals and the Broncos.

Sacks should not drive too much worry for Redskins fans. The Washington offensive line only allowed 23 sacks last season, two less than the Cowboys vaunted offensive line gave up on Dak Prescott. Cousins quick release and mastery of Jay Gruden's offense helps too. 

The Redskins have plenty to worry about in 2017, though facing fierce sack opponents shouldn't be too high on the list. 

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Need to Know: The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Need to Know: The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, June 25, 32 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 175 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 77 days.

Days until:

—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 22
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 46
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 69

The top five running backs the Redskins will face in 2017

Here are the five running backs on the Redskins’ schedule who gained the most yards in 2017. We looked at the top QBs last week.

Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys, 1,631 yards in 2016—The NFL’s leading rusher didn’t pop for a big day against the Redskins as a rookie last year. He still did plenty of damage in two games with a combined 180 yards and three touchdowns. We’ll find out in Week 8 just how much the Redskins’ rushing defense has improved.

David Johnson, Cardinals, 1,239 yards—Yeah, him again. He chewed up the Redskins in Arizona last year, picking up 84 yards rushing and another 91 yards receiving. I think I might pick Johnson over Elliott in a draft simply due to Johnson’s versatility.

LeGarrette Blount, Eagles, 1,161 yards—Blount picked up those yards with the Patriots last year and rushed for 18 touchdowns for good measure. He averaged 3.9 yards per carry, 27th among qualifying running backs. It should be noted that the Eagles probably have a better offensive line than the Patriots do. It’s safe to say Blount is one dimensional; none of the top 50 in rushing yards had fewer than his seven receptions.

Mark Ingram, Saints, 1,043 yards—While Ingram had a good year, the Saints apparently weren’t overly impressed. They signed Adrian Peterson as a free agent and they drafted RB Alvin Kamara in the third round. We’ll have to see who is healthy and on the field in Week 11

Melvin Gordon, Chargers, 997 yards—The 2015 first-round pick missed the last three games and most of another one with an injury. When healthy, he was very effective. His stats projected over 16 games come to over 1,300 yards.

Best of the rest: Carlos Hyde of the 49ers just missed the top five with 988 rushing yards last year Besides Kamara, the only running backs drafted in the first three rounds the Redskins will face are Dalvin Cook (Vikings) and Kareem Hunt (Chiefs). It will be interesting to see if new Rams coach Sean McVay can revive Todd Gurley, who followed a 1,100-yard rookie season with a 4.8 per carry average by gaining 885 yards with a paltry 3.2 average in 2016. Marshawn Lynch comes to town with the Raiders after spending a year in retirement; with the Seahawks, he picked up 111, 72, and 132 on the ground against the Redskins. 

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.

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