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Need to Know: For RG3, preseason games are about risk-reward

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Need to Know: For RG3, preseason games are about risk-reward

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, July 24, one day before the Redskins start training camp.

The risk-reward balance

So it appears that we won’t see Robert Griffin III in the games that don’t count so that the Redskins can be assured that he can play in the games that do count.

Is this the right move?

Some say that it is. The preseason games don’t count so why in the world would Mike Shanahan want to risk the future of the franchise by putting him out there against some hostile players who would love to make a name for themselves by laying a big hit on RG3.

On the other hand, Griffin is going to take a hit sooner or later. Why not get it out of the way in a game that doesn’t count? He will be able to go into the season opener against the Eagles not wondering what his right knee will feel like to get driven to the ground by a very large man.

Does he need the work? Any second-year QB can use the experience he could gain from getting snaps against another first-team NFL defense. But does he need to play in the preseason? The truth is that Griffin can probably go out there and play well from September through December (and perhaps beyond) without the benefit of having played in August.

And after an offseason where Griffin was called “superhuman” and everyone talked about his rehab being “ahead of schedule”. With him being “eased in” to practice and not playing in preseason games, expectations are now being lowered. If we don’t see the jaw-dropping RG3 in training camp and don’t see him at all in the preseason games, that will be OK because nothing is being expected of him before the regular season starts.

The Redskins balanced the risk and reward of having RG3 play in the preseason and decided that the former outweighed the latter. They will have to let Griffin prepare as best he can without having to face live contact. Maybe Griffin won’t be quite as sharp as he would be if he got some preseason reps but apparently they are willing to pay that price to help ensure that he stays in one piece until Sept. 9.

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Today’s schedule

4:00—News conferences by Robert Griffin III and London Fletcher (televised live on Comcast SportsNet). Also media availability with Barry Cofield, Kirk Cousins, Stephen Bowen, and Trent Williams

Eyes on Richmond: Garçon and Davis top receivers?

In case you missed it

Days until: Training camp starts 1; Preseason game 3 vs. Bills 31; Redskins @ Packers 53

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Final Countdown: Punch to the gut floors Redskins in Arizona on 6th worst play of 2016

Final Countdown: Punch to the gut floors Redskins in Arizona on 6th worst play of 2016

As should be expected when a team goes 8-7-1, there were plenty of good moments and a lot of frustrating times during the Redskins’ 2016 season. Over the next couple of weeks, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take detailed looks at the 10 best plays of 2016 and, to present a more complete picture of the season, the 10 worst.

No. 6 worst play of 2016

Redskins at Cardinals Week 13

3:47 left in Q4, Cardinals ball at their own 34, 4th and 1, Cardinals leading 24-23

David Johnson up the middle to ARZ 48 for 14 yards (Josh Norman).

Related: A team to watch in the Cousins situation

Tandler: What's worse than a punch in the gut? A gut punch you don't see coming. The Redskins had pulled to within a point with plenty of time left to get a winning score—if the defense could get a stop. When Bruce Arians sent out his offense on fourth and one, the Redskins had to watch for Carson Palmer to try to draw them offside. In fact, Joe Barry told the Redskins not to expect a snap and to be sure not the jump. But they did snap the ball and Johnson ran for the easiest 14 yards up the gut you’ll ever see. The air was out of the Redskins’ comeback balloon and Palmer all but put it away a few plays later with a 42-yard TD pass to J.J. Nelson.

More Redskins: Will the first round fall into place?

Finlay: This is not the first 4th Down conversion on our list of bad plays, but perhaps the most important one. Washington desperately needed this stop, and the defense thought they had it on the 3rd down play prior. Only Arians did not flinch about going for it, much to Barry's surprise, and the 'Skins D had no shot at Johnson. This play illustrated the weakness of Washington's defensive front perhaps better than any other run all season.

10 best plays countdown

10 worst plays countdown

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN 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!

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With Matt Ryan in the Super Bowl, Kirk Cousins will make Pro Bowl, per report

With Matt Ryan in the Super Bowl, Kirk Cousins will make Pro Bowl, per report

Kirk Cousins' price tag just moved even higher with the news that he will replace Matt Ryan in the Pro Bowl. ESPN's John Keim reported the roster move first.

Ryan's Atlanta Falcons advanced to the Super Bowl on Sunday with a 44-21 dismantling of the Green Bay Packers. That victory means Ryan will not be available for the Pro Bowl, held this Sunday in Orlando. Cousins got his spot as an alternate.

Cousins gets the spot deservedly. This season he passed for 4,917 yards, completing 67 percent of his passes and throwing 25 TDs to 12 INTs. In two seasons since being named starter for the Redskins, Cousins has thrown for more than 9,000 yards. 

The Pro Bowl nod for Cousins will only make the Redskins pending contract talks that much tougher. The quarterback played in 2016 under the franchise tag, which netted him nearly $20 million. This season Washington could again place Cousins on the franchise tag, with a price tag around $24 million. Both sides can still work for a long-term deal, though the value of that contract would likely soar past $100 million and closer to $120 million.

Some questions exist within the Redskins organization if that is too much money devoted to one player, even if it is a Pro Bowl quarterback.

It's fitting that Cousins is subbing in for Ryan, who has found much success playing under Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. All signs points to Shanahan taking over as the 49ers head coach after the Super Bowl, and a report emerged that San Francisco would make a strong push to obtain Cousins, either in free agency or via trade. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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!