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Need to Know: Griffin no longer the starter but he's still on the Redskins—for now

Need to Know: Griffin no longer the starter but he's still on the Redskins—for now

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, September 1, Four days before the Washington Redskins make their final cuts.

Griffin remains a Redskin--for now

Robert Griffin III is no longer the Redskins starting quarterback. But he is still a member of the team.

"Robert's on our football team and he's a Washington Redskin,” said Jay Gruden after announcing that Kirk Cousins, not Griffin, will start the season opener against the Dolphins and for the rest of the season. “We believe in Robert. It's a good problem to have to have three quarterbacks that are competing and working their butts off. I feel like all three of them are capable quarterbacks.”

If you parse those words, noting the present tense, there is nothing that commits to the Redskins keeping Griffin beyond today. But later Gruden indicated that Griffin isn’t going anywhere.

“There's been no discussions about letting him go or doing any of that stuff,” said Gruden. “We are going to plan on playing with these three quarterbacks.”

This does not necessarily mean that Griffin will remain on the roster. Nothing is etched in stone when a coach takes the podium. The best posture for a coach or general manager to take is to say that a player is a member of the team in good standing right up until the moment that he is no longer on the team. The happy talk keeps his trade value up and doesn’t alienate the player. You never know what might happen and you might need to change your mind.

A trade seems unlikely due to the injury-guaranteed 2016 option that the Redskins picked up in the spring. But with his value already driven down by being benched there is no point in pushing it down further by saying anything other than your intentions to keep him.

The Redskins can’t do anything to move on from Griffin while he is still under the NFL’s concussion protocol. There really is no decision to make or “discussions” to be had until he is cleared to play. So, until then there is no reason to talk about him as anything but a member in good standing of the Washington Redskins.

But when he is cleared to play, all bets will be off.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 11:00, Jay Gruden news conference and player availability after practice (approx. 1:00)

—It’s been 245 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 12 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Final cuts 4; Rams @ Redskins 19; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 23

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Redskins offseason questions: Will Scot McCloughan go defense in 1st round?

Redskins offseason questions: Will Scot McCloughan go defense in 1st round?

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: It's tag day

Will the Redskins go with a defensive player in the first round of the 2017 Draft?

Finlay: The Redskins haven't drafted a defensive player in the first round since 2011 when the franchise grabbed Ryan Kerrigan with the 16th pick. In fact, the team has only drafted five defensive players in the first round over the last 15 years. 

History suggests Washington will stay away from a defensive player, but sources in Ashburn have suggested otherwise. Assuming the talent is there when the 'Skins pick at No. 17, Scot McCloughan would like to bolster the team's defensive line specifically. 

Things will get complicated should Leonard Fournette or Dalvin Cook slide to 17. Rich Tandler certainly would like to see the Burgundy and Gold add a top-flight running back.

Tandler: Many fans believe that conducting a draft is like going into a grocery store with a list. Defensive lineman is at the top of the list so you go to aisle 12 and put a DL in the cart. Safety is next on the list so you push the cart over to that aisle and pick out one of those.

No, a draft is much more unpredictable. There might not be a defensive lineman who is close to worthy of the No. 17 pick when the Redskins are on the clock. Talk of taking the best available player is like fingernails on a chalkboard to some. But if you’re reaching for need in a draft, you’re losing that draft. Sure, if a player in a position of need is just a spot or two down from the best available you think about it. Still, staying true to your board is the way to build a team.

The other thing to consider here is that we haven’t gone through free agency yet. Needs will shift after that. Suppose the Redskins sign two starting-caliber D-linemen and lose both Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson in free agency? Defensive line is no longer a five-alarm priority and receiver will be. 

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?

<<<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 iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Redskins free agent WR Pierre Garçon has simple question: 'Y'all hiring?'

Redskins free agent WR Pierre Garçon has simple question: 'Y'all hiring?'

Twice in the last five seasons Pierre Garçon logged more than 1,000 yards receiving as a member of the Washington Redskins, including the 2016 season. He's caught 376 passes in Washington for 21 touchdowns over 74 games.

Outside of a foot injury that cost his six games in 2012, Garçon has been arguably the Redskins most durable wide receiver, and he's known to be a hard worker in the weight room and the practice field. 

Despite all that, Garçon doesn't know that he will be back with the Burgundy and Gold once free agency opens. In fact, that uncertainty led the 30-year-old wideout to post a simple question on his Instagram page.

#YallHiring?

A post shared by Pierre Garcon (@pierregarcon) on

The top of the Redskins offseason questions remains QB Kirk Cousins. Garçon and fellow wideout DeSean Jackson are headed for free agency, as is standout defensive lineman Chris Baker. Reports show that the team has made little to no contact with any of the players or their representatives, though many conversations could be planned for the NFL Draft Combine in Indianapolis later this month. 

Garçon's question seems simple, but the answer remains a mystery. 

<<<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!