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Need to Know: Who makes the call on RG3?

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Need to Know: Who makes the call on RG3?

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, August 25, two days before the Washington Redskins play the Baltimore Ravens.

Question of the day

Today's question is from the Real Redskins Facebook page:

First off, I don't know for certain what the decision making process regarding Griffin is and I doubt that anybody outside of the Redskins' chain of command does. But there are tea leaves that can be read and this is how I read them. Again, to be clear, this is not reporting hard facts, this is my informed speculation.

The decision to forego a quarterback competition and make Robert Griffin III the starter was an organizational decision. As is often the case, not everyone in the organization necessarily agreed with the decision. It seems likely that Bruce Allen and Dan Snyder favored giving Griffin another year since they were involved in the decision to pay a record price to move up in the 2012 draft to take him. Jay Gruden probably either wanted a competition or to declare either Kirk Cousins or Colt McCoy the starter.

Where did Scot McCloughan stand? He may not have liked what he saw from Griffin on tape. He may not have liked what he saw from any of the three quarterbacks. But he also looked at a roster full of holes and realized that the getting a better option at quarterback into the building would not be possible without sacrificing the draft choices or cap dollars necessary to rebuild the team. Logic says that he was OK with keeping the same group of quarterbacks and giving Griffin one last shot. He proceeded to build the defense and bolster the running game in hopes that the team could be competitive in games without relying so much on the quarterback playing well.

Why not a QB competition? Those aren’t always the best thing for the team. For one, a competition can create divisions in the locker room. But perhaps the worst aspect of a competition is that the two or three players split the first-team reps through OTAs, minicamp, and training camp. That means that the winner of the competition will have had only a third to a half of the first-team reps. That has your starter starting off the season behind the eight-ball.

The other thing is that competitions are all too frequently not really competitions. You’re going to have a hard time convincing me that Ryan Mallett, whose two-year contract with the Texans pays him $7 million with $1.75 million guaranteed was ever going to start in Houston over Brian Hoyer, who got two years, $10.5 million with $4.75 million guaranteed. They had “competition” that Hoyer “won”. Now he gets to play catch up thanks to all of the reps with the starters he has missed.

But back to the Redskins. While the decision-making process that ended with Griffin being named the starter is interesting, it's academic. It's done, history. What matters now is who will be involved in the decision to pull the plug, should that call need to be made. If a decision to keep a struggling Griffin on the field is made by Allen and Snyder over the objections of the football people, McCloughan and Gruden, things could get ugly. The good news is that that the contracts of McCloughan and Gruden give them the authority to set the lineups and say who is on the roster. Of course it may not be wise to go against the wishes of the team owner and president but they can do it if they have the guts.

It doesn’t have to be ugly. The best-case scenario is things working out for Griffin and him showing that he can be the quarterback of the future. But if he shows that he can’t get it done, the optimal scenario is that all of the key decision makers agree on best time is to pull the plug.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: Practice 11:10 a.m.; player availability and Jay Gruden news conference after practice (approx. 12:30)

—It’s been 242 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 17 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Preseason Redskins @ Ravens 2; final cuts 9; Redskins @ Giants Thursday night 28

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Need to Know: Redskins' Cousins called a 'mercenary' and that's a good thing

Need to Know: Redskins' Cousins called a 'mercenary' and that's a good thing

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, February 24, 13 days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.  

Timeline

Days until:

—NFL Franchise tag deadline (3/1) 5
—NFL Combine (3/2) 6
—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 52
—NFL Draft (4/27) 62
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 198

Friday quick hitters

What about Baker? I’m not sure what the Redskins’ thinking is regarding Chris Baker. As with all their other free agents the Redskins haven’t been in communication with Baker’s camp, waiting for the chance to scope out the market at the combine next week. I think that Baker’s fate will depend on cost. If they can get in for around $7 million or less, he stays. If the bidding pushes his deal up much higher than that I think he’s gone.

McCloughan’s status: It’s not exactly news that Scot McCloughan doesn’t have the full powers that many NFL GMs have. He has always been more of a super scout, in charge of stocking the roster. He is not frozen out when it comes to contracts and financial matters but they never have been his strong suit and they are best left to Bruce Allen and, particularly, Eric Schaffer.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 3.0

Anything new? So, was there much new in Jerry Brewer’s column in the Post yesterday? Given that the power structure has been in place for over two years now, it doesn’t appear that there was. Brewer essentially said it himself: “McCloughan isn’t necessarily losing power as much as he is having his lack of power revealed.” So during this past two years, while the team improved from 4-12 to playoff contention, things have been how they are now. Let me be clear, there were some disturbing insights in Brewer’s article such as the team’s lack of a response to a request for comment on Chris Cooley’s on-air musing about McCloughan’s alcohol consumption. But on how things work on the organizational chart at Redskins Park it’s been the same.

Who wants Kirk? We are at a point where the popular perception among the fans and media is that Allen is the one who will run Kirk Cousins out of town, either this year or next, while McCloughan and Jay Gruden are begging for him to stay. The narrative is that Allen is the bad buy and McCloughan is the good guy because that’s the way fans and some in the media perceive it. But I would pump the brakes on the notion that McCloughan is willing to pay whatever it takes to keep Cousins around. We haven’t heard from him this year but last year he said on multiple occasions that while he was interested in keeping Cousins around for the long haul the team needs to be careful not to give up too much of the salary cap to one player. That doesn’t sound like he’s all in on giving Cousins a blank check.

More Redskins: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice for his own good?

Cousins is right to go for the money: Some fans in my Twitter timeline are calling for Cousins to take less money from the Redskins to help Allen and McCloughan pay other players. That’s not happening, nor should it. Jim Trotter of ESPN referred to Cousins as a “mercenary” and he meant it in a positive way. What he is doing is using the NFL system to maximize his earnings potential. Look around at what has been happening around the NFL over the last few weeks, with players getting dumped when they are no longer of use to their teams—and instances of players getting cut will increase exponentially soon—and you should understand why there’s not anything wrong with a player getting as much money as he can while he can. If you add in the short careers they have and the risk that they might spend the last 40-plus years of your life having trouble getting out of bed every morning or sufferig from worse problems and you still don't get it, I can't help you. Cousins should get as much money as he can and it's the job of the team that voluntarily pays him that to figure out how to make it work around him. 

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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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Bucs QB Jameis Winston wants DeSean Jackson in Tampa

Bucs QB Jameis Winston wants DeSean Jackson in Tampa

Plenty of teams will line up for the services of soon to be free agent DeSean Jackson, but Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston made clear he wants D-Jax with the Bucs. 

"You better believe we want DeSean here," Winston told the the Tampa Bay Times. "I think he would be a great asset to our team. Me growing up an Eagles fan, seeing what he did for the Eagles and back in his Cal days and even with the Redskins, I would love to have DeSean."

Jackson has been clear he looks forward to the free agent process. He's only hit the open market once, and that was under inauspicious terms. The Eagles released Jackson well past the start of free agency in 2014, and the Redskins moved quickly to sign the speedster. 

In three seasons with the 'Skins, Jackson has been a solid teammate and strong player. In 37 starts for the Burgundy and Gold, Jackson has more than 2,700 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. 

RELATED: DeSean Jackson wants to play for an elite QB

With elite speed and arguably the NFL's best ball tracker, Jackson makes sense for a lot of teams. Tampa, in particular, could use a deep threat to play alongside Mike Evans. Teamed with Winston, who has a strong arm and loves to go deep, the Bucs offense would be formidable. 

That does not mean Tampa is a sure thing.

While ESPN's Josina Anderson reported the Bucs could be a  "possible destination" for Jackson, Philadelphia has long been rumored to want him back. His old coach Andy Reid is in Kansas City. Former 'Skins offensive coordinator Sean McVay is now running the show in LA. For a player like Jackson, just about any potential destination could make sense. 

Like it almost always is in NFL free agency, guaranteed money will be a major factor in DeSean's decision. At 30 year's old and with a game reliant on speed and quickness, this could be the last big contract of Jackson's career. Odds are he will land a big deal, and the team with the biggest bag of cash may prove the most tempting. 

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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