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Need to Know: Why haven't the Redskins released RG3?

Need to Know: Why haven't the Redskins released RG3?

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, February 11, 13 days before the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

Why have the Redskins released RG3?

—There isn't any indication out of Redskins Park as to why Robert Griffin III remains on the Redskins' roster. I suppose they had to go through a process where after the season ended they went through and make sure that all of the principles were on board with the decision to let him got. But that process should take about as long as the Hall of Fame committee debate over enshrining Bret Favre—a matter of seconds, not days.

—I suppose that they could be holding out hope that some team will try to trade for Griffin. As I noted here a couple of weeks ago, Griffin would have to agree to a new contract for such a deal to happen and he has no reason to do that and plenty of reasons not to do anything to facilitate a trade. Griffin will want to explore his options and use whatever leverage he has to make the deal that’s best for him. A sign and trade scenario is the worst option possible for him. But apparently they are in a "never say never"

—One reason the Redskins are able to hang on to Griffin for now is that the $16 million in cap space he currently occupies isn’t doing the team any harm or preventing them from doing anything they want to regarding signing players. NFL teams do not need to be in compliance with the salary cap until the league year starts at 4 p.m. on March 9.

—And being on the Redskins roster really doesn’t damage Griffin to any appreciable extent. He’d probably like to get out there and talk to some teams and although he could sign somewhere if he was cut the CBA prohibits him from working out at the facility or even talking football with a coach. If he plays it smart he won’t jump at the first offer that comes along anyway. It would serve him well to slow play things and see how situations unfold in placed like Los Angeles (yes, I almost typed St. Louis) where Nick Foles may or may not be back, Denver, where an untested Brock Osweiler is likely to need a backup, Houston, and several other places with quarterback uncertainty before joining a new team.

—The bottom line is that the Redskins will release Griffin on their own timetable. They won’t do it at a particular time because fans want it to be done soon or because the members of the media (at least those who are married or otherwise attached) don’t want it to happen on Valentine’s Day. They will do it when it suits them best, no sooner and no later.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 32 days ago. It will be about 213 days until they play another one.

—About 168 days until centers and linebackers report to Richmond.

Days until: NFL Combine 13; NFL free agency starts 27; 2016 NFL draft 77

In case you missed it

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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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Redskins draft countdown: Michigan State defensive lineman Malik McDowell

Redskins draft countdown: Michigan State defensive lineman Malik McDowell

Redskins draft countdown

The NFL draft is 63 days away and there is plenty of speculation as to what players Scot McCloughan will select to wear the burgundy and gold. Between now and the draft we’ll look at some of the players who might be of interest to the Redskins and discuss how they might fit in Washington.

Malik McDowell
Defensive line
Michigan State

Height: 6-6
Weight: 276
40-yard dash: TBD

Projected draft round: 1

What they’re saying

Slippery and long. Combination of arm length and flexible torso allow him to slither into gaps and create disruptions for blockers. Freaky combination of size and athleticism. Can overwhelm blockers with pure strength and explosiveness when his feet are right. Strong enough in lower half to play through contact and cause stress in the pocket. Has tremendous amount of untapped potential waiting to be unlocked.

Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

How he fits the Redskins: If you’re reading this, you know that the 2016 Redskins’ defensive line was manned by one pretty good player in Chris Baker and a cast of journeymen and youngsters with some potential but little immediate production. They need to add at least one top-flight D-lineman in the draft and McDowell could be the guy.

If you are spending a top draft pick on a D-lineman you want one who can be an asset against the run and be able to rush the passer. McDowell’s profile fits that job description. He could defend the run as an end in the base 3-4 defense and kick inside to provide pass rush up the middle in nickel situations.

McDowell is generally rated behind Jonathan Allen of Alabama and Caleb Brantley of Florida among interior defensive line prospects. Allen and Brantley are likely to be gone by the time the Redskins pick at No. 17 but McDowell should be there as an option.

MORE REDSKINS: Will Chris Baker be back in 2017?

Potential issues: His production was inconsistent and his technique needs a lot of work. The fact of the matter is, I can probably copy and paste that sentence into the write up of virtually any defensive lineman in the draft. The college linemen who are NFL prospects are generally just bigger and stronger than the players trying to block him.

A look of some plays in the Spartans’ game against Notre Dame shows McDowell’s inconsistency. At times, he can’t disengage from a single blocker and a few plays later he was able skirt around three blockers and make a tackle for a loss. He also was good at getting push upfield when he rushed the passer but too often the pressure was not in the direction of the quarterback.

McDowell also had some issues with major penalties. He drew an unsportsmanlike conduct flag in the Notre Dame game, although the film didn’t show what he did to earn it. Later in the year he was tossed from a game against Indiana, a game his team lost in overtime. Since the ejection came in the second half, he had to sit out the first half of Michigan State’s next game.  

Bottom line: Interviews with his coaches, MSU weight room staff, etc., will be keys in the evaluation of McDowell. If the Redskins try to teach him the proper fundamentals of line play will he absorb it? Will consistency come with maturity (he will be 20 on draft day)?

It seems like a good fit as if McDowell is believed to be coachable he may be the best player available at No. 17 and even if the Redskins manage to retain Chris Baker and sign another veteran or two the position will need an infusion of youth. We will see if it works out

Previously in Redskins draft countdown: