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Need to Know: Why the Redskins need to release RG3 today

Need to Know: Why the Redskins need to release RG3 today

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, February 23, one day before the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

Why the Redskins should release RG3 today

The time has come.

The Redskins need to release Robert Griffin III from his $16.15 million 2016 option contract and they need to do it today.

Perhaps they should have done it a while ago, sometime between August 31 of last year when Jay Gruden handed the keys to the franchise to Kirk Cousins and last week.

But they have held on to Griffin for a couple of reasons. They want to see if they can generate some trade action for him. That would involve the Redskins finding a team so interested in Griffin that they would want to give up a draft pick to get him rather than waiting until March 9 when the Redskins have to cut him. Then, if the Redskins can locate that team they would have to persuade Griffin to give up his right to shop his services wherever he wants to and negotiate a new contract with this team since nobody is going to trade for him at $16 million per year.

Sounds far fetched, right? Yeah, it’s not happening.

The other reason Griffin remains a Redskin is that organization wants to use him as some sort of leverage, a “pawn” in the words of one former agent, in negotiations for a new contract for Cousins. I would love to hear Cousins’ agent laughing when they tried to tell him that they could let Cousins walk and go with a $16 million player they benched and who wants nothing to do with him. In fact, watching Bruce Allen try to claim that with a straight face might be pretty amusing, too.

Even though both of these ploys have been pointless for quite some time there really hasn’t been any reason to let Griffin go. Why not keep him in hopes that an NFL team completely loses its mind or that Cousins’ agent Mike McCartney wakes up one morning suffering from some sort of temporary amnesia and forgets all of what has transpired regarding Griffin since 2012? But tomorrow the NFL Combine starts and that’s why the Redskins should cut ties with Griffin today.

Jay Gruden will be addressing the media on Wednesday afternoon. And won’t be just the local media, who know the story on Griffin and would keep questions on why he’s still there to a minimum. There will be national reporters and media from every NFL team. Any beat writer from any team who might be interested in Griffin will be there looking for quotes about RG3.

So, instead of talking about how his 2015 playoff team is going to look to make itself better this year he could be in a situation where he is getting peppered with questions about a player who will definitively not be with the team in two weeks.

And Gruden is not a very good liar. That’s a fine quality for a human being, not so much for one who would be expected to continue the bluff and say that Griffin could still be a part of their plans going forward.

So, which will it be? Can one of the voices of the Redskins appear in front of media from all over the league and paint a vision of what a bright future will look like? Or will Gruden have to keep up the charade and keep rehashing the team’s dysfunctional past?

The choice seems obvious but there is no guarantee that the organization will take the right course of action.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 44 days ago. It will be about 201 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL Combine 1; NFL free agency starts 15; 2016 NFL draft 65

In case you missed it

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Report: One team Redskins need to watch out for when it comes to Kirk Cousins this offseason

Report: One team Redskins need to watch out for when it comes to Kirk Cousins this offseason

Mike Shanahan likes Kirk Cousins, both as a person and as a quarterback. The former Redskins coach has made no secret about that. Luckilly for the 'Skins, especially with Cousins staring at free agency, Mike Shanahan is no longer coaching in the NFL.

His son Kyle, however, seems highly likely to take over as San Francisco 49ers head coach. And soon.

Kyle Shanahan currently serves as the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons, and once their playoff run ends, most expect Shanahan to be named Niners head coach. 

Why should Washington fans care? Allow ESPN's Adam Schefter to explain:

Kyle Shanahan is set to become the San Francisco 49ers' head coach after Atlanta's season ends. San Francisco needs a quarterback as much as any other team in the league. If Cousins is available, the 49ers would pursue him as hard as they've pursued Shanahan.

Even if Washington tags Cousins, San Francisco could attempt to pry him loose in a trade with a package that could include this year's No. 2 overall draft pick. And if Washington doesn't want to deal now, it could have issues later.

This news should not be a shock to Skins fans, but it should be taken seriously. Remember, Kyle Shanahan was part of the Washington organization when Cousins was drafted and the duo worked together in 2012 and 2013. Most quarterbacks would love to run Shanahan's No. 1 ranked offense from Atlanta, and the guess here says Cousins would probably jump at the opportunity. 

Still, much must be worked out.

While some in the Washington front office might have questions about what the long-term value should be in a Cousins contract, the team still has some control. They can place the franchise tag on Cousins this season, like they did last season, and work until mid-summer on a multi-year deal. Or Cousins can again play on a franchise tag in 2017, like he did in 2016 and passed for nearly 5,000 yards.

MORE REDSKINS: Kevin O'Connell to be hired as QB coach

What makes Schefter's report the most interesting is the mention of the No. 2 overall pick. Observing the Redskins in 2016, it became obvious the team needs more impact players on defense, and with the second overall pick combined with their own 17th pick and eight more after that, that could deliver an immediate boost. 

Whatever boost a package of draft picks might bring in will be hard pressed to match the production of Cousins. Finding a starting quarterback in the NFL is exceptionally hard, and while Cousins has shown flashes of a special player, he has certainly confirmed he is a capable player in two seasons at the helm of Jay Gruden's offense.

Scot McCloughan and the Redskins brain trust have a few more weeks before free agency, and with it, the deadline to again place the franchise tag on Cousins. It's nearly impossible to see a scenario where Cousins hits the open market this season, but if the No. 2 overall pick comes into play, other scenarios start to seem more possible. 

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!

 

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The Final Countdown: Josh Norman INT makes for Redskins 7th best play of 2016

The Final Countdown: Josh Norman INT makes for Redskins 7th best 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 at the 10 worst.

No. 7 best play of 2016

Redskins vs. Browns Week 4

6:37 left in Q4, Browns ball at their own 30, 2nd and 2, Redskins leading 24-20

Cody Kessler pass short middle intended for Terrelle Pryor INTERCEPTED by Josh Norman at CLV 25. Josh Norman to CLV 24 for 1 yard (Andre Hawkins).
PENALTY on WAS-J.Norman, Unsportsmanlike Conduct, 15 yards, enforced at CLV 24.

Related: The Redskins week that was

Tandler: Sometimes you have a great win, sometimes you dodge disaster. This one went in the latter category. The Redskins couldn’t quite shake the feisty Browns and Kessler for three and a half quarters. Then Norman stayed in Pryor’s hip pocket as the receiver ran a slat. Norman lunged in front of Pryor as the ball arrived and made the interception. He did draw a penalty for doing a bow and arrow celebration but the Redskins overcame that and drove in for the clinching touchdown in their 31-20 win.

More Redskins: Offensive coordinator situation set?

Finlay: Josh Norman was the story of the Redskins offseason, and this game came one week after playing, and beating, Odell Beckham in New York. The spotlight was burning bright on Norman, and he made a crucial play when the Skins really needed it. Washington got out to a big lead early in this game only to let the Browns climb back in, mainly on the strength of Isaiah Crowell and th Cleveland run game. Losing at home to an awful Browns team would have completely derailed the modicum of momentum Kirk Cousins and the 'Skins established with the Week 3 win over the Giants, and Norman's INT made sure that didn't happen. 

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!