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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

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Redskins' Jay Gruden is looking for Kirk Cousins to become a coach on the field this year

Redskins' Jay Gruden is looking for Kirk Cousins to become a coach on the field this year

Gruden is looking for Cousins to become a Redskins coach on the field

While it’s still possible for the Redskins to trade quarterback Kirk Cousins, team president Bruce Allen has said that no talks have taken place and coach Jay Gruden is looking forward to having Cousins at the helm for the third straight year.

“He’s getting ready, he’s excited about the season, been in contact about what he wants to work on,” said Gruden on Tuesday at the NFL meetings in Phoenix. “We’ve addressed that so when OTAs hit we can hit hard. It’s great to have a guy who’s been in the system for two years now can just jump right in to hard core situational work, just really fine tune the other things like cadence, just the little things you want to fine tune without starting from scratch. He can be a big part in the teaching process also with the young players.”

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Actually, Cousins has been “in the system” for all three years that Gruden has been the head coach in Washington. He started five game in 2014 before turnover problems sent him to the bench. The following seasons Gruden named Cousins the starter at the end of August and he has played every meaningful snap since then.

Cousins has played well, passing for over 9,000 yards and leading the team to its first back-to-back winning seasons since 1997-1997. Gruden will be looking for more out of his quarterback, who will be making $24 million this year if he plays on the franchise tag.

“In a perfect world, you want your quarterback to be an extension of the coaching staff,” said Gruden. “I think that’s why you look at the great quarterbacks, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, they’re extensions of the coaching staff. The coach doesn’t have to go out and tell everybody what to do all the time. Sometimes the quarterback can just go right out and whisper it to them. It helps that we’re saying the same thing and speaking the same language and that takes time.

“It’s not perfect yet but being in the third year of the system I think he’ll be a lot more comfortable in that role. I hope he does because we can’t see everything out there on the field all the time and it’s good to have the corrections come within the team and not just from the coaches all the time.”

MORE REDSKINS: Doctson's short tweet delivers good news for Redskins

Although Cousins’ future with the team is very uncertain—even if he is around this year there is a good chance he will be able to leave as a free agent in 2018—the quarterback and Gruden will do the only thing that they can do. The will get ready for the coming season and let the chips fall where they may after that.

Gruden pointed out that Cousins is not the only player on the roster with just one year left on his deal. Indeed, WR Terrelle Pryor, OT Morgan Moses, CB Bashaud Breeland, and C Spencer Long are all set to be free agents a year from now.

“We’re going to have a number of guys on one-year contracts and I fully anticipate them coming in and working their tails off and being prepared and doing everything they can to win a championship,” said Gruden. That’s what it’s all about. And at the end of the year we’ll come back to the negotiating table to try to get something done. But ideally, you’d like to have everybody under long-term contracts and that’s obviously not possible.”

Gruden confirmed that Cousins was in Tampa yesterday along with some of his receivers including Pryor, Josh Doctson and Jamison Crowder getting in some work with Gruden’s brother Jon. It looks like it will be business as usual unless and until something happens change things.

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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Need to Know: Redskins' rule change rejected but others will make game safer, move faster

Need to Know: Redskins' rule change rejected but others will make game safer, move faster

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, March 29, 29 days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/17) 19
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 44
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 56
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 108
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 156

Rule changes with commentary

—Prohibits the “leaper” block attempt on field goal and extra point plays.

Tandler: While it’s a fun play when it’s executed properly I can see the player safety angle of it. I’m not sure why teams didn’t just run some placement kicks with delayed snaps to get a free five yards because once a player has committed to the leap he can’t stop.

—Makes permanent the rule that disqualifies a player who is penalized twice in one game for certain types of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls. 

Tandler: One of the few times that this came into play was in Week 3 when Giants center Weston Richburg got the boot for multiple penalties against the Redskins. I suppose most Redskins fans will be fine with it until a Washington player gets kicked out of a key game. Last year the rule was experimental and this makes it permanent

—Changes the spot of the next snap after a touchback resulting from a free kick to the 25-yard line for one year only. 

Tandler: I think this is kind of a dumb rule but it's designed to reduce kickoff returns and they did go down from 1,138 in 2015 to 1,012 last season. That’s an 11 percent drop and they want to give the experimental rule another year to see if that was just a statistical anomaly. It should be noted here that the Redskins’ proposal to place a kickoff that goes through the uprights at the 20-yard line did muster 11 votes but that’s far short of the 24 needed to pass it. The No Fun League indeed.

—Gives a receiver running a pass route defenseless player protection. Makes crackback blocks prohibited by a backfield player who is in motion, even if he is not more than two yards outside the tackle when the ball is snapped. 

Tandler: These are two different rules but I’m combining them into once comment—good for player safety, not sure why it took them so long to pass these rules.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 6.0

—Replaces the sideline replay monitor with a hand-held device and authorizes designated members of the Officiating department to make the final decision on replay reviews. 

Tandler: This is good for so many reasons. We should get better, more consistent decisions (although there’s no guarantee that my evergreen “Siri, what is a catch” tweet will be retired permanently). And the time that replay uses up should be greatly reduced.

—Makes it Unsportsmanlike Conduct to commit multiple fouls during the same down designed to manipulate the game clock. 

Tandler: This keeps teams from grabbing multiple receivers to prevent a Hail Mary attempt at the end of half or a game and prevents them from holding multiple players on a punt attempt to run out the clock at the end of a game. It’s a loophole that was closed, forcing a team to play defense or execute a punt instead of committing intentional penalties. The key is that the clock is reset to where it was when the ball was snapped.

—Makes actions to conserve time illegal after the two-minute warning of either half.

Tandler: This just takes the penalties that result in 10-second runoffs in the last minute of a half, mostly false starts when the clock is running, and makes them illegal any time after the two-minute warning.

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.

Tandler on Twitter

Responding to a tweet saying that the rule to put replay in the hands of official at the NFL offices:

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