I have transcribed about half of what I recorded of what Robert Griffin III said to the media after he was drafted by the Redskins on Thursday night. Im not sure if Im going to do the other half because, as noted in my article from yesterday, a lot of the questions got repetitive after while. But in any case, I got enough to get some basic idea of how RG3 looks at life, football, leadership, and other areas. Here are a few nuggets of his perspective:--If youre a quarterback you want that pressure on you, you want the ball because you truly believe in yourself. Thats how you get to be great.--You inspire the people around you to play better and just do the right things. Dont go out to the bar on Thursday nights when you play on Sunday. Stay in, go eat some dinner, do something productive.--Ill try to get through to my teammates, to have a positive outlook on everything, dont be a fool, but try to have a positive outlook, go out there and try to be successful.--Its not like Ill walk in the locker room and say, hey guys, look at me, Im on the cover of ESPN magazine. You dont do things like that. You go in, you say, Im a rookie, Im also your quarterback.--Im not one who plans out my day, but I do have a plan, the big picture. Worry about all of the small things and the big picture will fall into place.--The most important thing is your teammates. If your teammates come to you and say, hey, were relying on you, thats the most important thing.--Im a person that tries to lead by example. I dont just talk. Sometimes, I get tired of talking about things because you want to just go do it, so Im excited to just go do it with the Redskins and just know that my dream has come true.--You don't play quarterbacks in this league. You'll always be compared head to head, but you play defenses. I'm looking forward to playing the defenses in this division.--You want pressure as a quarterback. It can keep you straight and make sure I involve my teammates. You don't want to take on that type of attention all by yourself.
It still seems like a long-shot the Redskins trade Kirk Cousins, but if there is one persistent rumor, it's that the San Francisco 49ers want the Washington passer. The story is too familiar at this point: New Niners coach Kyle Shanahan was in D.C. when Cousins was drafted and wants the quarterback to come run his offense in San Francisco. With the second overall pick, the 49ers have a tremendous asset they can dangle in trade talks.
Whether or not any of this rumor is true, it sure makes for engrossing speculation. With the NFL Draft Combine next week in Indianapolis, NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said he wouldn't be shocked to see the trade go down.
That's the backdrop. Beyond the debate of the merits of trading an established QB like Cousins, which is a very serious debate, there's also the notion of what player the 'Skins would select with the second overall pick.
MORE REDSKINS: 2017 top heavy Cap could be a problem
It's worth examining the impact players available to Washington with the second selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, and the options are varied, including perhaps a new QB. Check it out.
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It seems almost inevitable that the Redskins will put the franchise tag on Kirk Cousins between now and the March 1 deadline. This will set the Redskins up to have a very top heavy salary cap structure.
As the website Spotrac noted yesterday, if the Redskins do tag Cousins, giving him a cap hit of $24.9 million, he, Josh Norman ($20 million cap number) and Trent Williams ($15.1 million) will account for a total of $59 million against the cap or 35 percent of the estimated $168 million cap for the 2017 season.
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That’s a lot of money to go to 5.6 percent of the players on the roster. To compare, the top three players on the Cowboys’ cap account for 34.2 percent of the cap. The top three with the Giants take up 29.7 percent and in Philadelphia it’s 17.8 percent. In fact, a check around the league shows that none of the 2016 AFC or NFC playoff teams has a higher percentage of their cap expended on its top three than the Redskins have on theirs.
This caused some consternation among Redskins fans and while it’s something to keep an eye on it does not present a big issue for the team at this time.
For one thing, the Redskins still have a good amount of cap room. If you assume the Cousins tag, they still will have about $40 million in cap space with the ability to create perhaps $10 million more by releasing some veterans and/or redoing some contracts.
Also, it’s a temporary situation. Let’s say that the Redskins hang on to Cousins with a long-term deal and he has a $22 million cap number in 2018. If that the case then Cousins, Norman ($17 million), and Williams ($13.9 million) would still be the top three players on the cap number list and they would total $52 million. On a cap that is projected to be $178 million that would be 29.2 percent of the total. That’s still on the high side but certainly manageable.
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And if you are going to have three players taking up a high percentage of the cap they should be your quarterback, left tackle, and No. 1 cornerback. Those, along with an edge rusher, are the most important players on the team and it’s appropriate to have them among you highest-paid players.
Still, the Redskins must be careful. Signing another free agent with a cap hit like Norman’s is out of the question. And as key contributors like Morgan Moses, Trent Murphy, Jamison Crowder, and Brandon Scherff become eligible for contract extensions or for free agency over the next couple of years, the organization needs to be sure that there is room to retain their own players when the time comes.