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Archive for the tag “Kirk Cousins”

Kirk Cousins And The Interesting Contract Dispute In DC

(photo courtesy of Jeffrey G. Pittenger

(photo courtesy of Jeffrey G. Pittenger

Kirk Cousins and Robert Griffin III were both drafted by the Washington Redskins in 2012. Griffin III was drafted 2nd overall by Washington after they made a trade with the St. Louis Rams to get that pick. In the 4th round, Cousins was selected as a potential trade piece in the future. And as expected, Griffin III came out and was the star at quarterback for the Redskins in his rookie season. And his explosive play helped lead the Redskins to the playoffs in his rookie year. But after he got hurt at the end of the year and tore up his knee in their lone playoff game, Griffin III has not been the same. And during that time, Cousins has had his times to show he can be the starter. Cousins floundered in his first two tries as the starter of the Redskins in 2013 and 2014. It got so bad in Washington that Cousins was replaced by Colt McCoy after Cousins replaced Griffin III at one point. But this season, he was named the starter from the beginning of the season. And even though he had some rough moments, Cousins was able to lead the Redskins to the playoffs. But now the Redskins have another decision to make. Cousins is a free agent this offseason and could potentially leave the team. Recently, contract negotiations were broke off between Cousins and the Redskins when they could not come to an agreement. But even though the contract negotiations have broken off, there is little to no reason to think that he will not be wearing a Redskins uniform next season.

By March 1st, all teams have to have their franchise tags in place. We all pretty much assume the Broncos will have theirs in place for pass rush supreme Von Miller. But Cousins will be a guy that more than likely will have one placed on him. If Washington places the franchise tag on him, that will give them more time to discuss a long-term contract with Cousins. He and his agent will more than likely come back to the negotiation table after the franchise tag is placed on him. At that point, numbers will be compared and the two will either agree to a new deal or allow him to play through the franchise tag. If they are to pay him and make him the franchise quarterback, then they would be committing to a deal that would have him making at least an average of $20 million per season. That type of money would put him in the class of contracts that Seattle’s Russell Wilson, Carolina’s Cam Newton and Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers are in. And with that type of contract, there would be more expectation on Cousins to lead this team like a franchise quarterback does. That would mean he would have to put up numbers like he did this season (29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions) and then some consistently. And considering that he has had chances before and this year was the first time he put up good numbers, can the Redskins really ensure that making Cousins the franchise quarterback is a solid move?

If the Redskins are smart, they would allow Cousins to play out the year on the franchise tag. By doing that, it would give them an even clearer answer on Cousins as the future for Washington at quarterback. By that time, defenses would have adjusted to some of the things he does offensively. The biggest challenge for him will be keeping ahead of the curve and showing that he is just not one that took advantage of defenses that were not familiar with him. If he proves that he can make it happen despite defenses gearing up to stop him, he will have then shown that he may be capable to be their franchise quarterback. If the Redskins make a mistake and sign him based off one year, they could hamstring themselves for years. If Cousins falls back to what he has been before the 2015 season, then you have a team that has no cap space and will be tied into Cousins for at least two years. All the while, they will be watching pieces leave that they may not have the money to keep. Cousins could end up becoming the newest version of Matt Flynn. There is a lot of possibilities out there that last year could have been an overachievement and the Redskins need to think long and hard along with taking an extended look at Cousins. If they are able to get that, then they can get the deal done next season. Of course, Cousins will probably have some leverage over them, but Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has shown over his time there that he is not afraid to open the checkbook for players.

Kirk Cousins and the Redskins have some decisions to make over time. Both have to get back to the negotiation table and the Redskins have to make a decision in franchising Cousins should they not complete a deal before March 1st. And when he gets franchised, that is when the fun will begin. That also is where the hard stance should begin. If they want to be smart, then they will look to see more before paying Cousins top money. If not, then they are not tied up at that position for a while longer.

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The Rise And Fall Of Robert Griffin III In Washington, DC

Robert Griffin III and Jay Gruden have meshed together about as well as oil and water. (photo courtesy of CBS Sports)

Robert Griffin III and Jay Gruden have meshed together about as well as oil and water. (photo courtesy of CBS Sports)

Robert Griffin III was hailed as the savior of Washington once he arrived in town. The combination of speed, athleticism and a throwing arm had the Reskins fan base excited over what he could be. And in his first season he did not disappoint. He led the Redskins to the NFC East crown and the playoffs in his first season. But within that first season, he had some bumps and bruises. RGIII was injured before the playoffs and did not look like the same athletic guy he was when he got there. And in the playoffs, his leg, which he had injured previously, gave way. The result was a torn ACL for the second time in his career along with other injuries to his knee. And from there, Robert Griffin III has never been the same. It seems like since that time, his play has never reached the hype of what accompanied him when he arrived in 2012. The more Robert Griffin III seems to talk, the worse his play seems to have gotten. And now we have reached the point where the guy who once was on top of the world in DC has now been deemed an afterthought. The Redskins recently announced that back quarterback Kirk Cousins would be the starting quarterback for the 2015 season. Of course that decision is always subject to change due to it only being the beginning of the season, but it seemed to be almost a burial of RGIII in Washington. Many think this is the end for him in DC and deservedly so. But what even led us to this point?

There is no doubt that Griffin III is a very talented player when he is healthy. But the fact remains that he has not been healthy since he went down with injury his rookie season. Griffin III rushed back from injury to be ready for the 2013 season and that was a huge mistake. Part of the reason he made it back so quick was his burning desire to be on the field. And the mistake on the management’s part was to let him back on the field so quickly. His knee was in disarray. And if the management really cared about Griffin III, they would not have even let him get back on the field until he was fully healed. The result of him being on the field too quickly ended with not being anywhere close to the same player he was before his injury. He did not have the explosiveness he had when he would leave the pocket and it seemed like the zip he once had on the football was not the same. The result was subpar performances and a guy that looked like a shell of himself. As far as the team’s performance, they have suffered right along with RGIII. The team has not had a winning record since that 2012 season and it has also not had the same buzz and excitement.

The injuries to RGIII have slowed him down, but so has the offensive system around him. When RGIII first entered the NFL, everyone knew who he was. He was an athletic quarterback who operated out of the spread offense with efficiency. When he came into the NFL, the Redskins under Mike Shanahan adapted to his style. And with doing so, they made the playoffs. But ever since that year and with the injuries to RGIII, the Redskins have seem to forgot what RGIII is. And in the new offense, Jay Gruden has RGIII doing play-action passes and operating under center. In essence, that is not what RGIII has done and not a part of the player he is. What should have happened with the Redskins is they should have met RGIII halfway. Gruden wants a certain style offense, but he also has to realize what talent he has when it comes to RGIII. It seemed like Gruden was determined to make RGIII into what he wanted instead of accentuating what he had in him. And as a result, the offense looked disastrous when RGIII was on the field. But at the same time Gruden was forcing his offense on RGIII, it seemed like the former Baylor star was not growing at all on the field. Instead of him picking up the same nuances that other quarterbacks seem to do over time, he was not throwing it to open receivers. RGIII would instead run and try to make a play instead of throwing it to the open man. And as a result of that, defenses would track him down and the offense would go nowhere fast.

The writing seems to be on the wall that RGIII’s days as a starter in Washington are about over. The excitement to start his career was thought by some to be a prelude to his success. But in the end, it may end up being the high point of his career as the quarterback of the Redskins. The next step is undetermined at this time, but there could be a change of jerseys coming for RGIII. And for RGIII, a change of jersey will hopefully lead to an offense that fits what he can do. And for RGIII, hopefully we can see the exciting player that he was again someday instead of the shell of a player he has been since his rookie season. His time has come and gone in DC and his next chance will hopefully come with a change of scenery. This has to be a low point for RGIII and it is up to him where he goes from here.

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Robert Griffin III Is Feeling Himself

Robert Griffin III is beaming with confidence after his proclamation of being the best quarterback in the NFL. (photo courtesy of John McDonnell/Washington Post)

Robert Griffin III is beaming with confidence after his proclamation of being the best quarterback in the NFL. (photo courtesy of John McDonnell/Washington Post)

The Washington Redskins had a disastrous 2014 season under first-year head coach Jay Gruden. But what was even more disastrous for their 4-12 record last season is their quarterback play. The Redskins had three quarterbacks play last season in Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins and Colt McCoy. All three were inconsistent and could not give Gruden what he wanted for his offense. And as a result, the offense sputtered all season long and was not exactly aesthetically pleasing. Their performance did nothing to help their defense, who was trying to keep them in football games. Heading into this year, there were thoughts of “could it get worse” among other things when it came to this offense. Back at the front of the line stands Robert Griffin III again. He is first in line for his shot at being the starter. In the grand scheme of things, it looks like his job to lose. The Redskins invested a lot of money in him to be their guy when they drafted him 2nd overall in 2012. And in this season, the time has come for him to step up to the plate. And heading into this season, Griffin was recently quoted as saying the following: “ I feel like I’m the best quarterback in the league, and I have to go out and show that.” Indeed Robert Griffin III was bold in his statement, but what should his focus really be on at this time?

Griffin was electrifying as a rookie quarterback in the NFL. He was fearless when he ran the football and he appeared to lay it all on the line for his teammates, leading them to the playoffs in his first year. And even though he suffered an injury to his leg near the end of the regular season, he was thought to be ready for the playoffs. The intensity was high for both teams as the Seattle Seahawks were trying to make it to the National League Conference Title game. But unfortunately, the time off for Griffin did not help make his knee and leg feel any better. Griffin looked to be dragging his leg by the end of the game until he was eventually tackled and put out for the rest of the playoffs. Griffin suffered a knee injury that caused him to opt for surgery to repair the ligaments and other damage done. Ever since that moment, RGIII has not been the same. He has had his moments where he has tried to get it going, but the extra gear just does not seem to be there for Griffin. Instead of focusing on if he is the best quarterback in the NFL, Griffin may want to focus on staying healthy. Take one step at a time to get it going. Once you start stringing things together, it makes things easier to do in regards to your job.

There is one side of the statement that we can look at, meaning Griffin was focusing on the wrong thing. He clearly needs to focus on being healthy. But when you are a competitor, you have to believe that you are the best at what you do. Even though fans may not think he is the best, it does not matter in the grand scheme of things. The self-confidence within makes players who they are. Many times players are the only ones that believe in their abilities. Some fans may laugh at players who make these statements, but what else are they supposed to believe? Are they supposed to say that they are the second best player in the world or that they are the 13th best player on the field? There is no way any team would want a player on their team that believes in that way of thinking. And there is definitely no way a player would survive in the NFL with that train of thinking. So essentially the statement Griffin said is something that a lot of players think already. He just said it out loud. Sure, it sounds funny when you hear it. But it is a tribute to his state of mind more than his state of play.

Griffin is crazy in saying what he said and that is a good and bad thing. But ultimately, he has to prove how good or bad he is between the white lines on the football field. Provided he stays healthy, maybe we get to see the RGIII we saw his rookie season. But only time will tell what we will see. And with the punishment he has taken mentally and physically the past two years, it will be interesting to see if he can help revive the Redskins franchise one more time like he did his first season in the NFL. Confidence is an interesting thing.

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