There was an inkling of a quarterback controversy for the Washington Badges Of Honor at the end of last season, when Robert Griffin III sat out the last three games after a mostly ineffective year and Kirk Cousins took over. Cousins played well, and the team was expected to flip Cousins for assets this past offseason.
Instead, both quarterbacks — one a second-overall pick, the other an unheralded fourth rounder — remain on the roster, and according to early reports, it’s the backup who looks like the better option for this season.
One of my biggest takeaways from Patriots-Redskins joint practices was surprise that Robert Griffin III didn’t look like the best quarterback on his own team. In fact, I thought Kirk Cousins was better than him, from the perspective of running the offense, fine-tuned mechanics and how decisively the ball came out of his hand. I wondered if I was alone, and then heard the same sentiment echoed by some others in the Patriots organization.
Uh oh. It’d be one thing if Reiss was alone in thinking this, but corroboration from Patriots’ team members — who don’t have much skin in Washintgon’s choice at QB anyway — makes us wonder how many other people think the same way. Does new coach Jay Gruden agree? How about GM Bruce Allen? What would have to happen for Cousins to officially usurp the starting job from RGIII?
Griffin is the team’s franchise quarterback, if only because they gave up so much to acquire him and have essentially built their identity and future around him. RGIII gets the benefit of the doubt, for now. But if you want to win, you start the best player, it’s that simple.
Best-case scenario: The Badges Of Honor And Respect have a San Francisco 49ers/Cleveland Browns situation and can flip one of their slingers for picks and depth. Worst-case: RGIII starts the season, sucks, loses his job, Cousins comes in, sucks, and everyone is depressed. Best-worst-case scenario: Daniel Snyder no longer likes owning this team, sells it, new owner changes the name.
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