The Washington Redskins had a season to remember this year, despite low expectations from those outside the organization. Washington posted a 9-7 record and won the NFC Least….err East. The division was arguably the worst in football this year and the Redskins took advantage. However, the success would be short-lived as the Green Bay Packers eliminated Washington 35-18 in the wild card round. The game started off in Washington’s favor by sacking Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the end zone for a safety. After getting the ball back, the Redskins seemingly had added a touchdown, but after review, wide receiver DeSean Jackson failed to reach the ball over the goal line, thus ultimately costing his team for points as Washington settled for a field goal. That’s when momentum began to shift and Rodgers snapped out of his streak of not-so-good play and handled business accordingly.
The Redskins have a lot to be happy about from this season, but now it’s time to focus on what lies ahead for the team from the Nation’s Capital. The quarterback position is something that will be addressed from a couple of different perspectives.
You like that?!
This year quarterback Kirk Cousins took the reins of the starting quarterback position and really took off with it. He threw for a career-best 4,166 yards, 29 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions while completing 69.8 percent of his passes. He also contributed five touchdowns on the ground. Now the Redskins have a couple of different options for Cousins. They can either sign him to a long-term deal and pay him a nice chunk of change or they can place the franchise tag on him which will give him roughly $20 million next season. This comes after he entered the season not knowing whether he would be the starter, backup or third string quarterback. He wound up being named the starter and had a fantastic season, even coining the phrase “You like that?!” which took the Redskins faithful by storm.
What’s next for RGIII?
The former No. 2 overall pick of the 2012 draft did not have a great season. In fact, you could say he didn’t have a season at all. After sustaining a concussion in the second preseason game of the year, Robert Griffin III never saw the field again. He was only on the active game-day roster one time and did not see the field. In other words, he was reduced to a glorified cheerleader role. To his credit, he handled it with class and never caused a distraction to the team, something that could have went the complete opposite way. It’s never easy to be in a situation like that, but Griffin never let it get the best of him and encouraged his teammates throughout the year. The Redskins also have a couple of options for Griffin. They can either keep him and basically pay him to remain on the sidelines or they can release him. They can’t explore trade options due to the money involved in his current contract. So releasing him seems to be the best scenario for both parties. So if that is the case, where could we see RGIII land? Some possible destinations for the 2012 Rookie of the Year are Houston and Dallas. Houston is in need of a quarterback, especially after Brian Hoyer had a disastrous start last week in the playoffs against the Kansas City Chiefs. Dallas will need to start planning for life without quarterback Tony Romo as it was apparent that they just were not the same team without him this year. Both of these are popular destinations as Griffin is from Texas, playing his college ball at Baylor University. Another possible landing spot for RGIII is Los Angeles, home of the Rams yet again. The only hiccup with this plan is that the Rams gave Nick Foles an extension, so this might not be the best place for Griffin to go. He cleaned out his locker at FedEx Field Monday for what appears to be the last time.
What should the Redskins address in the draft and free agency?
While Cousins led the offense to a pretty good season, the holes of this team came on defense. So in the draft and free agency, Washington will look to add some playmakers in order to sustain the success they achieved this season and expand on it. The biggest positions the Redskins needs to address is the interior defensive lineman position – especially a good, disruptive pass rusher – cornerback help and an inside linebacker. Washington had a pretty good draft in 2015 and will look to make it back-to-back years where the new talent can contribute to the team.