GridironGrit.com http://gridirongrit.com NFL, College Football, NFL Draft and Fantasy Football News Sat, 28 Mar 2015 17:41:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 New York Jets Looking To Land Marcus Mariota? http://gridirongrit.com/2015/03/new-york-jets-looking-to-land-marcus-mariota/ http://gridirongrit.com/2015/03/new-york-jets-looking-to-land-marcus-mariota/#comments Sat, 28 Mar 2015 17:37:30 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=27444 New York Jets first-year general manager Mike Maccagnan, head coach Todd Bowles and offensive coordinator Chan Gailey have all flown to Eugene, Oregon to conduct a private workout with star quarterback Marcus Mariota on Saturday, Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News reports. Jets QBs coach Kevin Patullo, director of college […]

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New York Jets first-year general manager Mike Maccagnan, head coach Todd Bowles and offensive coordinator Chan Gailey have all flown to Eugene, Oregon to conduct a private workout with star quarterback Marcus Mariota on Saturday, Manish Mehta of the NY Daily News reports.

Jets QBs coach Kevin Patullo, director of college scouting Rex Hogan and director of player personnel Brian Heimerdinger are also all at Oregon’s facility. It’s worth noting that NFL teams are not limited by restrictions for these on-campus workouts, outside of money they are willing to spend.

It seems Gang Green is seriously considering the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. It’s also apparent that everyone within the organization disagrees with team owner Woody Johnson, who said last week that Geno Smith is “probably way ahead of [Mariota] at this point.”

It’s very unclear where the Oregon star quarterback will land in the upcoming 2015 NFL Draft.

Many reporters and draft analysts expect him to be the second overall pick, either winding up with the Titans or by a team trading up into Tennessee’s spot (No. 2 overall) to get him.

[RELATED: Browns ‘Now Positioned’ To Trade Up For Marcus Mariota?]

That projection seems to be gaining steam, but it’s far from unanimous. Some believe Mariota could slide all the way to No. 20, where he would get snatched up by his college coach.

[RELATED: Jeremy Maclin: Chip Kelly Will ‘Get His Guy’ Marcus Mariota]

Photo Credit: GoDucks.com

Photo Credit: GoDucks.com

[RELATED: Philadelphia Eagles ‘Determined’ To Draft Marcus Mariota]

There are still plenty of valid questions surrounding Mariota, particularly in how he would adapt to a more traditional pro-style offense in New York, Cleveland or Tennessee.

Loaded with tremendous athleticism and work ethic, Mariota put on quite a show in Indianapolis at the scouting combine, not only in the drills, but more importantly during the interview process.

Often compared to Ryan Tannehill and Colin Kaepernick, Mariota also boasts a strong arm and impressive poise in the pocket, but he does need to prove he can deliver the football into tight windows.

His biggest obstacle, however, will be working in a huddle, which Mariota acknowledged before the combine.

Mariota’s quiet and calm image has also been cited on numerous occasions, often as a negative, but it very well may be helping him in the interview process and could help him on the field in the NFL.

While he’s most often compared to Tannehill and Kaepernick, Mariota’s cool-as-a-cucumber demeanor may most resemble Joe Flacco and Russell Wilson.

While Flacco and Wilson aren’t elite, they’re both established Super Bowl-winning franchise quarterbacks who often excel in the clutch. If Mariota can follow in their footsteps, it would be worth it for the Titans to take him with the No. 2 overall pick, or the Jets or Browns to trade up and take him in that spot.

MMQB’s Greg Bedard wrote a great piece on Friday, comparing Mariota to Teddy Bridgewater.

Like Bridgewater, the No. 32 overall pick from last year’s draft, who we firmly believed would develop into a franchise quarterback last spring, Mariota has been ridiculously raked over during the pre-draft process for being too quiet, too skinny and having a subpar performance at his pro day.

“Bridgewater ended up having the best season of all the rookie quarterbacks and was among the best first-year players regardless of position, grouped with the likes of Odell Beckham, Zack Martin, Joel Bitonio and Mike Evans,” Bedard writes.

In his final five games of the season, Bridgewater completed 72.1 percent of his passes for 1,230 yards and eight touchdowns against five interceptions.

“He’s a guy who leads by how hard he works, by the improvement he makes in practice every day, the way he wanted to learn how to enunciate the plays, just all the extra effort the guy put in,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said, via Bedard’s article. “He’s not one of those guys who is going to get in your face, but the players all gravitate toward this guy. He’s always got a smile. He’s confident but not cocky. It’s never about him, so it’s always about, How can I help this guy do this better, or the team?”

Those exact same things have been said about the Oregon star quarterback. There is more injury-risk with Mariota, simply because he utilizes his speed and athleticism much more than Bridgewater. But franchise quarterbacks don’t grow on trees, and Mariota has the makings of a franchise QB.

Do you think the Jets should draft Marcus Mariota? Sound off in the comments!

Stay tuned to GridironGrit.com for more news and analysis on the Jets and the NFL.

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Browns ‘Now Positioned’ To Trade Up For Marcus Mariota? http://gridirongrit.com/2015/03/browns-now-positioned-to-trade-up-for-marcus-mariota/ http://gridirongrit.com/2015/03/browns-now-positioned-to-trade-up-for-marcus-mariota/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 22:41:08 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=27441 The Cleveland Browns are now positioned to trade up to select Oregon star quarterback Marcus Mariota in the upcoming 2015 NFL Draft, according to ESPN.com’s Pat McManamon. With the recent additions of veteran free agent wide receivers Brian Hartline and Dwayne Bowe, McManamon notes that the Browns can now “get […]

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The Cleveland Browns are now positioned to trade up to select Oregon star quarterback Marcus Mariota in the upcoming 2015 NFL Draft, according to ESPN.com’s Pat McManamon.

With the recent additions of veteran free agent wide receivers Brian Hartline and Dwayne Bowe, McManamon notes that the Browns can now “get by for a year or two” with their current weapons at the position, which also includes Taylor Gabriel, Travis Benjamin, return specialist Marlon Moore and our 2014 Browns breakout candidate Andrew Hawkins, who led the team with 63 receptions and 824 yards last season.

McManamon also claims that other moves “seem to complement adding a young quarterback,” as the team now boasts bookend long-armed corners in Tramon Williams (opposite Joe Haden), “who can play press coverage the way the coach likes,” as well as defensive tackle Randy Starks.

Aside from finding a replacement for tight end Jordan Cameron, which Cleveland can do “in the second or third round of the draft,” the Browns’ “only glaring need is quarterback.”

Photo Credit: Eric Evans/GoDucks.com

Photo Credit: Eric Evans/GoDucks.com

And with a pair of first round picks (No. 12 and No. 19 overall) in the upcoming 2015 NFL Draft, the club has plenty of ammunition to move up for Mariota.

There are still plenty of valid questions surrounding the Oregon star quarterback, particularly in how he would adapt to a more traditional pro-style offense.

Loaded with tremendous athleticism and work ethic, Mariota put on quite a show in Indianapolis at the scouting combine, not only in the drills, but more importantly during the interview process.

Often compared to Ryan Tannehill and Colin Kaepernick, Mariota also boasts a strong arm and impressive poise in the pocket, but he does need to prove he can deliver the football into tight windows.

His biggest obstacle, however, will be working in a huddle, which Mariota acknowledged before the combine.

“There will be an adjustment period [for Mariota] just like the one Manziel had [coming out of college], McManamon writes. “But the general thinking on Mariota is that he has more long-term potential than Manziel because of his size and arm strength — and because he’s faster. Think Alex Smith, but a better overall player.”

Mariota’s quiet and calm image has also been cited on numerous occasions, often as a negative, but it very well may be helping him in the interview process and could help him on the field in the NFL.

While he’s most often compared to Tannehill and Kaepernick, Mariota’s cool-as-a-cucumber demeanor may most resemble Joe Flacco and Russell Wilson. While neither of them are elite, Flacco and Wilson are both franchise quarterbacks who have won a Super Bowl and often excel in the clutch. If Mariota can follow in their footsteps, it will be worth it to the Browns to trade up to get him.

Other potential trade targets at the quarterback position could include Philip Rivers, Sam Bradford, Mike Glennon and Jay Cutler, but Mariota seems more likely to wind up in Cleveland.

Do you think the Browns should trade up to get Marcus Mariota? Sound off in the comments!

Stay tuned to GridironGrit.com for more news and analysis on the Browns and the NFL.

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Vikings Sign Potential Free Agent Gem With Crazy Journey http://gridirongrit.com/2015/03/vikings-sign-potential-free-agent-gem-with-crazy-journey/ http://gridirongrit.com/2015/03/vikings-sign-potential-free-agent-gem-with-crazy-journey/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 18:45:37 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=27438 With the big wave of free agency clearly in the rear view mirror and the draft still over a month away, this is a relatively quite time in the NFL. But behind the scenes, it can be a hectic period for NFL scouts, who are scouring the country and beyond […]

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With the big wave of free agency clearly in the rear view mirror and the draft still over a month away, this is a relatively quite time in the NFL. But behind the scenes, it can be a hectic period for NFL scouts, who are scouring the country and beyond in hopes of uncovering the next diamond in the rough.

On Thursday, the Minnesota Vikings signed a very under-the-radar, colossal Polish-born offensive tackle by the name of Babatunde Aiyebusi.

Aiyebusi, 26, never played college football, but he has played football at a professional level. Last year, he helped the Dresden Monarchs of the German Football League advance to the semifinals of the playoffs. He also previously played in the Polish American Football League.

At 6-foot-9 and 351 pounds, Aiyebusi is now one of the biggest players in the NFL. He’s also just the fifth Polish-born player in league history, joining kicker Rick Szaro (1975-79), kicker Chester Marcol (1972-80), defensive tackle Jason Maniecki (1996-98) and kicker Stephen Janikowski (2000-present).

Michael C. Wright of ESPN.com wrote about Aiyegbusi’s journey to the NFL before he signed with the Vikings, detailing how the Poland native quickly got an agent, Pro Day workout and NFL contract.

Photo Credit: Vikings.com

Photo Credit: Vikings.com

Texas Tech assistant coach Kevin Curtis “received a YouTube video from one of his former coaches in NFL Europe, who happens to work with Aiyebusi, to see whether Texas Tech would be interested in signing him,” Wright wrote.

Since Aiyegbusi had exhausted his college eligibility by playing in Poland and Germany, Curtis decided to reach out to agent Jeff Griffin (now also Aiyebusi’s agent).

“So Kevin called me, and was like, ‘Hey man, watch this. You’re going to call me back,'” Griffin said. “I looked at the video, and I was like, ‘What the heck is that?'”

As Wright notes in his ESPN article, “Griffin called Curtis soon after watching the video to find out how he could get in contact with Aiyegbusi, who up to that point had only talked to Curtis on Skype, which is how the agent made contact with Aiyegbusi.”

“He took up the whole screen man,” Griffin said of the Skype conversation. “We talked. He told me his story, how he just wanted an opportunity to work out for people. I had three guys I represent down here at the University of Texas-San Antonio, and we had just gotten confirmation there would be 18 to 20 teams out for pro day. So I asked him what we needed to do about getting a visa to get him over here to the States. He said he’d find out.”

In just over a week, Aiyebusi went from obtaining a visa to travel to the U.S. to signing an NFL contract.

“We secured a visa in about a week and a half,” Griffin said. “Normally, it takes a long time, like 10 days for them to sit down and meet with you to discuss you coming over here. But I think everybody in Poland got behind this kid.”

Aiyegbusi, who started out playing basketball before giving football a shot on a recommendation from a friend, is “worth a look-see with the size and measurables alone,” an AFC South personnel director told ESPN.com.

“He looks raw, but has never done the drills we use. His background in basketball I think makes him interesting. But I’ve only seen a few small clips [of him playing football].”

If the potential free agent gem goes on to have NFL success, he’ll have to thank that friend for steering him to football. NFL broadcasters have some time to learn how to properly pronounce his name before training camp and preseason, though Minnesota is also one of nine teams that could be forced onto HBO’s Hard Knocks this summer.

The Star Tribune notes that Babatunde Aiyegbusi is pronounced “bah-BUH-tune-day ah-YEG-boo-see.”

How do you think the Vikings have performed so far this offseason? Sound off in the comments!

Stay tuned to GridironGrit.com for more news and analysis on the Vikings and the NFL.

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John Fox: Jay Cutler Will Face ‘Open Competition’ For Bears’ QB Job http://gridirongrit.com/2015/03/john-fox-jay-cutler-will-face-open-competition-for-bears-qb-job/ http://gridirongrit.com/2015/03/john-fox-jay-cutler-will-face-open-competition-for-bears-qb-job/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 23:15:06 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=27430 Chicago Bears head coach John Fox says the team will have an “open competition” at quarterback. “It’s all an open competition,” Fox told CSN Chicago on Wednesday at the NFL owners meeting. “Obviously you’ve got to start somewhere and my experience in football, really in anything, it’s not where you […]

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Chicago Bears head coach John Fox says the team will have an “open competition” at quarterback.

“It’s all an open competition,” Fox told CSN Chicago on Wednesday at the NFL owners meeting. “Obviously you’ve got to start somewhere and my experience in football, really in anything, it’s not where you start a competition; it’s where you finish it.

“But we’ve got to start the race with some kind of lineup. We have not discussed that in depth. We have not presented it to our players yet. I kind of have it in my brain and then they compete.”

Barring injury, it would be pretty remarkable to see someone other than Cutler open the 2015 season as the Bears’ starting quarterback, especially considering the former 2006 first round pick out of Vanderbilt will make $25.5 million in guaranteed money over the next two years.

Photo Credit: ChicagoBears.com

Photo Credit: ChicagoBears.com

[RELATED: Ranking the 10 Most Overpaid Players in the NFL]

However, the Bears’ new regime has been quite noncommittal on Cutler, and during his introductory press conference in January, Fox even called his quarterback by the wrong name.

While the odds of the team trading Cutler seem pretty slim now, it’s still possible that a deal with a team like Cleveland or Tennessee or even Washington. Fox and new GM Ryan Pace may want to hand-pick a new quarterback (perhaps Marcus Mariota) in next month’s draft.

Cutler’s future in the Windy City was already unclear even before the arrival of Fox and Pace following a disastrous 2014 campaign where Cutler tied Philip Rivers with an NFL-high 18 interceptions.

He was also benched in mid-December in favor of Jimmy Clausen, in part because he didn’t fully embrace the coaching staff’s philosophy and also struggled to make the correct pre-snap and post-snap adjustments.

Do you think the Bears should move forward with Cutler? Sound off in the comments!

Stay tuned to GridironGrit.com for more news and analysis on the Bears and the NFL.

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Tom Coughlin Compares Giants Free Agent Addition To Super Bowl Hero http://gridirongrit.com/2015/03/tom-coughlin-compares-giants-free-agent-addition-to-super-bowl-hero/ http://gridirongrit.com/2015/03/tom-coughlin-compares-giants-free-agent-addition-to-super-bowl-hero/#comments Thu, 26 Mar 2015 21:55:17 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=27427 New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin believes recently signed wide receiver/return man Dwayne Harris can be used the same way the team utilized Super Bowl hero David Tyree. Like Tyree—one of the top surprise stars in Super Bowl history—Harris hasn’t put up big numbers on offense. The 5-foot-10, 202-pound […]

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New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin believes recently signed wide receiver/return man Dwayne Harris can be used the same way the team utilized Super Bowl hero David Tyree.

Photo Credit: Giants.com

Photo Credit: Giants.com

Like Tyree—one of the top surprise stars in Super Bowl history—Harris hasn’t put up big numbers on offense. The 5-foot-10, 202-pound receiver played just 160 snaps on offense last season and has hauled in just 33 career receptions for 418 yards and three touchdowns with the Dallas Cowboys (2011-14).

Just for reference, Tyree, also once named to the Pro Bowl for his performance on special teams, had 54 career receptions for 650 yards and four touchdowns in five seasons with the Giants (2003-07).

“Tyree would come in [on offense], he’d be a blocker, that’s what Harris does, but you see him on the field, you start thinking that way,” Coughlin said, per NJ.com. “And that part of it alone opens up possibilities, maybe you get back to that old fake ghost screen stuff again, maybe that becomes a better opportunity for it. Whether he’s the third receiver or fourth receiver or a special situation kind of player, offensively he wants to contribute.”

A former 2011 sixth round pick (No. 176 overall) out of East Carolina, Harris has been used primarily on special teams as a gunner and return man. But he’s already established himself as one of the best in the game, amassing 965 yards on 87 punt returns (11.1 YPR) and 2,040 yards on 77 kickoff returns (26.5 YPR).

Harris, 27, signed a five-year, $17.5 million contract with the Giants that included a head-turning $7.1 million guaranteed earlier this month. While he won’t be tearing up the stats sheet with his performance on offense, his role as a quicker-than-fast slot receiver should expand in New York, especially with Victor Cruz’s availability for the start of the 2015 season in question.

How do you think the Giants have performed so far this offseason? Sound off in the comments!

Stay tuned to GridironGrit.com for more news and analysis on the Giants and the NFL.

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Houston Texans Could Star On HBO’s Hard Knocks http://gridirongrit.com/2015/03/houston-texans-could-star-on-hbos-hard-knocks/ http://gridirongrit.com/2015/03/houston-texans-could-star-on-hbos-hard-knocks/#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 23:36:07 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=27421 The Houston Texans could star on HBO’s Hard Knocks this coming summer. “It’s something we’re considering, but I haven’t decided,” Texans owner Bob McNair said, via John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. “It’s a distraction, but it’s something people like to see. “Our first responsibility is to do everything we […]

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The Houston Texans could star on HBO’s Hard Knocks this coming summer.

It’s something we’re considering, but I haven’t decided,” Texans owner Bob McNair said, via John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. “It’s a distraction, but it’s something people like to see.

“Our first responsibility is to do everything we can to win on the field. So the question is, what impact does that have on you?”

Seven different NFL teams have been featured in the annual sports-based reality series — the Ravens (2001), Cowboys (2002, 2008), Chiefs (2007), Bengals (2009, 2013), Jets (2010), Dolphins (2012) and Falcons (2014).

The Texans were invited on multiple occasions to be featured in the annual HBO/NFL Films series during Gary Kubiak’s tenure (2006-13), but the ex-Texans head coach (now the HC in Denver) didn’t want to deal with any potential distractions. Houston was actually one of five invited teams that declined an invitation in the summer of 2013, joining the 49ers, Seahawks, Redskins and Falcons (who appeared on the series last year).

In October 2013, the league announced that one team would be required to participate in Hard Knocks every year. Any team can be forced to appear in the series, with the exception of teams who have made the playoffs within the last two seasons, made an appearance on the program within the last 10 years or have a new first-year head coach.

Houston fell into the latter category last year, but the club is one of nine teams that could be forced onto the series in August. The other eight teams are the Titans, Jaguars, Buccaneers, Giants, Redskins, Browns, Rams and Vikings.

Cleveland has been labeled the front-runner to be featured in the series, but it’s not a done deal.

Would you like to see the Houston Texans on HBO Hard Knocks? Sound off in the comments!

Stay tuned to GridironGrit.com for more news and analysis on the Texans and the NFL.

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Adrian Peterson Rode Camel Into Insane 30th Birthday Party http://gridirongrit.com/2015/03/adrian-peterson-rode-camel-into-insane-30th-birthday-party/ http://gridirongrit.com/2015/03/adrian-peterson-rode-camel-into-insane-30th-birthday-party/#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 22:15:40 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=27414 Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson celebrated his 30th birthday over the weekend and it was clearly an epic event. Peterson kicked off the party by riding in on a camel: A photo posted by Jane Deux Event Management (@janedeux) on Mar 22, 2015 at 11:42am PDT The seemingly […]

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Adrian Peterson rides camel into 30th b-day celebration

Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson celebrated his 30th birthday over the weekend and it was clearly an epic event. Peterson kicked off the party by riding in on a camel:

The seemingly cartoonish Middle Eastern-themed party also featured a 12-foot ice bar, tons of elaborate costumes, a cake shaped like a palace and music from Jamie Foxx.

Peterson’s days in Minnesota appear to be numbered, and Arizona is reportedly his most likely destination. The Vikings will not release the six-time Pro Bowler and two-time NFL leading rusher, but he wants out of Minnesota and the Vikings could benefit from moving on from the former No. 7 overall pick.

Jerick McKinnon, who was drafted in the third round (No. 96 overall) out of Georgia Southern last year, proved he can be the team’s lead back, rushing for 538 yards on 113 carries (4.8 YPC) with 27 receptions for 135 yards through 11 games (six starts) as a rookie in 2014.

Matt Asiata also broke out last season, at least in terms of fantasy football, rushing for 570 yards and a whopping nine touchdowns on 164 carries (3.5 YPC) as the team’s goal-line back. Asiata, 27, also did some damage in the passing game, reeling in 44 receptions for 312 yards and a score.

With a nice one-two punch of McKinnon and Asiata, the Vikings don’t have to hold onto A.P.

Stay tuned to GridironGrit.com for more news and analysis on the Vikings and the NFL.

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NFL ‘Trying Something New,’ Broadcasting Game Worldwide on Digital Platform http://gridirongrit.com/2015/03/nfl-trying-something-new-broadcasting-game-worldwide-on-digital-platform/ http://gridirongrit.com/2015/03/nfl-trying-something-new-broadcasting-game-worldwide-on-digital-platform/#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 18:25:21 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=27411 We’re several months away from the 2015 NFL season, but it’s just been announced that a Week 7 battle between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills will be shown worldwide on a digital platform. It’s still to be determined what that digital platform will be, according to Brian McCarthy, who […]

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Photo Credit: KCChiefs.com

Photo Credit: KCChiefs.com

We’re several months away from the 2015 NFL season, but it’s just been announced that a Week 7 battle between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills will be shown worldwide on a digital platform.

It’s still to be determined what that digital platform will be, according to Brian McCarthy, who made the announcement via Twitter Monday afternoon. The game will take place in London at Wembley Stadium at 9:30 am ET on October 25, 2015.

Fans in Buffalo and Jacksonville will be able to watch the game from a local channel.

Stay tuned to GridironGrit.com for more news and analysis on the Bills, Jaguars and the NFL.

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Report: Jay Gruden Wants To Get Rid of Robert Griffin III http://gridirongrit.com/2015/03/report-jay-gruden-wants-to-get-rid-of-robert-griffin-iii/ http://gridirongrit.com/2015/03/report-jay-gruden-wants-to-get-rid-of-robert-griffin-iii/#comments Mon, 23 Mar 2015 17:45:14 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=27409 Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden wants to get rid of quarterback Robert Griffin III, according to ESPN Redskins reporter John Keim. “If it were up to the coach, Griffin would be gone,” Keim reports. Keim adds that team owner Daniel Snyder likely “wants to keep [Griffin] around another year.” […]

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Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden wants to get rid of quarterback Robert Griffin III, according to ESPN Redskins reporter John Keim.

“If it were up to the coach, Griffin would be gone,” Keim reports.

Keim adds that team owner Daniel Snyder likely “wants to keep [Griffin] around another year.”

Despite posting an impressive and misleading 68.7 completion rate, third-best in the league among quarterbacks who threw at least 200 passes, RGIII is clearly coming off the worst season of his career. Through nine games (seven starts), he threw for just 1,694 yards with a 4:6 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

However, Gruden still managed to name Griffin the starting quarterback for the upcoming 2015 season last month, though it’s possible he was pressure from Snyder and/or new general manager Scot McCloughan.

The only way RGIII gets traded, according to Keim, is if the Redskins receive a quarterback in the deal.

“Based on the coaches not having much confidence in him, anything is possible,” Keim writes. “But they’ll have to convince the owner it’s a smart move and I’m not sure they’ll be able to do so.”

Washington payed an incredibly steep price to get Griffin, swapping first round picks with St. Louis (moving up from No. 6 to the No. 2 spot) and handing over its 2012 second round pick, 2013 first round pick and 2014 first round pick to the Rams in the process. Despite the massive investment, it seemed the Redskins had made the right decision at the end of the 2012 season.

The 6-foot-2, 222-pound signal-caller managed to burst onto the scene under ex-Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan as a rookie, leading his team to the playoffs and earning Pro Bowl and Rookie of the Year honors while establishing himself as the face of the franchise.

But things changed on a dime on Jan. 6, 2013, when RGIII, who was apparently already injured, went down with a career-altering ACL tear in the Wild Card battle against Seattle.

Ever since, Griffin has never seemed healthy and his performance has seen a steady decline, getting benched by both Shanahan in 2013 and Gruden in 2014.

Washington heads into next month’s draft with the No. 5 overall pick, but this year’s crop of incoming rookie quarterbacks doesn’t look very promising outside of Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, who could both be off the board by the time the Redskins go on the clock.

Even if Mariota is available, however, it wouldn’t make sense for the ‘Skins to invest in the ex-Duck, as his game, athleticism and work ethic closely resemble RGIII. Washington also needs to continue to overhaul its defense, particularly at linebacker and safety, as well as the offensive line.

Neither Griffin or Mariota are particularly good fits for Gruden, who wants a traditional pocket passer to run a more conservative, pass-happy scheme.

It’s worth noting this isn’t the first time we’ve heard that Gruden wants to part ways with Griffin.

Last December, Jason Reid of the Washington Post reported that Gruden was “done” with the injury-prone dual-threat quarterback because he believed Griffin was too much of a project as a passer and was too focused on his off-the-field image.

RGIII was named Washington’s starter last month and he’ll likely be given every opportunity to solidify himself as the Redskins’ franchise quarterback, but it’s not a given that he’ll hold the starting job all season without the full support of the head coach.

Do you think the Redskins should move on from Robert Griffin III? Sound off in the comments!

Stay tuned to GridironGrit.com for more news and analysis on the Redskins and the NFL.

Also follow @_MichaelGartman on Twitter and be sure to ‘like’ Gridiron Grit on Facebook.

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Arizona Cardinals: Top Destination For Adrian Peterson? http://gridirongrit.com/2015/03/arizona-cardinals-top-destination-for-adrian-peterson/ http://gridirongrit.com/2015/03/arizona-cardinals-top-destination-for-adrian-peterson/#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 20:15:49 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=27402 There isn’t a lot of big-name talent left on the free agent market, but there are some stars who could still find new homes this offseason in the form of trades. Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson tops that list. The only thing we can say with absolute certainty regarding […]

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There isn’t a lot of big-name talent left on the free agent market, but there are some stars who could still find new homes this offseason in the form of trades.

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson tops that list. The only thing we can say with absolute certainty regarding Peterson’s near future is that he won’t be released by the Vikings.

But it’s becoming increasingly clear that he’ll be suiting up in a different uniform in 2015.

Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports reported on Friday that Peterson’s agent rejected a dinner meeting with Vikings general manager Rick Spielman at the NFL owners’ meetings.

The league’s annual meetings will commence this weekend in Arizona, where “the power brokers for every franchise” will have the opportunity “to have face-to-face conversations about any and all possible trades,” as noted by Mike Florio of Pro FootballTalk.com.

Per Florio, the Arizona Cardinals “continue to be the most likely destination for Peterson.”

Photo Credit: Vikings.com

Photo Credit: Vikings.com

Despite Peter King’s report that the Cardinals don’t want to absorb Peterson’s current contract, recent comments from one of Peterson’s friends — the Cardinals’ all-time leading receiver and eight-time Pro Bowler Larry Fitzgerald — who calls the potential addition a “game-changer” — make it quite evident the Arizona remains in play.

Obviously he’s an MVP-caliber player,” Fitzgerald told Kyle Odegard of AZCardinals.com. “Everybody knows that. Any team he ends up with — or if he stays with the Vikings — is going to have a great back. If he was to come play here, it would obviously mean a tremendous amount for our ballclub.”

The fit would make loads of sense, as Bruce Arians and the cardinals look to make a Super Bowl run and are still actively searching for a game-changing running back. The recent addition of star free agent guard Mike Iupati, who excels when run blocking, only adds fuel to the fire.

Pairing Andre Ellington with Adrian Peterson in 1-2 punch and keeping them both fresh would make the Cardinals’ offense much more dangerous.

Do you think the Cardinals should trade for Adrian Peterson? Sound off in the comments!

Stay tuned to GridironGrit.com for more news and analysis on the Cardinals and the NFL.

Also follow @_MichaelGartman on Twitter and be sure to ‘like’ Gridiron Grit on Facebook.

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