The Washington Redskins quarterback battle or dilemma is on the front burner even as the bitter cold and snow engulfs the Washington D.C. area.
Robert Griffin III is the presumed favorite for the job, but Kirk Cousins is still under contract with one year left on his rookie deal and still is a possible option. Colt McCoy is an unrestricted free agent and it is hard to fathom that he will have a lot of suitors for his services.
The Redskins have many options. They could re-sign McCoy and create a three-way battle for the position. That seems unlikely as Jay Gruden said in late December.
They could re-sign McCoy and trade Cousins before or during the NFL Draft at the end of April. There is at least one team interested from what I've heard, and possibly more. It's not hard to figure out who these teams would be.
They could keep Cousins and not re-sign McCoy, which seems like an easy thing to do and certainly could be the plan. However, Bruce Allen & Gruden are fond of McCoy.
Of course, there is always the small possibility that they would trade Robert Griffin III and absorb a roughly three-and-a-half million dollar salary cap hit and close the lid on what would go down as a era that was clearly an overall failure, yet delivered the one shining moment the franchise has had for nearly a decade.
No matter what the Redskins decide to do - the drama - as only the Redskins can do it, figures to last all season long. There is no clear cut choice based on any reasonable theory that I or anybody else can come up with.
Is it truly an open competition? It certainly seems like Jay Gruden feels it will be. Scot McCloughan, Dan Snyder, Bruce Allen also figure prominently into the mix.
OK then. I want to be clear. I have no idea if Cooley was stating opinion and a strong prediction or not, but this is a pretty bold claim, even for Cooley.
There has to be a fair and open competition. It's better for everyone involved. It's better for the coaching staff. It's better for Cousins and much better for Griffin III. It's what the Washington Redskins need. Whoever wins it, should be able to make it clear for everyone to see.
I would be in favor of a three-way battle but if they choose to go with just two, I am OK with that. As long as the two candidates are Cousins and Griffin.
The pre-combine and off-season madness took an interesting twist recently, that should raise some eye-brows.
ESPN 980 has learned from multiple sources that Kirk Cousins spent three days very recently with former Raiders and Buccaneers head coach, Jon Gruden. Wait, say what?
He's also Jay Gruden's brother.
You know, the same Jay Gruden that is expected to be the top decision maker when it comes to who will be the starting quarterback in 2015 for the Redskins.
This might not be earth shattering to some, because players are not allowed to work directly with their coaches at the team facility during this period of the off-season as mandated by the collective bargaining agreement.
Griffin worked with his quarterback mentor, Terry Shea, last winter before organizing a group of skill players for a week of workouts in Arizona.
However, Cousins apparently wanted to give himself every edge possible and either chose or was strongly encouraged to go spend several days, working from about 8 AM to 6 PM with Gruden, who has worked with many young quarterbacks in Tampa leading up to the annual draft.
Since the original post, it was made clear from one source involved in this story that this was Cousins' idea. Cousins and the older Gruden have maintained a very positive relationship over the last three years.
It's hard to tell what several days of intense quarterback mentoring could ultimately mean, but here is one thing that is absolutely certain.
Cousins confidence was somewhat shaken after taking over as the starter in week two because of Griffin's injury and initially leading the Redskins to tremendous success.
Cousins had a disastrous performance against the New York Giants at FedExField and also struggled badly in a road loss against Arizona. He was pulled the next week at halftime of the Redskins win against Tennessee.
He never saw the field again
. Now he is doing everything he can to make himself better, as he always does. Work ethic, film preparation and command of the offense has never been an issue for Cousins.
He only has one on the field issue. He's turnover prone. That's really it. Confidence is obviously a very important intangible.
More importantly - it stands to reason that by working with the elder Gruden - Cousins shows the younger Gruden that he's willing to do whatever it takes to get better. Let's face it. Jon and Jay speak all the time. Jon already knew what Jay thought of Cousins.
While it is more than conceivable to think that Jay pushed for this arrangement or at least encouraged it, he denied that to reporters on Wednesday in Indianapolis. “That’s totally on their own nickel and own time,” Jay Gruden said to reporters and via ESPN & ESPN980's John Keim
“It’s something I don’t push on anybody and if they want to try to pursue Jon and Jon’s open to it, any quarterback in the NFL, or college, Jon’s open to talking to. He loves coaching and working with quarterbacks.”
Gruden knows that he has to fix Cousins turnover issues and his confidence. There's no way to tell that in February, but some times things just click and with more experience and a second year in the system. Sometimes, all you need is a little push.
The younger Gruden also knows this. If the Redskins fail miserably this season, he's likely to pay the ultimate price. As in his job.
There's no way that the Jay Gruden I know is going down without a fight. He's going to do everything possible to give his offense the best chance to succeed. Was this a part of the master plan?
One thing I have learned in six years covering the Redskins is this: As the great WWE Hall of Famer, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper used to say...."Just when you think you had all the answers........I changed the question."
Yup. That's how every day around here feels.
Chris Russell - SFTheRooster@Yahoo.com - www.twitter.com/russellmania980