NFLRT 1/19


This week’s questions and discussion…

1) Jon Gruden was recently hired as the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders new coach. Shortly after the hire, “rumors” surfaced that Gruden was hired even before the they fired their present coach at the time Jack Del Rio. And, although the Raiders “officially” interviewed two minority candidates for the coaching job… tight ends coach Bobby Jackson and USC official coordinator Tee Martin… reports have emanated from various media sources that the NFL is looking into whether the “Rooney Rule” was violated.  

a) Does the NFL have a real case in this situation and does anyone, anywhere, really care that the Raiders hired the coach they wanted all along?

b) Is the Rooney Rule essentially ineffective and should it be officially done away with?

Chad: They don’t have  a case because the minority candidates were interviewed, and I don’t think its a big deal because the Raiders got who they wanted.

At the same time the rule needs to be looked at and possibly revised for future situations, though I don’t know how.

Rooney Rule in reverse: Minority coaching hires have stalled since 2011… Teams have taken a chance on 21 first-time white head coaches and only one first-time minority head coach, Todd Bowles, over the past five hiring cycles (2012-16)

David: I kinda feel that the rule was ignorant when it came out.

Say for example the Hoodie quits – 29 teams are going to be looking to hire him, and no minority or majority candidate is going to do a single, swinging thing to change their mind. Gruden was going to be the coach, no matter what.

I think the Rooney Rule was a good thing, but guys like Tee Martin just waste their time.

Joe: I’m not sure that the rule ever accomplished what it was meant to do.

I mean, if an owner has his eye on a specific type of person/football expert to fill an opening he has for a HC job, then no matter how many minority people he might interview that one guy the owner wants is the one who will be hired. In that circumstance the Rooney Rule will be adhered to but the people being interviewed will have effectively wasted their time because they had no real chance to get the job from the get go. So, yeah, in my opinion, the Rooney Rule is not really doing what it was meant to do, which is to get more minority people’s feet inside the door of the HC ranks, as well as the GM ranks, and therefore should just be done away with.

As far as the NFL doing anything about how the Raiders hired Gruden? They ain’t got a leg to stand on… two people who met the requirements of adherence to the Rooney Rule were interviewed. End of story.

2) Washington Redskins HC Jay Gruden’s post season evaluation of Washington’s QB Kirk Cousins included, “When you’re 7-9… it’s hard to say, ‘Wow, this guy was outstanding.’ Kirk had his flashes where he was really good. From a consistent standpoint, over the course of 16 games… we’re 7-9.”

In light of these words, what are the chances Washington puts the franchise tag on Cousins for a third straight year and simply look in another direction for their QB requirements in 2018?

Judging QB wins: Cousins, Gruden disagree

Chad: Well, right now from my understanding, the Franchise Tag would cost the Redskins 34 million dollars, which no team can saddle that to one player.

So, Washington needs to start finding some solutions to this situation; either pay him or someone else.

David: Fish or cut bait.

Seriously. You don’t have a young QB to groom, you are not getting good free agents. Figure out a plan.

Joe: If Washington hits Cousins with the Franchise Tag again, the scuttlebutt is that it will cost them $34 million. The team is not going to tie up $34 million of their dollars/cap money on one player.

Time to let him go and find someone in this year’s draft to groom as the team’s QB going forward. They can trade up from their 13 position or hope one of the many decent QBs available are still left when their number comes up… chances are one of these QBs will still be around at 13: Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield or Mason Rudolph. Either way they can sign someone like the Jets’ Josh McCown to keep things going until whoever they draft is ready to play.

Kirk Cousins

3) Assuming Washington lets Cousins walk away as a free agent, which teams do you think will be most active in trying to sign him?  

Chad: I think Denver would be a strong possibility as a team that has some pieces, but absolutely nothing going for them at QB.

David: Well, if Jacksonville had lost (in the playoffs), I could see that being the option.

Miami is also a great place. I would think Denver would take a shot as well.

Joe: Denver, Miami, Buffalo or maybe the Jets. Although I think the Jets probably take whichever of the top three QBs are left between Darnold, Rosen or Allen when they pick at #6. If none are on the board, then I think they go for best player available.

Should the Chiefs trade Alex Smith?

4) Do the Kansas City Chiefs look to trade their present starting QB Alex Smith this off-season and open the door to start Pat Mahomes in 2018?

Chad: I definitely would explore it, if I’m KC and see what a team like Buffalo or Jacksonville, heck even an Arizona, would be willing to give to get a solid quarterback and to let the growing process begin for Mahomes.

David: Alex Smith’s contract is not horrible, and the Chiefs are a playoff team. I would still play Smith and let Mahomes season another year.

Joe: Yes.

His stock is at a high point right now and they need to strike while they can to get some picks to retool their defense. Mahomes’ time has come.

5) Does Cleveland Browns new GM John Dorsey draft RB Shaquon Barkley at #1 and then trade for a starting QB? Or, if one of the two golden boy QBs… Darnold or Rosen… drops down to #4, then grab his QB of the future? Or, maybe drafts someone like Wyoming’s Josh Allen if neither are still available?  

2018 NFL draft: Can Saquon Barkley and one of the top three QBs save the Browns?

Chad: Well, with the Colts having the 3rd pick and they are not going to take a QB. If you go Barkley #1, and for argument’s sake the Giants go Rosen #2, then you have Darnold or Allen at 4, so they are good. I think the only issue would be if someone traded up to 3 to get a QB.

Drafting one would probably be the better move, as I don’t see a lot of trade partners, and I don’t think they like Kizer as much as they might have early.

David: Best talent available at #1, then at #4 get the ND guard.

Kiser might actually be a good QB, with a better line.

Joe: I would take Barkley at #1 and grab whichever is the best QB still on the board when they pick at #4… which will probably be Allen.


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