The idea for a sports/media/gambling column was hatched this summer and you can look for it every Wednesday. If you want to yell at me about something that appeared here – because let’s face it, on the Internet, it’s outrage or nothing: Jmcintyre at thebiglead dot com.
There are plenty of numbers that can help quantify the RGIII era in Washington – playoff trips, times his offensive lineman didn’t pick him up, terrible interceptions, intoxicating highlights, jerseys sold – but to me, this one is the most shocking: Now that coach Jay Gruden has benched the former franchise QB, there’s a very good chance that his career in Washington is done after 33 games.
Nobody could have predicted this rapid a downfall for Griffin, the Heisman Trophy winner who the Redskins moved Heaven and Earth to draft. Griffin turns 25 in February. Presumably, he’s healthy, and stays that way, because it’s difficult to get injured on the bench.
Today’s development virtually cements the fact that the Redskins won’t pick up his option next year, and makes the former No. 2 pick trade bait. And you can’t rule out him getting cut, because why would Jay Gruden want to keep that kind of distraction around the team?
It’s been clear for awhile that RGIII isn’t loved in the locker room, and all that early adulation went to his head. Perhaps he’ll be humbled, and sell that mansion with the elevator and erase the last two years from my memory.
Destination … New York? Or perhaps Philadelphia?
Here’s why those two landing spots make the most sense:
2) Chip Kelly is a man of bold moves. Cutting the team’s No. 1 receiver without trying to get a draft pick for him? Done. Pick Mark Sanchez off the scrap heap? Yup. The Eagles won’t be drafting high enough to grab Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, but what if he can somehow steal a QB from within the division for pennies on the dollar? (Reminder: Mike Vick initially won the starting QB job in 2013.) The media loves the build-up, tear-down, so RGIII is getting excoriated today, and deserved so. But, his completion numbers have been solid and he proved as a rookie he could run the read option just fine. If RGII goes to QB sliding camp this offseason …
LOCKS OF THE WEEK:
Went a disappointing 2-3 last week, with only Mississippi State and Virginia coming through. That leaves me 18-21 on the season headed into pivotal Thanksgiving weekend, and to ensure that I finish a few games over .500, I’ll pick eight games.
UCLA -4.5 vs Stanford. This is a gut feeling pick, as it makes no sense to take the overvalued Bruins after that nationally televised beating of USC. The Cardinal will play without their best (only?) offensive weapon, Ty Montgomery.
Kentucky +14 vs. Louisville. The line has gone down a couple points, and may sink more as the injury-riddled Cardinals face a good Wildcats team that has lost five in a row (all against the SEC). They’ll be happy to play an ACC team.
Florida +7.5 at Florida State. If the Seminoles are locked in another tight game in the 4th quarter, and the Gators somehow have the lead, I think Florida’s defense pulls the upset. The Gators play much better D than Notre Dame, Louisville, Clemson, Miami and Boston College, all of whom were in it in the 4th quarter.
Ohio State-20 vs. Michigan. For awhile, it was fun, Brady Hoke. Come on, Buckeyes, don’t let me down two weeks in a row. Think style points!
Memphis -21 vs. UConn. I think Justin Fuente will be the next Florida coach.
Mississippi State -1.5 vs. Mississippi. The Rebels will show up (unlike the Arkansas game), but I like the Bulldogs to prevail by at least a touchdown, retaining the No. 4 spot in the Playoff. Then they wait … for Ohio State to pass them after a Conference Championship win over Wisconsin.
Alabama -9 vs. Auburn. Loved the Tigers this year, but the defense was too atrocious for words. At home, at night, I can see the Tide winning handily, exacting payback for Kick Six. Won’t be an “I told you!” this year.
ODDS & ENDS