Redskins mailbag: Part 1

Just about every question in part one of the Redskins mailbag deals with quarterbacks: Can the relationship be repaired? What could they get in a trade? Why take any quarterback who didn't work in a pro-style offense? Enjoy.

John Keim: Sure. What the coaches want is a productive player who helps them win. The problem now is that they lack confidence he can be that player for them. If a guy is quirky, a bit of a loner and produces then it's part of his charm. If a guy tweets workout photos and has little sayings and doesn't win or play well, it's not charming. Just the way it is. Yes, they're also well aware of the other areas of the team that need fixing. But they know what they ask of Robert Griffin III and what he has failed to do and the plays he has failed to make. It's the same with players; they want guys who help them win. It's why you didn't hear anything about Griffin's personality in a negative way as a rookie. Russell Wilson is not universally beloved in Seattle; he tweets motivational things. But he produces, the team wins, and the organization loves him. It's not complicated. Keim: I have a tough time seeing that, knowing that he, too, is a big project transitioning from the offense he ran at Oregon to becoming a more conventional passer. My problem with Mariota is that most of his highlights involve his legs, not him picking teams apart from the pocket. If they drafted him, they'd have to immediately cut or trade Griffin. That's fine, but I have a hard time believing owner Dan Snyder is ready for such a move. Keeping both of them would be to invite a massive circus to town instead of the usual large one, which has fatigued just about everyone. From a football perspective, Jay Gruden's offense is best suited for a dropback passer; that is not Mariota. If he does fall to the fifth pick, the Redskins could capitalize in the form of a team looking to move up and select him. Keim: For Kirk Cousins, as I've written a few times, it's at best a fourth-rounder - same as I heard last offseason (I never believed they could get a second-rounder). The problem is Cousins received a good opportunity this year and the turnovers, which were a problem for him in college, remain a sore spot. Is that from inexperience or just who he is? Regardless, it's enough to limit his value. As for Pierre Garcon, I haven't talked to anyone about his value, to be honest. But I doubt it would be all that high. He has a big cap hit in 2015 ($9.7 million) and, though he's a good receiver, this is a good offseason to find one either by spending money or investing a draft pick. No need to give both money and a pick for one. Keim: Good question. Because you're looking for skills that translate to the next level - and because it's such a hard position to play that not every passer in a pro-style offense in college is worth developing (also, the NFL game has evolved enough that they've incorporated more college ideas). In Griffin's case, for example, at Baylor he showed a terrific arm and the ability to extend plays with his legs. He was considered a smart player in college and a good worker. So you take those qualities and, regardless of the system, you project. His talents trumped system. It's not as if every great quarterback ran a pro system in college (but the spread that Griffin ran does not typically lead to NFL success). But it's the qualities you show that teams latch onto - and if you showed those in a pure pro system or, more accurately, in the pocket? That's even better. Keim: Hmmm. Probably about the same as you owning the team one day. My question would be: Why would Tennessee make such a trade? Because they need a starting quarterback? Why assume that the Titans view him that way? I wouldn't. Look what it cost the Redskins to move up four spots in 2012 and compare that with your offer to Tennessee. You'd be giving them a player who, at best, would fetch a fourth-round pick on his own. In 2012, the move was to get a quarterback but now it would be to land the best defensive player in the draft. Could you imagine if the Redskins had the second pick and another team offered them a similar deal? You'd scream if the Redskins agreed to such a move. If the Titans want a quarterback that badly, they could move back and draft Mariota or stay where they are and select him.