Redskins use quotes as motivation

The Washington Redskins used critical comments from New York Giants co-owner John Mara as motivational fodder leading up to Monday's showdown between the NFC East rivals, sources told ESPN.

Mara, the chairman of the NFL's management committee, was among those who led the charge to take away $36 million worth of salary-cap space from the Redskins this past offseason.

In an article that was posted on ESPN.com on March 25, Mara was quoted as saying, "I think (the Redskins) are lucky they didn't lose draft picks" and "I thought the penalties imposed were proper."

In the days leading up to the Giants-Redskins game on "Monday Night Football," Washington coaches and officials had Mara's quotes hanging on sheets of paper on their office doors, according to team sources.

Based on the quotes, the Redskins are convinced that Mara tried to have enough draft picks taken away so that Washington couldn't complete its deal with St. Louis for the rights to select quarterback Robert Griffin III.

The Redskins still are appealing the $36 million in salary-cap space they lost -- $18 million last offseason and a scheduled $18 million for this upcoming offseason.

Washington chose Griffin with the second overall draft selection after trading four picks to St. Louis.

Griffin passed for 163 yards, rushed for 72 yards and threw the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter of Washington's 17-16 victory Monday over New York.

The win moved the Redskins (6-6) within one game of the first-place Giants (7-5) in the NFC East standings.