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Su'a Wants Back...What Should The Redskins Do?

February 13, 2018
Su’a Cravens wants back into the NFL. Now the question is this – do the Washington Redskins want him?

Cravens has been  granted re-entry to the league after he applied for reinstatement from the reserve/left squad list, as first reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL Media. That decision was procedure. The next choice is probably personal. 

The Redskins are believed to have the following choices: They could trade Cravens to another team and the dead money cap hit would be about $1.06 million, because Cravens new team would inherit his 2018 guaranteed base salary. Or they could outright release Cravens before June 1 and take on about a $1.7 million dead money cap hit. 

Or they could bring Cravens back, likely on a conditional, prove it to us basis.  This is what the Redskins should do in my opinion.

Cravens essentially quit on his teammates, the Redskins and the NFL late in August of last year, when he shocked team management with the news that he was walking away from the game.

The Redskins brass was upset. His teammates were upset. Perhaps they should have seen it coming, because there were signs.

Cravens was reportedly cleared late last year by a concussion specialist in Pennsylvania. Clearly, he has dealt with injuries and we see a growing trend around the NFL of players not being “all in” because of how their bodies and brains feel.

Cravens further alienated the organization that drafted him and controls his rights, while they were in Los Angeles during week 2 of the 2017 season.

After being seen supporting his alma mater, USC, on television and on the sidelines one day, Cravens was nowhere to be found the next day at the same Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to support his professional team, teammates and friends.

That obviously didn't sit well with the executive branch who quickly yanked the rope they provided to Cravens and ended any chance of a return.

One thing you don’t do to the Redskins powerful management arm? You don’t infuriate them. Cravens did, from what I heard and what was reported.

He was already in bad standing and that was the icing on the cake. The Redskins had time to wait before making a final decision and they pulled the plug. They didn’t do that because they were happy with Cravens.

So now what?

The Redskins are not going to get anything but a conditional late-round pick by trading Cravens, in my opinion. If they could somehow get a mid-round pick, even in 2019, I would do it in a heartbeat.

There’s some bad blood here between both sides and I don’t see it ever going away.

However, there is a chance that both sides can agree to hit the reset button and it might be beneficial for both.

If Cravens agrees to be more forthcoming with his teammates and the organization about how he’s feeling and the issues he’s dealing with, perhaps the Redskins can provide one last shot.

They need the talent and the depth. Only Montae Nicholson and D.J. Swearinger would be ahead of Cravens on the depth chart and Nicholson is only entering his second-year. Nicholson also has an injury history both in Washington and at Michigan State.

In other words, the Redskins need Cravens for their own selfish reasons. Apologies to Deshazor Everett and Fish Smithson.

Washington can easily carry Cravens on their 90-man roster all the way through training camp and the preseason. That’s plenty of time to evaluate Cravens' physical and mental state. Even for a team as slow at evaluating and recognizing what they have as the Redskins were and are.

If Cravens was a former sixth-round pick, I might be thinking differently this morning but because the Redskins invested a fairly high second-round pick just two years ago on Cravens, it’s very difficult to just completely give up on him.

If the Redskins had not made mistakes on  so many early round draft picks during the Bruce Allen era, maybe they wouldn’t be in this position?

If they were the Patriots or the Steelers, they might be in a position to have less tolerance for whatever this situation presents. They’re not, because of that  complete mismanagement  which led to the Alex Smith trade and having to surrender another reasonably high draft pick along with a player that had a breakout season in 2017.

For that reason, the Redskins are in a no-win situation, the way I see it. They should bring back Cravens on a conditional basis and with a very short rope. Give him one last shot to make sure you don’t move on too quickly from an asset.

It’s a risk but I believe it’s a calculated risk. The Redskins are responsible for not being in a better position to deal with this matter, but the reality is they have to make the best out of a very difficult situation, that they partially created.

Chris Russell has covered the Washington Redskins for eight seasons for multiple media outlets and was a part of the Redskins Radio Network broadcast team for five years. He covers the Redskins, Washington Valor and Baltimore Brigade for Monumental Sports Network (  Listen to Chris on Washington D.C.'s # 1 sports radio station, 106.7 The FAN