Su’a Cravens is reportedly on the trading block
, with Denver as the mentioned likely destination.
Assuming that’s true, Jay Gruden first found out about the possibility of such a trade on the “ticker” moments before meeting with the media Thursday in Indianapolis.
It was a bad look for the Redskins that their head coach supposedly didn’t know about a trade report and rumor and not because his job is to be aware of rumors, but because every credible media outlet confirmed
Ian Rapoport’s initial story in both Denver and Washington
and that would mean that more than one person is lying to more than one outlet about a trade that the Redskins head coach allegedly didn’t know about and also said isn’t happening.
Sorry. I don’t believe this for a minute. Here’s what I mean.
Gruden couched his statement to the media on the trade possibilities by saying
“we’re not trading him, from what I know.”
OK, seriously Jay? Nobody is saying that a deal will absolutely happen, but the notion that Gruden knows enough to say he's not being dealt, but didn't know anything about a potential deal, is hard to understand and process.
Also, it brings up this question: Why is Gruden using the term "from what I know" to begin with? The head coach in good standing should know everything and if he doesn't, that's a brewing disaster. The lines of communication must include Gruden on all roster matters, especially this one.
The Redskins shouldn’t trade Cravens right now, as we’ve said in this space
. They should max any remaining value by holding onto Cravens as long as possible.
To trade him now, shows ridiculous desperation and anger. It shows immaturity and revenge. All traits that are common to Bruce Allen and the Redskins. There’s no reason for it.
There’s no locker room impact right now. No practices. No comradery. No conversations. Nothing. Just stop it.
There’s also no way that the head coach and essentially top personnel evaluator on the team, who is going into a very critical year five, doesn’t know that the Redskins are trying to trade Cravens.
Then the story got twisted again. Gruden, in the same answer, essentially gave a completely different side of the issue.
“I think [Cravens is] still a member of this football team and we have every intention of seeing where he’s at. I’ll have to talk to him and see where he’s at mentally, and physically,” Gruden told reporters in Indianapolis, as
transcribed by Ben Standig of TheSportsCapitol.com
Not knowing about a possible trade until he watched the “ticker” is very different than “we’re not trading him, from what I know.”
What Gruden should have said was something to the effect of “Guys – Su’a Cravens is a member of our football team, in good standing and we’re not going to comment on any rumors or speculation.”
Boring, but that’s essentially what Gruden should have said. Of course, he didn’t because there was no plan going into Gruden’s first chat with the media since New Year's Day.
Instead, you have a head coach saying that he knew nothing of a potential trade and then doubling down by saying that all those reports are complete bull.
This is the way it is with the Redskins. Their message never falls on deaf ears, but it is always twisted and almost always wrong.
These things matter. It’s my belief that they are trying to fix the situation they may have been caught in and exposed by.
Not only did NFL Network and multiple media outlets in both cities confirm the discussions and possibility, but their own employee, Chris Cooley, said the day after Cravens was reinstated that Cravens was not going to ever play for the Redskins again.
Was that an opinion? Or was it a fact, driven home by Cooley’s inside knowledge of the Redskins thought process? Probably the latter, but nobody can say for certain.
Gruden probably was trying to increase Cravens’ value by flat out rejecting the notion that Washington is trying to trade him, but then after mentioning that he’s still not sure of Cravens’ mental state and praising Cravens’ work ethic, said “He’s a great kid. I’m sure it will work out for him.”
Standig also basically noted
, that came across as “don’t let the door hit you in the ass!”
The other part of that was Gruden referring to Cravens as a kid. This is the only part I really agree with. That’s what he is. Cravens is incredibly immature based on every ounce of proof that’s been provided.
Certainly, some of the things he’s said and done on social media and at Redskins Park, were affected to some degree by whatever concussion issues and family issues he was dealing with. I do feel bad for all of that, but sorry, we all go through it.
It’s not a blanket excuse to cover everything. I’m sure Cravens is a good kid, but he’s a kid and the Redskins bosses are men. They should understand that while Cravens is extremely young, raw, emotional and immature – there’s still something worth tapping into.
Remember, this is an organization that has squandered so many picks in the top-three rounds of the drafts over the last 15 years or so that they should not be in the business of giving away high second-round picks from less than two years ago.
Quite simply - it's a poor decision to give up on another high value player. The problem is this: Despite what Gruden said on record, every indication appears to spell out a different conclusion for Cravens and the Redskins. It’s their right, but it doesn’t mean they are right.
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 (www.DCHotRead.com). Listen to Chris on Washington D.C.'s # 1 sports radio station, 106.7 The FAN