Should The Washington Redskins Sign Talented But Troubled Players?

The Washington Redskins are going through a serious offseason of transition. Starting quarterback Kirk Cousins still doesn’t have a long term commitment from the Redskins, despite leading one of the NFL’s most prolific offenses in 2016. Washington will be hard pressed to maintain that efficient standard in 2017. Wide receivers Pierre Garcon and Desean Jackson left via free agency to sign lucrative contracts with the San Francisco 49ers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, respectively. Those defections depleted Washington of not one, but two thousand yard receivers in Garcon and Jackson from 2016. Not too many quarterbacks can overcome losing that much talent.

The Redskins did sign free agent wide receivers Terrelle Pryor and Brian Quick in an effort to make up for Garcon and Jackson’s defections. But it wouldn’t hurt to add yet another talented receiver to this mix.

Enter Josh Gordon. The six foot four, 225 pound Gordon was suspended for a year for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy in 2014. Gordon was eligible for reinstatement in 2016, but was suspended indefinitely after checking himself into rehab for issues with alcohol. Gordon is a troubled young man who on the surface wouldn’t be a fit with the Redskins. Washington has a long history of dysfunction, considering their practice of signing big money free agents that rarely pan out. By contrast, the New England Patriots have a history of signing players with questionable pasts and continuing their current dynasty of dominance. Using that logic, Gordon would be perfect for the Patriots.

University of Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon could add depth to the Redskins’ rushing attack. Mixon missed his freshman season in 2014 for his involvement in a physical altercation with a female student at a bar.  Needless to say, Mixon has been looking to turn over a new leaf and redeem himself. Since his reinstatement by the university in 2015, Mixon has rushed for 2,027 in 25 games (a 6.75 yards per carry average) and 17 touchdowns. That’s the kind of production Washington could use at the tailback position. It’s not likely that Mixon will be selected in the first round because of his background. However, he could be a second round steal and earn considerable playing time for Washington if they choose to select him.

But who am I kidding? The Redskins aren’t the type of team that can handle talented players with baggage like Gordon and Mixon. Besides, Gordon hasn’t yet been released by the Cleveland Browns as of this writing, giving them the opportunity to leverage Gordon for several draft choices via trade. Trading draft picks is what has hampered Washington’s team growth (the ill fated sacrifice of future draft picks to select quarterback Robert Griffin III is testament to that). Maybe the Redskins should take a conservative approach by ending their free agency signing period and selecting the best players available in the draft regardless of position.





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