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Friday, October 18, 2019

Football

Dwayne Haskins takes first-team reps at Redskins practice

A new coach may be good news for Washington Redskins coach Dwayne Haskins.

With Case Keenum out of practice Wednesday, Haskins was given the first-team reps during practice, and interim coach Bill Callahan spoke highly of the rookie’s growth.

Those wanting to see Haskins start a game shouldn’t get their hopes up despite the positive developments. Keenum is expected to return to practice this week, and as long as he’s capable of starting, it seems likely that he will do so. Plus, even Callahan has said that Haskins is just not a candidate to start right now. Still, getting rid of Jay Gruden, who doesn’t seem to have been a big believer in Haskins, probably bodes better for the quarterback’s long-term potential. And at the very least, it’s a good sign that Haskins is getting reps ahead of Colt McCoy.

Pete Carroll has no hard feelings toward Earl Thomas

Pete Carroll

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll would not let an awkward end to Earl Thomas’ career with the team ruin future interactions.

Thomas, now with the Baltimore Ravens, faces the Seahawks this weekend for the first time in his career. The last part of Thomas’ Seattle career was marked by a training camp holdout, Thomas attempting to preserve his free agent value, and ultimately flipping off the Seattle sideline after breaking his leg in a 2018 game.

Will things be awkward? Carroll hopes not, and he’s going to enjoy the conversation he has with Thomas if he gets to have one.

Thomas has said some conciliatory things about the Seahawks, so this may end up being less awkward than it could have been. He’ll still want his revenge, though.

Report: Redskins telling teams Trent Williams is not available via trade

Trent Williams

Rumors have been swirling on social media this week that Trent Williams is close to being traded, but the Washington Redskins have apparently still shown an unwillingness to deal the All-Pro offensive tackle despite his continuing holdout.

Multiple teams have called Washington to inquire about potentially trading for Williams, and Albert Breer of The MMQB reports that they have been “stonewalled.” There has been no talk about compensation because the Redskins are simply telling teams Williams is unavailable.

The Redskins seem to be in a classic stalemate with Williams. He’s under contract through next season and due to make $12.5 million in 2020, but Washington is 1-5 and clearly not headed for the playoffs. It makes little sense to hold Williams hostage rather than acquiring what would likely be a high draft pick for him, but team president Bruce Allen recently said there are no plans to trade the 31-year-old.

In addition to possibly being unhappy with his contract situation, Williams is said to be at odds with Washington’s medical staff over the way his health scare was handled during the offseason. The seven-time Pro Bowler will need to report to the team within the next few weeks to prevent his contract from tolling, but he will probably do everything he can to force a trade by the Oct. 29 deadline.

Josh Rosen benched by Dolphins in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick

Josh Rosen Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins entered the season with Ryan Fitzpatrick as their starting quarterback before turning things over to Josh Rosen, and they are now going back to their original plan.

Dolphins head coach Brian Flores told reporters on Sunday that Fitzpatrick will start against the Buffalo Bills after Rosen started the previous three games.

Fitzpatrick came off the bench to nearly rally Miami to a victory over the Washington Redskins on Sunday, and they would have gotten the win if they converted a 2-point try with seconds remaining. The 36-year-old had thrown for 274 yards with one touchdown and four interceptions in two games prior to Sunday, but he was 12-of-18 for 132 yards, a touchdown and no picks against Washington. Rosen completed 15-of-25 passes for no scores and two interceptions before being pulled.

Rosen has said he feels like he is in the middle of a season-long tryout with the Dolphins, and it’s not exactly a surprise that it is going poorly. Miami’s roster is one of the worst in NFL history, so they shouldn’t expect Rosen to perform at a high level. The situation is an awful one for the former first-round pick to be a part of.

Jaguars exec Tom Coughlin releases statement on Jalen Ramsey trade

Jalen Ramsey

One of the main reasons Jalen Ramsey forced his way out of Jacksonville was that he was not getting along with the team’s front office, and Jaguars executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin was at the center of that. On Wednesday, Coughlin addressed the decision to trade the All-Pro cornerback.

In a statement issued by the Jaguars, Coughlin said he feels the team got good value in return for Ramsey and that the “time came to move on.”

The Los Angeles Rams traded first-round picks in 2020 and 2021 as well as a fourth-round pick in 2021 to the Jags in exchange for Ramsey. You could make the argument that it is impossible to get equal value in return for an already established Pro Bowl cornerback who still had another year remaining on his contract, but the relationship between Ramsey and Jacksonville’s brass was obviously tarnished beyond repair.

Ramsey got into a heated confrontation with Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone on the sideline in Week 2, and he publicly requested a trade after that. However, his biggest issues were said to be with Coughlin, which could have something to do with the way Ramsey flamboyantly campaigned for a new contract during the offseason.

Ramsey has not played since Week 3 with a back injury, and it will be interesting to see if he suits up for the Rams immediately.

Jalen Ramsey was complimentary in past of new teammate Jared Goff

Jalen Ramsey

Jalen Ramsey’s penchant for criticizing NFL quarterbacks was always going to potentially make trade talks surrounding him somewhat awkward, but he ended up in a place where he hadn’t already burned a bridge.

When Ramsey gave his infamous interview to GQ prior to the 2018 season in which he trashed multiple quarterbacks, the former Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback actually was somewhat complimentary of Jared Goff.

Here was Ramsey’s quote to GQ about the Los Angeles Rams quarterback.

“Jared Goff, he’s average to above average. He reminds me of Jimmy Garoppolo a little bit. Year one, he wasn’t good. He wasn’t even good enough to earn his own starting role. Like, if you the number one pick, you expected to start now. Period. He wasn’t ready to do that. He wasn’t able to do that. Then when he did get in, he didn’t really do that good. But in his second year, they got a new offensive coordinator. Your offensive coordinator is just your brainiac. When we played them, it felt like his offensive coordinator was drawing up perfect plays and then he was hitting the open man. For what his team ask him to do, yeah, he’s good.”

That’s about as positive as it got from Ramsey, so that’s a good sign.

Ramsey was acquired by the Rams for two first-round picks and a fourth-round pick. LA made the move for the cornerback even though he’s only under contract through next season.

Between Goff, Todd Gurley, Aaron Donald, Brandin Cooks and Ramsey, the Rams will have some of the highest-paid players in the league by position come next season.

Marcus Mariota benched by Titans for Ryan Tannehill in Week 7

Marcus Mariota

The Tennessee Titans’ decision to bench Marcus Mariota in the Week 6 shutout loss to Denver will carry over to Week 7.

The Titans will start Ryan Tannehill at quarterback against the Chargers on Sunday, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero shared.

Mariota was benched in the third quarter of a 16-0 loss to the Broncos. He had gone 7-of-18 for 63 yards and two interceptions prior to the benching.

The No. 2 overall pick in 2015, Mariota has been mostly ineffective for the 2-4 squad. He may not have been committing many turnovers (two interceptions on the season), but the downside is he also does not make big plays, which is arguably just as bad. Tennessee needs to win games, and they need to score points to do so. Mariota is not generating enough points.

The switch to Tannehill probably should have happened during the Week 3 loss to Jacksonville where Mariota constantly missed throws in what should have been a much closer game.