Washington coach Ron Rivera is standing by his decision to go for 2 instead of kicking an extra point to force overtime late in his team’s loss to the New York Giants Sunday.
With 36 seconds left in regulation, Washington’s Cam Sims caught a 22-yard Kyle Allen touchdown pass to make it 20-19. An extra point would have tied the game and likely forced overtime, but Rivera opted to go for two. The attempt was unsuccessful, and the Giants won.
Rivera had a simple explanation for his decision after the defeat.
“The only way to learn to win is to play to win,” Rivera said, via JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington.
It’s a great quote, but it also serves as a reminder that Washington has nothing to lose. Rivera has spoken about pushing for the NFC East, and has made a quarterback change to that effect. Still, a division title remains highly unlikely, and another high draft pick would be more beneficial.
The Washington Football team made a surprise decision on Friday morning to release veteran running back Adrian Peterson. And if you followed the team’s social media activity the night before, you probably found the move to be even more of a head-scratcher.
Peterson was informed on Friday that he has been release. Tom Pelissero and Mike Garafolo of NFL Network first reported the news, and it was later confirmed by the team. Just 12 hours before that, Peterson shared a photo of himself on Twitter working hard at training camp. Washington retweeted it.
The timing was obviously just an unfortunate coincidence. NFL teams have social media managers that run their accounts, and those people usually have no idea which players are on the verge of being released.
Washington’s young backs have reportedly been impressive in training camp, which is why the 35-year-old Peterson became the odd man out. Third-round pick Antonio Gibson and former Stanford star Bryce Love are expected to see significant playing time. Washington had to part ways with Derrius Guice following a disturbing arrest last month, but they are clearly pleased with their running back depth.
Peterson said recently that he is nowhere close to considering retirement. He should be able to find another job ahead of Week 1.
Ron Rivera says he is keeping Washington’s quarterback competition open entering the season.
Washington spent a first-round draft pick on Dwyane Haskins last year. Haskins played in nine games as a rookie and only passed for seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. The team acquired Kyle Allen from Carolina. And Alex Smith is returning from his devastating leg injury.
Rivera, who is in his first year as Washington’s head coach, says the competition is ongoing.
“We’ve got a nice competition going. Dwayne is taking a lot of reps with the first group. We have a backup in Kyle Allen who knows what we’re doing. He’s not taking as many reps as Dwayne because we’re trying to see where Dwayne is. Alex is continuing to take steps in his progress in his return, and we’ll see how it continues,” Rivera said in an interview with “Tiki and Tierney” on CBS Sports Network/CBS Sports Radio
“Am I happy from what I’ve seen from Dwayne at camp? Yeah, I am. He’s done exactly what we’ve asked. He had a good off-season, he came back in great shape, transformed his presence … he has to continue to show us that he has some growth coming and that he’s doing the things we need.”
“We have to go forward with who gives us the best chance to win a football game. I’m not waiting the ‘right moment,’ the ‘right person.’ We have to make those moments right. Waiting for a guy to catch up isn’t going to help the other guys.”
Washington may be hoping that Haskins will be their franchise quarterback, but it sounds like Rivera will not be forcing the issue. It also sounds like Smith still has a ways to go to be ready to really help the team.
The Washington Football Team has hired Jason Wright as team president, making him the first black team president in NFL history.
Washington had been searching for a new president since Bruce Allen was fired last year. New head coach Ron Rivera was told he will have full control over the roster, and ESPN’s John Keim says that will not change. Wright will focus on the business side only and will not be involved in football decisions.
“This team, at this time, is an ideal opportunity for me,” Wright said in a statement. “The transformation of the Washington Football Team is happening across all aspects of the organization — from football to operations to branding to culture — and will make us a truly modern and aspirational franchise. We want to set new standards for the NFL.”
Washington owner Daniel Snyder said he could not envision a better leader for the franchise “for this important time in our history” and said the goal is for the team to rise to championship status both on and off the field.
Wright will obviously have his hands full in his new position. A recent bombshell report detailed allegations of sexual misconduct against several former employees of the the-Redskins, leading to talk that Snyder is being pressured to sell the team. It does not sound like the NFL intends to push him out, however.
Washington Football Team owner Daniel Snyder is sorting through the legal ramifications of the bombshell Washington Post article that was published about the team last month, and some of the other owners of the franchise reportedly want him out.
According to a report from Andrew Beaton and Cara Lombardo of the Wall Street Journal, Washington’s minority partners have been trying to pressure Snyder to sell the team. As previously reported, some of Washington’s minority shareholders are looking to sell their stakes in the team. However, sources told the WSJ that prospective buyers who were previously interested in purchasing their stakes have walked away from negotiations over Snyder’s reluctance to give them the option of eventually buying a controlling interest in the franchise.
Snyder recently filed a $10 million lawsuit against an India-based media company over a report that claimed the Washington Post’s big story would reveal that Snyder was involved in sex trafficking and has ties to Jeffrey Epstein. The story instead detailed allegations of sexual misconduct against employees of the then-Redskins. None of the allegations directly implemented Snyder.
On Monday, Snyder made a new court filing seeking documents from former Washington executive assistant Mary-Ellen Blair, who he claims leaked defamatory information about him.
There has been talk for a while that some of Washington’s minority owners have been looking to sell, and Snyder’s reluctance to change the team’s nickname for so long may have played a role in that. Regardless, Snyder reportedly has no interest in selling and it does not sound like the NFL intends to push him out.
Seeing a team go from worst-to-first has become the norm in the NFL, and 2020 is not likely to see that change. There will be many top teams that sink to the bottom while others rise up and surprise the football world.
We’re not here to predict which team will go from worst-to-first, but we are here to examine five teams that could surprise in one form or fashion here in 2020.
Let’s take a look:
5. Atlanta Falcons
The Atlanta Falcons started off 1-7 in 2019 and things looked grim. However, they rebounded to close out the season by winning six of their final eight games to give them a 7-9 record for the second consecutive season. The turnaround was enough to save some jobs and give the current regime one more chance in 2020. They’ve since added running back Todd Gurley via free agency and selected Clemson cornerback A.J. Terrell in the 2020 NFL Draft, essentially improving on both sides of the ball. With quarterback Matt Ryan still under center and some young building blocks spread out across the roster, we’re more likely to see the Falcons team that went 6-2 to close out last season than we are to see the Falcons team that went 1-7 to open last season.
Alex Smith is still making his way back from the devastating leg injury he suffered nearly two years ago, and he could return to the practice field with his teammates soon. If he does, Washington head coach Ron Rivera says Smith will be competing for a starting job.
Smith was placed on the active/PUP list to starting training camp despite being fully cleared last month to resume all football activities. Players can be removed from the active/PUP list at any time during training camp and the preseason. If that happens with Smith, Rivera says the 36-year-old will be “in the throes of this competition.”
Former Ohio State star and last year’s No. 15 overall pick Dwayne Haskins is still the favorite to earn the starting job. Kyle Allen, who played for Rivera with the Carolina Panthers, will also be in the mix.
Washington is going to take it slow with Smith, and it’s possible he could begin the season on the PUP list. That would rule him out for at least the first six weeks of the season, at which point Rivera could evaluate the quarterback situation and see if Haskins or Allen has done enough to seize the starting job.
Smith suffered a tibia and fibula fracture during Washington’s loss to Houston on Nov. 18, 2018. Not only was he carted off the field after having his leg broken, but he suffered a spiral fracture that caused more complications. On top of all that, Smith had a serious infection that threatened his career. The fact that Rivera is talking about him potentially competing for a starting job is remarkable given all that happened.
Daniel Snyder saw his name associated with some extremely disturbing rumors recently, and the Washington Football Team owner is filing a lawsuit in response.
Before last month’s Washington Post story detailing sexual harassment allegations against employees of the then-Redskins was released, there was a lot of wild speculation about what the report might include. According to court documents obtained by TMZ, the website meaww.com claimed the WaPo story would reveal that Snyder is involved in sex trafficking and has ties to Jeffrey Epstein. The story said nothing of the sort, and none of the allegations of sexual misconduct directly implicated Snyder.
Now, Snyder has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the parent company of the website, which is a company based in India called New Content Media.
Some have wondered if the Washington Post story will force Snyder to sell his Washington franchise, but it does not sound like the NFL intends to push him out. While none of the women who were interviewed made allegations directly against Snyder, the NFL could still punish him because it happened under his leadership.
The NFL’s Washington franchise announced on Thursday that they will not have a new nickname in place for the 2020 season, which led to a lot of laughter and criticism from sports fans around the country. LeBron James was among them.
Not long after word surfaced that Washington will simply be known as the “Washington Football Team” this season, LeBron took to Twitter to troll the franchise. The Los Angeles Lakers star said they must have “had a thorough intense long board meeting about that one.”
Washington will be sticking with the same color scheme going forward, and their new uniforms look an awful lot like their old ones. Owner Daniel Snyder has reportedly been wrapped up in a trademark battle over the team’s preferred new nickname, so that is likely why they had to settle for “Washington Football Team” for the time being.
A series of pending trademarks may have given a hint about what the next Washington nickname will be, but it may be several months or more before we know for sure.
Washington’s NFL franchise announced over a week ago that they are officially moving on from the Redskins nickname, but the team will not have an official new name in time for the start of the 2020 season.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Daniel Snyder’s team is calling itself the “Washington Football Team” until further notice. The plan is to eventually adopt a new nickname and rebrand the team, but that apparently is not close enough to happening.
Here are the uniforms Washington will use for the 2020 season:
Snyder is reportedly wrapped up in a trademark battle over the team’s preferred new nickname, so that is likely why the franchise is holding off on announcing anything for the time being. There have been a lot of ideas thrown around for what Washington should be called, but a series of pending trademarks may have already given the secret away.
In addition to the name change drama, Washington is also dealing with the fallout from a report last week in which several former female employees detailed their experiences with sexual misconduct while working for the franchise. Snyder is having himself quite the busy offseason.