The Redskins' season hits a new low as two players get suspended for getting high, but what does the future hold for Trent Williams and Fred Davis? Also, some Nationals hot stove and NHL realignment talk.
I know most Washington Redskins fans and media are calling Fred Davis and Trent Williams out for being so stupid to fail a drug test they knew was coming. I mean, how dumb? Why not get a Wizanator? Or drink straight vinegar? Anyway, I think they actually took one for the team.
Thanks to their stupidity, we are not talking about Rex Grossman's game against the New York Jets that included two more turnovers. Grossman has now turned it over in 14 straight games. We are also avoiding the bi-weekly conversation about Kyle Shanahan's abandonment issues with the run. Instead we are talking about the Redskins' version of Cheech and Chong.
In this week's edition of Chain Reactions: now that a pair of Redskins players' seasons went up in smoke, what does that mean for their future? Also, the Nationals aren't the only team in the NL East ready to shake things up and the Capitals score in realignment.
What To Do with The Suspended Redskins?
Davis and Trent Williams are supposed to be cornerstones of the Redskins' future. So now what? Davis is having a career year, getting more chances with Chris Cooley sidelined. Williams, who has battled injuries, has shown flashes of the guy they selected No. 4 overall in the 2010 draft. However, now Williams will not only miss the needed game experience, but also approximately $1.9(M) in game checks.
On Monday, Mike Shanahan would not talk specifics because the decision was not official. However, he did offer this breakdown of the two tokers.
"Fred does a great job in both the run game and the passing game and it's one of the reasons why I think he is considered one of the top tight ends," coach Mike Shanahan said. "Trent, obviously the fourth pick in the draft, I think everybody knows his size, his weight, his speed, very likeable guy, works extremely hard and has upside as a football player."
I think everyone will agree these guys can be contributors, but to knowingly put yourself in this position is extremely selfish and stupid. Does it mean the two are done with the Redskins? Davis is a free agent, so maybe this costs him some cash in the market, which could work in the Redskins' favor. As for Williams he is under contract and I would expect will be here. The offensive line has enough personnel issues, so why create another.
I get that some fans are angry and want them gone. Before we write these two knuckleheads off, let's remember some of the "core" Redskins in the Gibbs glory years colored outside the lines, which is the nature of pro football. Some of our favorite Redskins had off the field issues, John Riggins and Dexter Manley most famously. In the George Allen Era, there was Sonny and Billy's well-documented good times on the town. So let's not pretend this franchise is all about choir boys.
Still, Mike Shanahan will still be driven crazy considering he has made such a concerted effort to find "character" players. In his two years, he has yet to dampen the on-going drama within the franchise. Well, I guess there is always next year.
Nationals' Neighborhood Could Get Much Tougher
The Nationals are working hard to climb up the ranks in the NL East, having coming off their best finish in the standings since moving to D.C. Life is tough in the NL East, with the Phillies, Braves, (formerly) big-spending Mets and the pesky Marlins. Now, those pesky Marlins are no longer so cute and pesky, because they are signing players like Jose Reyes and trying to reel in a guy named Albert Pujols, offering a reported 10-year, $220 million deal.
The Nationals are not sitting quietly. They are in the running for free-agent pitcher Mark Buerhle, who has been a workhorse -- over 30 starts a seasons and over 200 innings a year for the last 11 seasons. In order to land Buerhle, the Nationals may have to give another no-trade clause in a big contract like they did last year with Jayson Werth.
"I guess since we've opened that door," said Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, though not speaking specifically about Buehrle. "We prefer not to and they'll be a huge part of the negotiation - but for the right person, right player and the right fit, I think you have to be open-minded and flexible enough to at least think about it and talk about it."
A quality veteran like the 32-year old lefty would be a huge help in mentoring Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermanm. If they pull it off, the Nationals may be able to move up the NL East ladder in the upcoming season.
Capitals Score in NHL Realignment
The Patrick Division is back! The NHL went top shelf with realignment if you are a Capitals fan. The team will be paired up their old buddies from the Patrick Division days like the Flyers, Penguins, Devils, Islanders and Rangers, plus the
Hartford Whalers Carolina Hurricanes.
"It will create big rivalries," said Coach Dale Hunter, who played in the Patrick Division as a member of the Capitals. "It will be the heat of the game. The players will have more animosity against the other guys. So when you play in the playoffs in the first two rounds, it's really going to be back to the old style."
So a week and a half after the Capitals went old school with their coaching selection, the league is going old school with four conferences. The Caps are in Conference D, which hopefully is not symbolic of their play, although lately a D grade would be generous. I know they are learning a system.
Anyway, I love the old school match ups against the Penguins, Flyers, Rangers, Islanders and Devils, and with six match ups a season, the dislike will only get greater between players and fans. In order for it to go completely old school, we will need to see more drunk Flyers fans at Verizon Center trying to start fights just like they used to at the Capital Centre. I miss those days!