Su'a Cravens

Extra Points: Bucs, Hargreaves, Seahawks

A video of Buccaneers cornerback Vernon Hargreaves smoking a cigarette containing an unknown substance surfaced on Instagram this week, as Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times details. Hargreaves, a University of Florida product, has struggled in the first two years of his young career. Last year, the Bucs tried employing Hargreaves as their nickel cornerback before a hamstring injury ended his season after nine games.

The video alone is unlikely to get Hargreaves into trouble with the law or the NFL, but a positive test for a banned substance such as marijuana would violate the league’s substance abuse policy. All in all, it’s simply not a good look for a player who has failed to make good on his first-round status.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • At the owners’ meetings, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (Twitter link) heard Mark Sanchez‘s name “as a possibility” for the Seahawks. Someone like Sanchez could serve as a veteran backup to Russell Wilson now that Trevone Boykin is out of the picture.
  • The “Josh McDaniels rule” which would have allowed assistant coaches to sign on as head coaches elsewhere during the playoffs did not pass at this week’s owners’ meetings. Surprisingly, Colts GM Chris Ballard was not among those in support of the rule. “When you’re a playoff team, you’re trying to eliminate all the distractions that you can. And we’re going to be a playoff team and we’re going to have these issues,” Ballard said (via Stephen Holder of the Indy Star). “It becomes a slippery slope. We have rules in place for a reason. I think they’re good rules. It gives you a chance to interview and then, after the season, whatever happens, happens. In our case, he changed his mind and we moved on.”
  • New Broncos defender Su’a Cravens has the ability to play both safety and linebacker, but the team views him strictly as a safety, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The Broncos acquired Cravens from Washington on Wednesday in a deal that will net the Redskins a fifth-round pick plus upgraded picks in the fourth and fifth round and a conditional sixth-round choice in 2020.

Broncos Acquire Su’a Cravens From Redskins

The Broncos have acquired strong safety Su’a Cravens from the Redskins. The deal will see a fifth-round pick (No. 163 overall) go to Washington in return (Twitter link via Mike Klis of 9News). 

Also, as part of the deal, the Broncos and Redskins will swap fourth- and fifth-round picks. The Broncos will move down from No. 109 to No. 113 in the fourth round and from No. 142 to No. 149 in the fifth round. The Redskins will also receive a sixth-round pick in 2020 if Cravens appears in a playoff game for Denver. There are a lot of components in this deal, but the Broncos are essentially acquiring a talented former second-round pick for a fifth-round choice and change.

Cravens decided late in the 2016 offseason to retire from football. The news caught the Redskins completely off guard as they were banking on Cravens to start at one of their safety spots. The youngster reversed his decision hours later, but the Redskins were still skeptical about his desire to continue playing. After a short stay on the NFI list, the Redskins parked him on the reserve/left squad list, barring him from playing in 2017.

The versatile defender was diagnosed with Post Concussion Syndrome, according to a statement released by his agent late last year, but he is now “asymptomatic and cleared to return back to all things football.” The Redskins insisted that they would not trade Cravens this offseason, but they either had a change of heart or were not being entirely truthful.

We’re not trading him,” coach Jay Gruden said just weeks ago. “I just saw that on the ticker. He’s 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. Physically, I know he’s going to be in great shape. The big thing is, is this something that he wants to do? He has to commit to it full time. He’s a good football player, there’s no doubt about it. He’s a great kid. I’m sure it will work out for him.”

The Broncos’ faith in safeties Darian Stewart, Justin Simmons, and Will Parks led them to part ways with former Pro Bowler T.J. Ward last September. If Cravens is healthy and ready to rededicate himself to football, Simmons or Stewart could be displaced from the starting lineup with Parks pushed a bit further down the depth chart. Simmons was arguably Denver’s best safety in 2017 and he plays at strong safety, so it will be an interesting situation to watch. Cravens may also see time at linebacker, as he did in his rookie season with the Redskins.

As a rookie, Cravens tallied 34 tackles, one sack, five passes defended, and one interception. In his ten games, Cravens graded out as the league’s No. 27 linebacker, per Pro Football Focus.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Seeking Third-Rounder For Su’a Cravens?

Su’a Cravens may remain available despite Jay Gruden insisting the Redskins intend to keep him in the fold.

The Redskins are setting the price high to move Cravens, who still has three years remaining on his rookie deal. Washington’s aiming to land a third-round pick for the player it selected in the 2016 second round, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports.

This price could ensure Cravens stays in Washington, given his absence from football in 2017, but the Broncos did express interest in a potential deal. It’s possible this price tag scared off Denver, which is set to return safety starters Darian Stewart and Justin Simmons. The Broncos do have a need at linebacker, where Cravens played part-time as a rookie, but it’s unclear how far these talks progressed.

Washington turned to fourth-round rookie Montae Nicholson last season alongside D.J. Swearinger, and the team just re-signed Deshazor Everett. So, the Redskins in a bit better spot at safety than they were when Cravens last played.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins HC: We’re Not Trading Cravens

Trade talk surrounding Su’a Cravens came to a boil this week with reports that the Broncos were deep in discussions to acquire him. However, Redskins coach Jay Gruden says that Cravens isn’t going anywhere."<strong

[RELATED: Redskins, Broncos Discuss Cravens Trade]

We’re not trading him,” Gruden said (via Kareem Copeland of the Washington Post). “I just saw that on the ticker. He’s 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. Physically, I know he’s going to be in great shape. The big thing is, is this something that he wants to do? He has to commit to it full time. He’s a good football player, there’s no doubt about it. He’s a great kid. I’m sure it will work out for him.”

Cravens hasn’t taken the field since his rookie year in 2016. His retirement flip-flop last year which resulted in the team placing him on the reserve/left squad list drew the of both the Redskins front office and the locker room. A trade would make sense for all parties involved, but, if Gruden is to be believed, Cravens remains in the team’s plans for 2018.

Playing both linebacker and safety, Cravens notched 33 tackles in 2016.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins, Broncos Discussing Cravens Trade

Su’a Cravens could be on the move. The Broncos and the Redskins are discussing a trade to send the safety to the Denver, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). No deal is done yet, but the Broncos are showing the most interest of any team and appear to be the most likely landing spot for the former second-round pick. Su'a Cravens (vertical)

Cravens decided late in the 2016 offseason to retire from football. The news caught the Redskins completely off guard as they were banking on Cravens to start at one of their safety spots. The youngster reversed his decision hours later, but the Redskins were still skeptical about his desire to continue playing. After a short stay on the NFI list, the Redskins parked him on the reserve/left squad list, barring him from playing in 2017.

The versatile defender was diagnosed with Post Concussion Syndrome, according to a statement released by his agent late last year, but he is now “asymptomatic and cleared to return back to all things football.”

The Broncos currently project to start some combination of Darian Stewart, Will Parks, and Justin Simmons at safety. Cravens could step in as a first-stringer while also contributing at outside linebacker. In his first season, the Redskins used Cravens at multiple positions, though they were planning on having him focus on safety in his sophomore campaign.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Exploring Su’a Cravens Trade

After the NFL reinstated Su’a Cravens earlier this month, the safety is attached to his second year of his Redskins rookie contract.

But the Redskins, following a tumultuous year with their former second-round pick, look to be trying to unload Cravens. Washington is gauging the trade market for Cravens, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports (on Twitter).

Three years remain on Cravens’ deal, but the Redskins experienced trust issues with the once-coveted USC defender. Cravens retired, then unretired, then was placed on the reserve/left squad list.

As a rookie, Cravens played in 11 games and started three. Playing both linebacker and safety, Cravens made 33 tackles in 2016. The Redskins were planning to move him to safety exclusively in his second season, but Cravens’ complicated 2017 nixed those plans.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins S Su’a Cravens Reinstated By NFL

Redskins safety Su’a Cravens has been granted reinstatement by the NFL, a source tells ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter). This marks a big step forward for his return, though it’s not a certainty that he’ll be welcomed back in D.C. Su'a Cravens (Vertical)

Cravens shocked the Redskins in September when he said that he would be retiring from the league. Hours later, the NFL sophomore reversed his decision. The Redskins placed him on the NFI list while he sorted things out, but they shut the door on his season two weeks later when they moved him to the reserve/left squad list.

Cravens’ talent is undeniable, but it seems that the Redskins have lost patience with the former second-round pick and his teammates are not thrilled with him either. The Redskins could shop Cravens this offseason, but they might have to settle for a late draft selection in a trade.

As a rookie in 2016, Cravens played on 36.5% of Washington’s defensive snaps as both a safety and linebacker. In ten games (three starts), Cravens recorded 22 tackles, one sack, one interception, and five passes defensed while grading as the league’s No. 27 linebacker, per Pro Football Focus. In 2017, the Redskins planned to start Cravens at safety.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Eagles, Redskins, Cowboys

While the Eagles might not name an offensive coordinator, they have likely found their next quarterbacks coach. Assistant quarterbacks coach Press Taylor is expected to be promoted to the primary role, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Taylor will replace John DeFilippo, who was hired as the Vikings’ new offensive coordinator over the weekend. The 30-year-old Taylor joined Philadelphia under former head coach Chip Kelly, but was kept on staff when Doug Pederson came aboard in 2016. Next season, he’ll work with a rehabbing Carson Wentz and — if he’s not traded — Super Bowl MVP/backup Nick Foles.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • Defensive back Su’a Cravens applied for reinstatement on Monday, and the Redskins are expected to meet with the former second-round pick at the combine, reports John Keim of ESPN.com. Cravens, of course, didn’t play in 2017 after “retiring” — and then reversing his decision — before the season began. One talent evaluator tells Keim Washington could likely recoup a third-round pick by trading Cravens — that is, if the versatile defender didn’t come with any off-field questions. Given his saga over the past six months or so, Cravens would likely garner far less than a Day 2 selection.
  • The Cowboys have yet to fill their vacant tight ends coach position, and the club has interviewed two other coaches about the role, according to Todd Archer of ESPN.com. Longtime collegiate offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier (who recently took a job with LSU), and Brian Pariani, who has served as a tight ends coach for multiple NFL teams, are both in consideration for the job, per Archer. Dallas also lost one assistant today, as defensive staffer Turner West left the club to join Austin Peay, tweets Archer.
  • Dane Brugler of the Dallas Morning News identified six prospects the Cowboys may want to look into either trading up or down for in the first round of the draft. Atop the list of players to trade up for was Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, whom Brugler believes would require the Cowboys, who hold the 19th overall pick, to move into the top 12 selections. Brugler also pointed to Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley and Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea as trade-up candidates. As for players to trade down for, of note was South Dakota State tight end Dallas Goedert, who Brugler believes the team could groom as a replacement for Jason Witten.
  • The Giants have several ways to open cap space this offseason and SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano goes over players who could end up being salary-cap cuts. Veterans Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie ($8.5MM cap hit in 2018), Brandon Marshall ($6.1MM cap hit), and Janoris Jenkins ($13MM) were the most notable of the potential cuts. Vacchiano also listed Eli Apple, who the team took in the first round of the 2016 draft, as an option to clear cap space. Apple would have a $4.13MM cap hit next season.

Su’a Cravens Applies For Reinstatement

Su’a Cravens wants to return to football in 2018 and he took a major step towards that goal on Monday. The Redskins safety has applied for reinstatement from the reserve/left squad list, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). "<strong

Last September, Cravens shocked the Redskins when he informed the team that he would be retiring. Hours later, he reversed that decision. The team initially placed him on the NFI (non-football injury) list to give him some time to consider his football future, but they parked him on the reserve/left squad list weeks later when he was still on the fence.

The versatile defender was diagnosed with Post Concussion Syndrome, but he is now “asymptomatic and cleared to return back to all things football,” according to a statement released by his agent in December. What isn’t clear is whether the Redskins actually want him back. In theory, the Redskins could cut or trade Cravens and amp up the playing time of rising sophomore Montae Nicholson.

If Cravens is in a good place physically and mentally, he could draw interest from teams looking for help in the secondary as well as the linebacker level.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Rumors: Redskins, Cravens, Lions

Will the Redskins bring Su’a Cravens back into the fold? ESPN.com’s John Keim gets the sense that coaches are still reluctant to bring him into the locker room again.

Meanwhile, the presence of safety Montae Nicholson may make it easier for the team to part ways with the versatile defender. Nicholson, last year’s fourth-round pick, has only given the team a limited sample to evaluate. However, when he was on the field, his presence allowed slot corner Kendall Fuller to focus on his man. Nicholson’s ability to cover could also allow the team to use D.J. Swearinger more in the box where he is at his best. Cravens’ talent is undeniable, but at this time, it sounds like the Redskins are on course to cut or trade him.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • ESPN.com’s Michael Rothstein isn’t necessarily expecting major changes to the Lions‘ offense with Matt Patricia in command, though he anticipates a renewed focus on the run game’s efficiency. On the other side of the ball, Patricia may move to change from a 4-3 scheme to a 3-4. Ultimately, that may lead to a personnel shakeup in the front seven.
  • Fullback Marcel Reece implied to John Clayton of ESPN.com (Twitter link) that he was waiting on the Seahawks to bring him back last year and turned down other offers as he waited on Seattle. Reece, 33 in June, sat out the entire 2017 season after he missed Seattle’s final cut but he hopes to continue playing in 2018.
  • Before Sunday’s NFC Championship Game, it was reported that the Vikings are giving serious thought to franchise tagging quarterback Case Keenum.