Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com, a former Redskins beat reporter for the Washington Post, was at Redskins Park on Thursday and just before he left for the evening he tweeted the following:
Before going too deeply into this, let’s take a look at the language. “Internal talks” are just that, discussions among coaches, scouts, and management about the possibility of making a move. It doesn’t mean that they have decided to make a move, just that they are talking about it. I’ve never worked in that environment but it seems logical too believe that for every personnel move that actually is made dozens are discussed internally.
If we work on the assumption that the discussions are indeed taking place and that they are at least somewhat serious, why would the Redskins be looking to add another running back? The backfield is crowded as it is. At various times last year, Roy Helu Jr., Tim Hightower, and Evan Royster carried the load for the Redskins. Helu and Royster had multiple 100-yard performances last year and Hightower is widely considered to be at the top of the depth chart.
So what would Benson or Grant add to the mix? For one thing, both are arguably better than any back the Redskins have on their roster now. Benson has an active streak of three 1000-yard seasons. Grant has a pair of 1200-yard seasons on his resume.
But both of them will be 30 before the season is out and one would have to question the wisdom of jettisoning Hightower (26), Royster (24) or Helu (23) or even sixth-round draft pick Alfred Morris in favor of a back you might be able to get a good year out of. It would seem to be out of character for a team that has consciously been trying to get younger to bring in an aging back looking for a few more paydays.
On the other hand, Hightower’s knee is still not 100 percent (Shanahan said the goal was to have him ready for the first regular season game, not the first preseason game), Helu has had durability issues, and Royster’s two good games do not certify him as a proven NFL performer. Perhaps Shanahan wants to ensure that Robert Griffin III has a solid running game to take the heat off of him.
So is there anything to this report? La Canfora does still have some sources in the building at Redskins Park so his report should not be dismissed out of hand. But just remember the language. He didn’t say anything that would indicate that a move is imminent or that one would even take place at all. I’ll put this in the category of something to file away and keep an eye on as the preseason progresses.