The biggest dark cloud hovering over the Redskins as they prepare to kick off the 2017 season is the pending retirement of Su’a Cravens. The young safety, who the team drafted in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft, abruptly told officials and teammates he was set to retire. As you may already know, Cravens was placed on the non-football exempt list one day after the team finalized its initial 53-man roster. The Redskins will have a month to decide what to do next with his status for the season or better yet his career.
First and foremost, the Redskins are concerned and hoping that whatever the reason Cravens has second thoughts on his playing career, he can overcome them. Not just to have him on the team but to have him in the right mindset to move on in life. As for coming back to the team. Team captains Kirk Cousins and Trent Williams are both on the record saying they would welcome the talented safety back with “open arms.”
However, that may not be the case for all players. Even if they do, there would be some hesitancy. According to Mike Jones of the Washington Post, a member of the Redskins recently relayed the concerns that would come with Cravens returning to the team.
But there are indeed players who wonder whether they can trust him. One discussion that I had relayed to me involved a player saying, “Can I really trust that this guy is going to have me in cover-two when I don’t even know if he’s going to show up to work on a given day?”
Judging from the terminology used, it’s safe to assume that player belongs to the defense to say the least. One’s guess would be a member of the secondary, and possibly a cornerback. Nevertheless, the thought is a legitimate concern for the Redskins and their coaches, if Cravens chooses to return.
While they are hoping and worried about the man Su’a Cravens, the Redskins understand they have a job to do.
‘Next man up’ is the mentality of football players when a player is removed from a starting position for whatever reason, and Deshazor Everett will be that man in this case. He has had a strong showing throughout training camp and preseason, and one that I felt deserved to be a starter before Cravens’ mulling of retirement. Everett has earned that trust within the players and coaches. It’s a trust that would take some time for Cravens to regain, if he so chooses to come back to football.