WASHINGTON — Su’a Cravens’ sudden decision to retire over the weekend has been a hotly contested issue among Redskins fans.
Cravens informed the Redskins of his decision after final roster cuts were announced, sending the organization scrambling a week before its regular season opener and fans into a frenzy. The organization responded by placing the second-year safety on the exempt/left squad list, affording Cravens a month to think over his decision.
Days later, many fans still don’t know what to think. Cravens, Washington’s second-round pick in 2016, is only 22 years old and figured to be a long-term building block on the back end of the Redskins’ rebuilding defense.
And while the reason for his decision has yet to be publicly disclosed, Cravens has had this feeling before, we’ve learned in recent days, nearing this decision during rookie season, and once earlier while still in college at USC.
This vacuum of knowledge, of why Cravens wants to walk away from the game, set the stage for a heated discussion between 106.7 The Fan contributor Thom Loverro and Redskins beat reporter Craig Hoffman Tuesday afternoon.
Cousins: Su’a Knows We’re Behind Him
“There is some immaturity here,” Hoffman said. “And that’s fine. Like, 22-year-olds are allowed to be immature and there are consequences of that, and that is what we’re dealing with right now. And so if he came to this rash decision of, ‘I’ve got to help my family, I’ve got to retire,’ and the Redskins were like, ‘Whoa. Let’s take a deep breath.'”
“But wait a minute,” Loverro interjected. “This is a big leap to say that he’s got to help his family. We don’t have any idea that that’s the case. What we know is we have a young player who has talked about retiring three times in the last four years from this football game.”
“So you have a pattern of the same thing over and over again,” he said. “Unless this is a continuing family problem from his days in USC, I don’t see how you can make the leap that this is why he’s doing it, because there’s some kind of family problem.”
“Well, that’s the point, Thom,” Hoffman said. “We don’t know.”
“That’s right,” Loverro said. “But based on the evidence we have, we know that he’s done this before.”
“What evidence do we have that it’s not?” Hoffman said.
“What does that mean, what evidence do we have that it’s not,” Loverro volleyed back. “I mean, you could say that about anything!”
Hoffman: If I’m going to jump to a…
Loverro: No, I’m not jumping to a conclusion. What I’m saying is he’s talked about retiring at USC. He talked about retiring here in his rookie year with the Redskins. And now he’s doing it again. Those are the things we know.
Hoffman: But what end does it serve to rush him into retirement?
Loverro: Rush him into retirement? He doesn’t want to play! He’s expressed that!
Hoffman then argued that the tenor surrounding the situation by people inside Redskins Park, namely head coach Jay Gruden, seems to indicate that there is more than meets the eye, and therefore an added level of precaution is necessary before rushing to judgement of Cravens.
“By the tone of what his teammates have told us and what his coach told us, it sounds like there is something going on that in the next four weeks, Su’a Cravens will have some more clarity on,” Hoffman said. “There is something that he needs to do right now and they are giving him the time to do so.”
“And if it was sparked from some incident, I’m not going to fault him on the timing,” he said. “Like, he can’t time his midlife crisis, or whatever this is, whatever you want to call it. Is it unfortunate? Yes. But to assign blame is to say that someone did something wrong.
“And I am extremely uncomfortable — based off of what we’ve been told about this, and the serious tenor and tone in which everyone is talking about it — assigning any blame to this young man right now. That makes me extraordinarily uncomfortable.”
Loverro: No. No. No. No. No. No. I don’t blame this kid whatsoever. Again, I think the team did him a disservice by not letting him retire like he wanted to do. I don’t blame this kid for anything.
Hoffman: I would say I don’t think it’s a disservice to give him time. And if he wants to retire in four weeks, they’ll let him. But what I think the service that they did him was to make sure that, at 22, he didn’t rush to a decision that he then winds up regretting six weeks later.
Loverro: No. The service that they did was to them to not look foolish to have their second-round draft pick retire on the eve of the first game of the season. This was self-serving. Don’t try to tell me that this organization, that so callously manipulated the exit of Scot McCloughan, suddenly has grown a heart and cares about Su’a Cravens. This was totally self-serving.