by Rick Snider

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Marcus Mariota is back among the Washington Redskins options. It could go three ways and at least one if not two might be disastrous.

Washington can draft the quarterback with the fifth overall pick on April 30. Redskins fans love new quarterbacks.

The team can trade Mariota’s right for probably two firsts while letting the Robert Griffin III decision play itself out this fall.

The Redskins can simply not pick him and watch someone else reap the benefits.

Washington’s move is still pretty unclear with 50 days remaining until the draft. General manager Scot McCloughan is too busy trying to create a poor man’s Chicago Bears 1985 defense with free agency’s start. McCloughan’s reputation for building a strong defense and working the draft is proving true so worrying about the passer right now isn’t on his 1,000 things to do.

Then again, maybe it is.

If the Redskins aren’t planning to draft Mariota, they need to at least fake it. Sell it like sunshine after a hard winter. Sucker somebody into paying more to get Mariota before a competitor does. Maybe Tennessee and Philadelphia are off the Mariota bandwagon after trading passers on Tuesday, but that’s doubtful. Those guys are stopgaps, not cornerstones.

If the Redskins want to trade down and pick up a couple of starters like safety Landon Collins, they need to fool others into overpaying. Past Redskins personnel chiefs were terrible at bluffing, but McCloughan is probably pretty good at it.

Of course, the Redskins could take Mariota. It’s not like Griffin has inspired fans into giving him one more try. This season is all on owner Dan Snyder. Not the coaches, who obviously have Kirk Cousins warming up, but the owner who apparently wants to give the 2012 Rookie of the Year one more chance before surrendering. And, that’s not the worst thing given all Washington has invested in Griffin. If the passer plays poorly or gets hurt again, then the Redskins move on knowing they gave Griffin every chance.  And, maybe Griffin finally clicks again and the team wins.

Mariota could rejuvenate a franchise whose fans are probably one bad season away from turning FedUp Field into Ghost Town USA. The Redskins sell hope better than anyone and Mariota would join a long list of promised. Indeed, he’d be the 25th different starting Redskins quarterback since 1993. At least coach Jay Gruden could start over with a passer with no baggage.

Mariota will be in every draft conversation about the Redskins straight up til draft day. At least it keeps the offseason interesting for a franchise that won seven games over two seasons.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter @Snide_Remarks.


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