Roger Goodell doesn’t see Redskins name change

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Commissioner said Tuesday the league would not pressure the to change their team name. Goodell’s comments come a day after the Cleveland Indians announced they would stop using the the Chief Wahoo logo on their uniforms in 2019.

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“This issue has been around for several decades if not longer,” Goodell said on ESPN’s Golic and on Tuesday. “And I think the interesting thing is that [Redskins owner] Dan Snyder has really worked in the Native American community to better understand their perspective. I think it was a Washington Post poll that came out in [2016] that said nine out 10 Native Americans do not take that in a negative fashion — the Redskins’ logo or the Redskins’ name, and they support it.

“So I think the focus that we’ve had is in any way is this insulting to Native Americans, and I think that poll is overwhelmingly positive that they don’t. I think that the Redskins have done a tremendous amount of work here and I think Dan continues to believe in the name and I don’t see him changing that perspective.”

Goodell has consistently defended the Redskins’ name, and Snyder has previously said he doesn’t ever plan to change the franchise’s mascot. A ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in June struck down part of a decades-old trademark law that banned trademarks which could be deemed offensive, saying the law infringed on free speech rights.

Alex Smith Washington Redskins NFL Pro Line Team Color Jersey
Alex Smith Washington Redskins NFL Pro Line Team Color Jersey

Smith, who got a four-year, $94 million extension that guarantees him a whopping $71 million, according to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, got the long-term deal from the Redskins that they inexplicably would not give Cousins, underscoring how damaging it was that the Redskins did not sign Cousins to a long-term deal in 2016. The Redskins’ lukewarm relationship with Cousins — he was drafted the same year as Robert Griffin III and wound up saving the franchise from complete embarrassment when Griffin flamed out — has long been confounding. The price the Redskins paid was in the enormous guaranteed money Smith will receive.

In Smith, the Redskins get a steady veteran who is coming off his most productive season — he led the league in passer rating and will be the first such quarterback to play for a new team the next season. That does not necessarily make him an upgrade, though. Cousins is just 29 to Smith’s 33 and their statistics are similar. The difference: if the Redskins had tagged Cousins again, they would have had to pay him $34.5 million. And it had become clear recently that Cousins had cooled on the idea of remaining in Washington. The Redskins presumably expect this trade to work out better than the last time Andy Reid sent them his franchise quarterback — in 2010, Reid, then the Eagles’ head coach, traded Donovan McNabb within the division. McNabb played just one season in Washington, going 5-8 as the starter and throwing more interceptions than touchdown passes.

By moving on from Smith, who enjoyed great regular season success but could never get the Chiefs on a deep playoff run, the Chiefs move forward with a tantalizing quarterback with a high ceiling and a low rookie contract. The savings are likely to be used to help fortify the defense of a playoff team.

The biggest reverberation, though, will be felt when free agency opens and Cousins hits the open market as by far the most in-demand option for the multitudes of teams desperate for help. Cousins is one of just five quarterbacks with at least 4,000 yards passing in each of the last three seasons (Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford are the others).

Washington re-signed the veteran linebacker on a two-year extension worth up to $7 million, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. Foster spent the past three seasons with the Redskins after playing out his rookie deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Foster’s 2017 season was cut short after five games by a torn labrum suffered in Week 2. He finished with 30 combined tackles, an interception and half a sack.

Foster is the first of three free-agent Redskins inside linebackers to be re-signed this offseason. Fellow 28-year-olds Zach Brown and Will Compton are also set to hit free agency.

Washington has a ton on its plate this offseason. Kirk Cousins, Terrelle Pryor, DeAngelo Hall and Trent Murphy are all set to be unrestricted free agents.

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