Let's cut to the chase and try and put to rest why the Redskins kept Pat White on the roster, a move that has stumped everyone.
I believe it's a combination of the following (no one of these reasons is enough):
1) Pat White actually improved over training camp from horrific to not too bad. If Pat White learns how to actually throw a football, he could be a good QB as he has great poise and looked like a winner in the preseason. He has the confidence, the legs; he just needs the arm. The Redskins believe he can continue his improvement path.
2) Kirk Cousins' best trade value and timing for the Redskins to trade him would come mid-season this year. He's still on a cheap 4th round draft pick salary. Next year, a lot of good QBs enter the draft, so it's a bad time to shop Kirk around after this season. With the passage of time, his cheap rookie contract runs out. Obviously the Redskins need him until RG3 hits at least the 9 month recovery mark.
The idea is that if White can improve his passing - and he has until the bye week when the Redskins have to make a few cuts anyway - then he could become the backup to RG3 and Cousins could be traded for a potential first round pick. This is the weakest reason of the bunch, but it's a possibility.
3) The Redskins roster is full of non-backups making it very difficult to choose which 7 to rest on game day out of the 53. For example, Hankerson and Robinson offer different weapons than the other three wide receivers. Gumbs and Pugh offer different skills than the other safeties. Ditto with Darryl Tapp, etc. The point is, the Redskins don't have many redundant players to dress down on game day when they are allowed only 46 active players.
Redundant players today include Pat White and Evan Royster, and maybe LaRibeus if Gettis can play both sides and maybe Merling. They really did need someone that is a true backup to sit out. They also need someone to cut in a few weeks as well so they have incentive to make a big gamble on Pat White's potential improvement.
4) The real question locked into this one is why Chase Minnifield is on the Practice Squad. If the Redskins chose the best 53, certainly Minnifield is better than Pat White, correct? The answer is they wanted both, and Minnifield had Practice Squad eligibility while Pat White did not. They knew no one would pull Chase onto their 53 off waivers but there would be lots of other offers for Practice Squads. I think the Redskins promised Chase that he would be on the roster after the bye week when the Redskins will make a round of cuts to fit Jarvis Jenkins and Rob Jackson back, or perhaps a bit later in the season.
Who the Redskins cut during the bye week will speak volumes as to why they put Pat White on the 53. If there are no injuries, the new Redskins bubble for the bye week includes Evan Royster, Pat White, Philip Merling, Jerome Murphy, and Jordan Pugh. Let's see if Pat White can improve enough to stay. The dual short term suspensions and Chase Minnifield's practice squad eligibility made it very enticing for the Redskins to make a calculated short term gamble on Pat White.
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