Su’a Cravens: How can Redskins trust his commitment again?

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 31: Defensive back Su'a Cravens
TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 31: Defensive back Su'a Cravens /

The Washington Redskins placed safety Su’a Cravens on the Non-football exempt list after he mulled retirement.  But can the Redskins trust him again?

Su’a Cravens has put the Washington Redskins into a conundrum.  He recently told teammates that he was going to retire and apparently the Redskins have talked him out of it.  But even if he plays again, how can they trust his commitment to the game.

I thought Cravens could become a great player for the Washington Redskins when they drafted him in round two of the 2016 NFL Draft.  Last season they played him at nickel linebacker and when he was healthy he played well as a rookie.

This season, he’s slated to start at strong safety, his natural position.  He was recovering from a knee injury and Su’a Cravens was going a big part of the Redskins plans on defense.  But all of that is on hold now.

By placing him on the Non-football exempt list, the Washington Redskins have four games to decide if they will activate Cravens to the main roster.  And Su’a Cravens has that time to decide if he’s ready to commit to football any more.

It’s a tricky situation because the Redskins don’t want to give up on Cravens.  He’s a talented player, he’s only 22 years old and they invested a second round pick on him.  So for now it’s worth it for the Washington Redskins to show patience and give Su’a Cravens time to figure things out.

And he clearly needs it.  The season is about to start and one of your high round draft picks doesn’t now if he wants to play.  But what if Craven’s decides he wants to play this season?  How can his teammates know that he’s committed to football?

The answer is they won’t know.  This is a distraction the Redskins don’t need.  They could either trade him or rule him out for the season.  I think they should do the latter.  Because how can they activate him knowing that Cravens might want to retire again?

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They could try to trade him but I’m not sure if they could find a trade partner for a player mulling retirement.  The Washington Redskins should give Su’a Cravens this season to get himself whatever help he needs to properly decide on his future.

Treat it like a season ending injury.  It’s not a physical injury but a psychological one.  Sometimes people need time to heal psychologically too.  Because if the Redskins release him now, Cravens could decide he doesn’t want to retire and sign with another team.

So sit him for the year and perhaps he’ll find his desire to play again next season.  If Su’a Cravens wants to play, he needs to earn the Redskins trust back through his actions.  That’s the only way they can trust his commitment moving forward.

At the very least, after the season the Washington Redskins could build up Cravens trade value so they can get the best deal possible for him in 2018.