- The Washington Times - Friday, August 24, 2018

LANDOVER — Su’a Cravens will not play against his former team Friday when the Denver Broncos face the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. In fact, the 22-year-old did not even make the trip, staying in Colorado with a knee injury.

That news might ultimately be a good thing — saving from the Redskins and Cravens from a potentially awkward exchange, similar to the one Cam Newton experienced with former teammate and wideout Kelvin Benjamin, who criticized the Panthers quarterback in an interview with The Athletic.

There are, after all, still unresolved issues between the two parties, despite the franchise trading him to the Broncos in March. On Aug. 15, Sports Illustrated reported Cravens filed a non-injury grievance to reclaim his 2017 salary ($651,408), while Washington requested the return of 25 percent of the safety’s rookie bonus.

But legal drama aside, a divorce was likely the best outcome for both Cravens and the Redskins.

Linebacker Mason Foster told The Washington Times earlier this week that Cravens didn’t handle the decision to step away from the Redskins last season “in a way that he should have.”

“I feel like he knew that there’s different ways he could have gone about it,” Foster said. “All of us go through a bunch of stuff. You just have to meet it face-to-face. You have to come up and say you’re wrong and say you’re sorry. We all go through that in this business, football and your family — with anything.

“When you make a mistake, when you made the wrong choice — or maybe you didn’t handle things the way you should have — you’ve got to just come forward and handle it that way, you know? Be a man and handle it that way and take it on the chin.”

Last year, Cravens reportedly told his fellow defensive backs in a text message that he was retiring — a week prior to the start of the regular season. The safety was dealing with a series of issues, related to his health and his family.

Cravens dealt with post-concussion syndrome and a personal incident with his father, according to Sports Illustrated.

The Redskins placed Cravens on the season-ending “reserve/left list” on Sept. 15, a day before the safety wanted to rejoin the team. Cravens told SI he was blindsided by the move.

Foster, who referred to Cravens as a “little brother,” said he was upset with the safety at the time he walked away — primarily because the two were friends and Cravens didn’t tell him any of the struggles he was going through.

The linebacker added the two resolved the issue when they met for dinner at Cravens‘ house in November.

“He made a bad choice, but you can’t do that to your teammates,” Foster said. “That’s exactly what I told him: You can’t do that to your brothers who you’re here working with every single day. He told me what he went through and how it was. I let it go.”

But, Foster acknowledged, that would have been tough for some of his teammates to do the same.

D.J. Swearinger, for instance, told Sports Illustrated he could never trust Cravens again because “if you quit on us, then you quit.”

The Redskins agreed, trading Cravens in a multi-pick swap that netted the organization an additional 2018 fourth-round pick.

“He didn’t want to be here,” Foster said. “It just didn’t work out. So it was probably best for him to handle it somewhere else and try to renew his career somewhere else, which you can’t blame people for that because it has happened to many other people.

“I wish him the best and I’m glad he’s in a better place.”

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