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Need to Know: Plenty of roster churn coming as Redskins look for the right mix

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Need to Know: Plenty of roster churn coming as Redskins look for the right mix

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, April 9, 17 days before the NFL draft.  

Breaking down the Redskins’ current roster

Here are some notes on the current construction of the Redskins’ roster. 

—Officially, the Redskins have 74 players on their roster. That number does not count reserve offensive tackle Ty Nsekhe. He has not signed his restricted free agent tender, so he is still a free agent. He has until April 20 to sign an offer sheet with another team. There has been no reported interest in Nsekhe from other teams and the chances that he will return are high enough that we’ll call the roster count 75 and include Nsekhe in the various breakdowns that follow. 

—The roster limit is 90, so the Redskins have 15 open spots. As of now, they have eight draft picks. They could trade down and end up with more or trade up and have fewer, but we’ll go with eight for right now. In a change that was made several years ago, draft picks count against the roster as soon as the card is turned in, not when they are signed to a contract. 

—Once the draft is over, they will begin signing undrafted free agents. After they have seven signed, they will have to release a player for each one they sign. That will begin a cycle of roster churn that will accelerate when rookie minicamp starts on May 11. The Redskins will bring in dozens of players to try out for a roster spot. A number of them will be signed and replace players who may have signed within the last week and a half. 

—The Redskins currently have 35 offensive players, 36 defensive players, and four specialists. They will keep the balance roughly even going into OTAs starting May 22. That means adding seven or eight draft picks and undrafted free agents on each side of the ball. 

—One position they are certain to add to is wide receiver. They currently have six on the roster and they will want to go into OTAs with about 12. Why so many? They like to have a lot to run through plays with three- and four-receiver sets. The dozen may shuffle before and during training camp, but the number will remain about the same. Somebody has to take those “empty the bench” snaps during the preseason and start the exhibition game. 

—Who says the Redskins don’t have a nose tackle? They have four on the roster now in Phil Taylor (listed weight 343 lb.), Ondre Pipkins (321), A.J. Francis (337), and Montori Hughes (350). If you want to count Ziggy Hood, who played the nose all last year, that makes five. But I guess if you have five nose tackles, you don’t have any nose tackles.  

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS.

Tandler on Twitter

In response to my post from yesterday, which covered what it would take for the Redskins to trade back to pick up the third-round pick they dealt in the Alex Smith trade

Timeline  

Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 7
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 108
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 153

In case you missed it

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 21, five days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington

Should the Redskins pursue Dez Bryant? This topic was one like a meteor, very hot for a short period of time before it quickly faded out. It started to heat up as soon as the Cowboys cut Dez (about a month too late) and when it was reported that he wanted to play against Dallas twice a year it really picked up steam. But then people started to actually think and figured out that signing Bryant didn’t make much sense for the Redskins. Add to that the reports that the Redskins had no interest and would not look into signing Dez in the future and the Redskins fans quickly lost enthusiasm for the topic.

Seven-round Redskins mock draft—I think that most Redskins fans would be happy with this mock. Well, I’ll say some Redskins fans, most is a pretty strong word in this case. 

Is the draft pool deep enough for the Redskins to trade back? There is plenty of talk about the Redskins trading down in the first round to recoup the third-round pick they gave up in the Alex Smith trade. But they need to be careful. Many consider the draft to be top heavy and they may lose their chance to pick up an impact player if they trade back too far. The question then becomes one of quality vs. quantity. 

Three questions as offseason workouts get underway—There will be plenty more questions that we can ask about this team. But we don’t really know what to ask before the draft, particularly when it comes to the defensive line and running back. One the personnel settle into place we will know what we don’t know. 

Tweet of the week

On Chris Cooley’s thought that the Redskins might try to trade back and get Da’Ron Payne in the draft and the use the assets obtained to move up to get Derrius Guice. 

This is related to the questions about trading back. On paper it looks like a good idea, assuming the Redskins want Payne. We’re pretty sure they would like to have Guice but we haven’t heard as much about the Alabama defensive lineman. 

I had many reply that Guice won’t be there in the second round. It’s possible, perhaps even likely, but you just don’t know. There was zero chance that Jonathan Allen would be there at No. 17 last year, right? 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS.

Timeline  

Days until:

—OTAs start (5/22) 31
—Training camp starts (7/26) 96
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 141

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Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

Redskins' schedule "rest disparity" is very fair in 2018

The NFL started taking into account a new factor when putting together its schedule this year. The concept is called rest disparity. It stems from a complaint made by the Giants last year. And, of course, when the Giants have a cold, the NFL sneezes and immediately does whatever it takes to cure the cold. 

Here is how Peter King laid it out this morning on the MMQB:

Last year, I heard the Giants were not pleased with their schedule because they felt they were too often playing teams more rested than they were. In consecutive October weeks, they played teams coming off byes, for instance. The NFL calculated a figure for every team based on the number of combined days of rest for their foes or for the team, calculating, for instance, in those two weeks, the Giants were a minus-14 (minus-seven for each of the foes, Seattle and Denver, coming off byes). In all, by my math, the Giants were a league-worst minus-22 in “rest disparity.”

So the schedule makers worked to minimize the rest disparity this year. According to King, the worst rest disparity in the league this year is minus-11. The Giants are minus-eight. 

The question that Redskins fans will have immediately here is if the Giants’ rest disparity was reduced at the expense of the team in burgundy and gold. The answer that will surprise many is no. 

The Redskins rest disparity in 2018 will be either minus-one or zero. The variance is due to the possibility that their Week 16 game in Tennessee will be flexed to a Saturday game (see details here). If the game stays on Sunday, they will be at minus-one in rest disparity. If it gets moved, they will have had exactly as much rest over the course of the season as did their opponents, in aggregate. 

If you're interested in the nitty-gritty, here is how it breaks down. In eight or nine of their games, they will have had the same amount of rest as their opponents. They play one game coming off of their bye, a Monday night game in New Orleans. The Saints play the previous Sunday, giving Washington a plus-seven in days of rest. That is canceled out when they play the Falcons in Week 9 after Atlanta’s bye. 

Due to their Thanksgiving game, they get three extra days off going into their Week 13 Monday night game in Philadelphia. Two weeks later the Jaguars will have those three extra days of rest when they host the Redskins, having played on Thursday in Week 14.

They lose a day relative to their opponents coming off of those Monday night games against the Saints and Eagles. The Redskins get an extra day prior to visiting the Giants in Week 8 as New York has a Monday night game in Week 7. 

So far, that comes to minus-one in rest disparity. That will remain in place if they play the Titans on Sunday, December 23. If the game is flexed to Saturday, they will gain a day of rest on the Eagles in Week 17, zeroing out the rest disparity for the season. 

More Redskins

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.