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Bubble watch version 4.0: Predicting the Redskins’ 53-man roster

Bubble watch version 4.0: Predicting the Redskins’ 53-man roster

RICHMOND—The Redskins opened their preseason in Cleveland on Thursday and both injuries and performances in that game shuffled the 53-man roster with just three weeks to go until cutdown day on September 5.

Here are my projections of who will end up on the roster when the dust settles and the team heads into Week 1 plus a look at who is just hanging on and four who are just on the wrong side of the bubble. I’ve added some comments as needed.


Quarterback (3): Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy

I’ll take the projection here a step further and say that Cousins will be the active No. 2 QB for Week 1.

Offensive line (9): Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Kory Lichtensteiger, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses, Tom Compton, Spencer Long, Arie Kouandjio, Willie Smith

Wide receiver (6): Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts, Ryan Grant, Jamison Crowder, Evan Spencer.

Tight end (3): Jordan Reed, Je’Ron Hamm, Chase Dixon

I’m going with players who are on the roster as of right now; obviously this could change at any time.

Running back (4): Alfred Morris, Darrel Young, Matt Jones, Chris Thompson

This firmed up after Silas Redd was lost for the season with a knee injury.


Defensive line (7): Jason Hatcher, Terrance Knighton, Stephan Paea, Chris Baker, Ricky Jean Francois, Kedric Golston, Frank Kearse

Outside linebacker (4): Ryan Kerrigan, Junior Galette, Trent Murphy, Preston Smith

Inside linebacker (5): Perry Riley, Keenan Robinson, Will Compton, Martrell Spaight, Adam Hayward

Cornerback (4): Chris Culliver, DeAngelo Hall, David Amerson, Justin Rogers

Bashaud Breeland will not be on Week 1 roster due to NFL suspension so he is not listed here.

Safety (5): Dashon Goldson, Duke Ihenacho, Jeron Johnson, Kyshoen Jarrett, Trenton Robinson

Specialists (3): LS Nick Sundberg, P Tress Way, PK Kai Forbath

The numbers: 25 offense, 25 defense, 3 specialists; 16 new to the Redskins organization in 2015 including eight draft picks (both Hamm and Dixon spent time on the Redskins’ practice squad last year so they do not count as new to the organization.

Last 4 on

CB Justin Rogers—Breeland’s one-game suspension opens the door for Rogers to get another NFL game check and perhaps get a chance to establish himself as a legitimate slot corner. But unless he improves his play he will be the 53rd player on the roster in Week 1 and gone in Week 2.

TE Je’Ron Hamm—With Paul and Paulsen both out he has a job for now. But he easily could be knocked off if the team sees another possible solution on the waiver wire.

TE Chase Dixon—See Hamm from above.

S Trenton Robinson—If Rogers performs well for the rest of camp and preseason games, Robinson could be the odd man out when Breeland returns. He is solid on special teams so that helps.

Four more close to the bubble: OL Willie Smith, OL Tom Compton, DL Kedric Golston, RB Chris Thompson

Last 4 cuts

OL Josh LeRibeus—He has been working as the backup center but against the Texans in the joint practices and in the preseason opener against the Browns he showed that he has a long way to go. The team won’t take long to seek another solution if he doesn’t catch on soon.

WR Rashad Ross—He can play some as he showed Thursday in Cleveland. But the numbers at wide receiver just don’t work for him. They are unlikely to keep more than six and I can’t see Ross beating out any of the guys who are in.

OT Takoby Cofield—The team paid him the maximum signing bonus for an undrafted free agent so they thought highly of him coming out of Duke. He has had a good camp and if he has a good preseason Cofield could make a case for a spot on the 53. For now, he appears to be practice squad material.

RB Trey Williams—The diminutive back had some problems navigating against the big bodies in live action in Cleveland. If he can get it figured out in a hurry some long runs in the next few preseason games could make the team have to think real hard about keeping him around.

Four more just on the wrong side of the bubble: OL Austin Reiter, NT Jerrell Powe, TE Devin Mahina, OL Ty Larsen

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Looking at the details of Zach Brown's contract with the Redskins

Looking at the details of Zach Brown's contract with the Redskins

The Redskins and linebacker Zach Brown agreed to a three-year contract that will require Brown to continue to play at a high level if he is going to collect all of the $21 million the deal contains.

Brown’s camp reportedly was shopping for a contract that had some $20 million in guaranteed money. The actual deal fell well short of that.

Brown, who was leading the league in tackles before an assortment of injuries forced him to sit out the last three games, got a total of $5.5 million in fully guaranteed money. He got a $4.5 million signing bonus and his $1 million salary for 2018 is fully guaranteed.


After that, the remaining two seasons essentially are team options. In 2019 he has a $6.75 million salary and $4.5 million of that is guaranteed for injury. His 2020 salary is $7.5 million with no guarantees of any kind.

The contract also has per-game roster bonuses available at a rate of $15,625 for each game he is on the 46-man game day roster in 2018 (total of $250,000 for the year) and $31,250 per game in 2019 and 2020 ($500,000 total).

The salary cap hits per year are as follows:

2018: $2.75 million
2019: $8.75 million
2020: $9.5 million

The average annual value of $7 million ranks ninth among inside linebackers.

Brown will need to continue to play well to collect on the contract. The team will be able to save $5.75 million on the 2019 cap if they terminate the deal after one season and $8 million if they do it in 2020.


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


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Need to Know: Redskins player quick hitters—Defensive starters

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Need to Know: Redskins player quick hitters—Defensive starters

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, March 22, 35 days before the NFL draft.  

Redskins starters quick hitters—defense

The last couple of days here I looked at how the depth charts are shaping up with a little bit of commentary (offense, defense). Today and tomorrow I’ll take a closer look at the starters with some quick hitters about each one. Yesterday it was the offense, now the defense is up.  

DE Jonathan Allen—He was close to being ready to practice during the last couple of weeks of the season so his Lisfranc rehab is going well. Anticipation will be high when he takes the field in Week 1.

DE Stacy McGee—From looking at my social media timelines I can conclude that many Redskins fans hear “free agent D-lineman” and automatically say “bust”. That’s not the case with McGee. Last year he was the Redskins’ most consistent defensive lineman.

NT Ziggy Hood—I’ve said this before and it still holds true—Hood should not be a starting nose tackle. He would be very good as a rotational defensive lineman.

OLB Preston Smith—Sure, he’s inconsistent. But he’s on often enough to be a very valuable player. He lacks eye-popping sack totals but since he came into the league in 2015, only Smith has at least 20 sacks, 3 interceptions, and four forced fumbles.

OLB Ryan Kerrigan—He will turn 30 during training camp but he shows no signs of slowing down.

ILB Zach Brown—The Redskins needed to bring him back and they got it done. He does struggle in coverage at times, but the defense is much better with him than without him.

ILB Mason Foster—He and Allen saw their seasons end due to injuries at about the same time and the defense wasn’t the same after that. Foster brings experience and toughness to the defense that is hard to replace.

CB Quinton Dunbar—It’s possible that Fabian Moreau will beat him out for the starting job before the season starts. But Dunbar has come a long way since the former wide receiver volunteered to help out at cornerback when a rash of injuries hit during his rookie season. I wouldn’t bet against him.

CB Josh Norman—He certainly didn’t play poorly last year but the goose egg in the interceptions column is a black mark. The thing is, with quarterbacks like to test Dunbar and Moreau playing on the other side, he might not get many opportunities to pick off passes this year, either.

S D.J. Swearinger—After signing as a free agent, he put himself on the line, saying he was the leader of a defense before he had even played a snap with the group he wanted to lead. He walked the walk, filling both the leadership vacuum and the lack of quality safety play.

S Montae Nicholson—Jay Gruden said that Nicholson was the defensive version of Jordan Reed, a player who changes what the unit can do when he is on the field. High praise, but also a lot of pressure to stay on the field.

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

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Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 26
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 128
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 172

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