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Bubble watch version 5.0: Predicting the Redskins’ 53-man roster

Bubble watch version 5.0: Predicting the Redskins’ 53-man roster

The Redskins are now halfway through the preseason and both injuries and performances in that game shuffled the 53-man roster with just two weeks and a day 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 that roster is turned in 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.

Offense

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

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

I don’t think that some bad plays among 15 snaps last night will cost Smith a chance to be Trent Williams’ backup. But he had better have things buttoned up the rest of the way.

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

I don’t think that people should get irrationally exuberant over Rashad Ross catching nine passes for 107 yards in two games against second-level talent.

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

Defense

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

Outside linebacker (5): Ryan Kerrigan, Junior Galette, Trent Murphy, Preston Smith, Houston Bates

Although the team hasn’t announced it yet it seems likely that inside linebacker Adam Hayward will be out for the season with a torn ACL. Bates, who has made plays all over the field during preseason games, may have the inside track on that linebacker roster spot.

Inside linebacker (4): Perry Riley, Keenan Robinson, Will Compton, Martrell Spaight

Hayward’s likely absence will hurt special teams perhaps more than it will hurt the defense.

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; 17 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

OT Willie Smith—I think he could stick as a backup tackle because of his experience. But his performance against the Lions has him pressed up against the bubble.

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.

LB Houston Bates—Having a solid preseason game is one thing. Consistently doing what you need to do to make an NFL team is another. He can’t relax for a second and even if he manages not to someone could still bypass him.

Four more close to the bubble: OL Tom Compton, DL Kedric Golston, Trenton Robinson, DL Frank Kearse

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 in the last two preseason games. 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 but he broke off a long run against the Lions and led the team in rushing for 52 yards on 10 carries. If he can get it figured out in a hurry some more long runs in the last two 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, S Akeem Davis, LB Alonzo Highsmith, OL Tyler Larsen

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Need to Know: The most underrated Redskins events of 2017

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Need to Know: The most underrated Redskins events of 2017

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, February 22, 20 days before NFL free agency starts.

I’m out this week so I’ll be re-posting some of the best and most popular articles of the past few months. Some may have slightly dated information but the major points in the posts still stand. Thanks for reading, as always.

The underrated Redskin moments of 2017

Originally published 12/29/17

Sometimes in the NFL, something happens that grabs headlines and appears to be a momentous event that has ripple effects that will last all season and perhaps beyond. Other times something that is greeted with a yawn by fans and the media turns out to be something with lasting impact. Here, in no particular order, are three underrated events from 2017. Tomorrow we’ll look at three events that were overrated at the time they happened.  

Beating the Rams in Week 2—Nobody got particularly excited when the Redskins went to the LA Memorial Coliseum and beat a Rams team that had gone 4-12 in 2016. Sure, there was a belief that they were in good hands with Sean McVay but nobody saw them as anything better than a middle of the pack team. The win looks much more impressive now as the 11-4 Rams have locked up their division with a playoff game in their future.

Drafting safety Montae Nicholson—He was a fourth-round pick who had a shoulder injury and appeared to be a reach. But once he got on the field, the reasons the Redskins drafted him became apparent. His range and hard hitting had an immediate impact on the game. Nicholson had problems staying on the field and he will finish the year on IR, so his impact this year was diminished. Regardless, he has a good chance of being part of the solution to a position with which the Redskins have had issues for years.

Ty Nsekhe’s injury—Against the Raiders in Week 3, Shawn Lauvao’s facemask had an issue and he had to leave the game for a play. In came Nsekhe without an opportunity to warm up. He suffered a core muscle injury and had to undergo surgery. His absence didn’t seem like a big deal at the time, but Trent Williams suffered a knee injury the next week and other offensive linemen were sidelined with injuries over the next several weeks. Nsekhe was inactive until the Week 10 game against the Vikings and he didn’t start a game until the Thanksgiving game against the Giants. He sure would have been useful to have in the lineup instead of T.J. Clemmings or Tyler Catalina.

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:

—NFL Combine (3/1) 7
—NFL Draft (4/26) 63
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 199

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Miami tagged Jarvis Landry, but what does that mean for the Redskins?

Miami tagged Jarvis Landry, but what does that mean for the Redskins?

Everything in the NFL feels like a powder keg, but the reality of Tuesday's opening of the franchise and transition tag period will play out as much more of a slow burn.

Few teams ever actually make moves on the opening day of the tag period, though the Dolphins bucked that conventional wisdom and used the non-exclusive franchise designation on wide receiver Jarvis Landry. 

Astute Redskins fans know the tag system all too well. Landry can now sign a one-year, fully guaranteed contract with the Dolphins worth more than $16 million, the average of the top-five paid receivers in the NFL.

They can also trade Landry and the compensation discussion with a non-exclusive tag begins at two first-round draft picks, though it can eventually be settled for much less. 

RELATED: BEST AND WORST OF REDSKINS' FIRST-ROUND DRAFT HISTORY

What, if anything, does Miami's move mean for the Redskins? Let's take a look:

  1. Not gonna work here - Landry never really seemed like a great fit for the Redskins as a free agent, and that was before the franchise tag. He's a really good slot WR, but Washington already has that in Jamison Crowder. Whether or not Landry actually gets a deal done with the Dolphins or gets traded, it seems highly unlikely the Redskins are his next team. 
  2. "Spirit of the tag" - Miami putting the tag on Landry so early in the process signals that the team might be trying to trade him instead of actually trying to sign him. If that's the case, and plenty of people are suggesting just that, it would seem to be in contrast with the "spirit of the tag." The idea is that a franchise or transition tag is supposed to be used as a tool by an NFL franchise to get a long-term deal done with one of their own players facing free agency. Using the tag as a mechanism to pull of a trade seems very different. Why does any of this matter for Redskins fans? As reports emerged that Washington might look to use a tag on Kirk Cousins and work to trade him, the Cousins camp has made clear they would file a grievance against that technique. Why? Because it would violate the spirit of the tag. Well, it sure looks like Miami is doing the same thing, and as of now, nobody has complained. The situations aren't identical; few resemble the Redskins long, slow, awkward dance with Cousins. But it's certainly worth monitoring. 
  3. Wide Receiver$ - The Redskins could use a veteran wideout to help their young group of Crowder and Josh Doctson. Well, with Landry getting tagged, the price tag just went up. The player that seems to make the most sense in Washington would be Jaguars wideout Allen Robinson. Coming off a knee injury in 2017, some thought Robinson could be signed on a somewhat team-friendly deal. If Landry can get franchised after a season where he didn't even get to 1,000 yards receiving, any thought of a team-friendly deal for Robinson is dead. Make no mistake, Landry and Robinson are good players, but the ever-increasing NFL salary cap will make both young receivers very well paid. 

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