RICHMOND—Was Nick Barnett brought in to be London Fletcher’s successor?
First, let’s establish that we don’t know for sure if Fletcher is going to go anywhere next year. He has not addressed the issue of retirement and he probably won’t do so until after the season is over.
But Fletcher will be 39 by the time next season starts. The two-year contract he signed with the Redskins in 2012 expires after this season. At some point he will hang it up and it could well be after this season.
If he does, what will the Redskins do? The plan that appeared to be in place was to groom Keenan Robinson to take over. But with Robinson likely out for the season with a torn pectoral muscle that plan has fallen by the wayside. Perhaps Robinson will be the starter at Mike linebacker one day but it’s highly unlikely he’ll be ready next year.
That would leave the Redskins looking to the free agent market to find a solution. Barnett will be a free agent next year, having signed a one-year deal. With a year under his belt in the system, and many years playing in a 3-4 scheme, the 32-year-old Barnett could be the perfect guy to be the bridge between Fletcher and the next guy, whether it’s Robinson or someone else.
The Redskins have a whole season to play before this becomes a pressing issue but a successful organization has to have succession planning in order to remain successful. And although we don’t know what the free agent marker will look like next spring, Barnett may be a solid option.
In some circles of modern culture, producing shocking commentary or content seems like the top goal. Being shocking gets clicks, gets attention, and in turn, gets dollars.
On NFL Draft night, nothing should be shocking. Remember, last season there was no way Jonathan Allen would fall to the Redskins at 17. There was no way Kansas City would trade up for QB Patrick Maholmes. There was no way Chicago would trade up for Mitchell Trubisky. But all those things happened.
Sure, for months draft experts have expounded about what will happen, but the truth is, once the Browns are on the clock, nobody actually knows anything.
With that in mind, let's look at a bunch of options that should not shock Redskins fans.
- Don't be shocked if Washington takes Minkah Fitzpatrick. They want him.
- Don't be shocked if the Redskins draft Da'Ron Payne over Vita Vea. Washington loves Payne's potential to be a disruptor in the pass game and his incredible strength.
- Then again, don't be shocked if the 'Skins take Vita. Plenty of folks like him too.
- Don't be shocked if a team makes a move for Louisville QB Lamar Jackson. That could happen after the Redskins pick at 13, but Washington's pick could also prove important in the race for the former Heisman Trophy winner.
- Derwin James will be on the 'Skins list, but don't be shocked if he goes off the board before the Redskins pick.
- Don't be shocked with a trade back, but remember that isn't the goal. With four QBs expected in the Top 10, an elite talent should make it to Washington at 13. If that happens, the Redskins should take advantage of adding a blue chip to their squad.
- Don't be shocked if Virginia Tech LB Tremaine Edmunds ends up wearing the Redskins draft hat. Also, don't be shocked if he plays some outside linebacker in the Washington 3-4 scheme, not just the inside LB role most project for Edmunds.
- Don't be shocked if a seemingly sure thing slips all the way to 13. Perhaps that's Quenton Nelson? Or Denzel Ward? Remember, there was no way Jon Allen was supposed to fall to 17 last year.
There are some things Redskins fans should be shocked by.
- Washington should not trade up.
- Washington should not draft a running back at 13 unless Saquon Barley is available. He won't be.
- Washington should not draft a wide receiver at 13.
- If one of the top four QBs is available at 13, Washington should vigorously work the phones to move the pick. Move down a few spots and get Payne should be the exact plan in that scenario. Arizona at 15 needs a QB.
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NBC Sports Washington’s four-part digital series ‘E-Boyz’ -- chronicling the illustrious past, decorated present and bright future of the Edmunds family -- is NOW LIVE. Check out a new episode daily, leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft. Watch the fourth episode above and more here.
After this weekend's NFL Draft, the Edmunds family will go from having one son in the league to three.
Trey is already on the Saints, but Tremaine and Terrell aren't pros just yet. So, when will they be taken? Here's a collection of predictions from NBC Sports Washington's NFL crew regarding the middle and youngest Edmunds brothers.
JP Finlay: The Niners at nine. John Lynch won't be able to get past Edmunds' combination of size and speed, and the elite potential of the just 19-year-old. Remember, too, San Francisco might not have Reuben Foster this fall.
Rich Tandler: Eighth to the Bears. Physically, he is a double for Brian Urlacher and he worked out well enough for the Bears that he is headed for the Hall of Fame this year.
Mitch Tischler: No. 9 to the San Francisco 49ers. We all know Kyle Shannahan loves him some offensive threats but getting an edge rusher that could tally double digit sacks and play both inside and out is going to be too tough to pass up at nine.
Pete Hailey: No. 10 and the Raiders. Jon Gruden won't let the dynamic Edmunds fall any further.
JP Finlay: Kansas City in Round 3. They could use additional depth in the secondary and that franchise knows value when they see it.
Mitch Tischler: The Steelers in Round 3. He fits their scheme, has an nfl body and measured very well at the Combine.
Pete Hailey: Round 3 to the Cardinals. Terrell can learn from Antoine Bethea then fill in for him once Bethea moves on.