Redskins

Quick Links

Need to Know: Looking ahead—The Redskins' core offensive players in 2020

Need to Know: Looking ahead—The Redskins' core offensive players in 2020

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, July 9, 18 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.

Timeline

The Redskins last played a game 189 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 63 days.

Days until:

—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 8
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 32
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 55

The Redskins core in 2020, offense

It is the season for considering the future, both the 2017 season and beyond. 

Let’s look at the Redskins three years from now. Who will still be here? Which players will be top performers? Here’s a possible snapshot of the team going into training camp in the year 2020. We’ll look at the offense today and the defense later this week.

The terms used here largely are self-explanatory but if you want some details look at the post from last year that looks three years down the road.

Offense (age as of Week 1 2020)

Potential blue-chip players: Trent Williams (32), Brandon Scherff (28), Jordan Reed (30)
Solid starters: Kirk Cousins (32), Terrelle Pryor (31), Jamison Crowder (27), Morgan Moses (29)
Potential starters: Spencer Long (29), Rob Kelley (27), Samaje Perine (24), Josh Doctson (27)

This group has 10 of the 11 current starters on the team. They won’t all be around in 2020 but the team does have an offense that has the potential to stay around for a long time (in today’s NFL, three years is a long time).

Williams already is a blue-chip player, recognized as one of the best left tackles in the game and a perennial Pro Bowl pick. Scherff just made the first of what could be a string of Pro Bowl appearances. Reed made his first Pro Bowl last year but he carries the asterisk due to constant health concerns.

Contract statuses are addressed below but you can’t discuss Cousins’ future without addressing that elephant in the room. If he does re-sign he will be the starter for the foreseeable future. If not, it will be fill in the blank time again for a franchise that has been searching for a long-term solid starting QB for over two decades.

Like Cousins, Pryor is on a one-year deal and we’ll have to see about his future after this year. But he would be a “young” 31 in 2020 because he didn’t play a whole lot before last season. Crowder is likely to be a highly productive player, with 800-1,100 yards and 6-10 touchdowns year in and year out. Moses is a potential blue chipper but right tackles seldom get recognition.

Long has been effective both at guard and at center; the latter position could be his long-term spot. A battle between Perine and Kelley for which running back is around in 2020 will play out over the next couple of seasons. Given the nature of the position, it’s possible that neither of them will be around in three years. Doctson will get plenty of chances to show that he belongs.

Contracts: Williams, Reed, Moses, Perine, and Doctson are all under team control through at least 2020. Cousins, Pryor, and Long are free agents after this season. Crowder is under contract through 2018 while Kelley and Scherff are locked up through 2019.

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

Tandler on Twitter

In case you missed it

Quick Links

Stop talking about Jay Gruden's job. Just stop

Stop talking about Jay Gruden's job. Just stop

NEW ORLEANS - Jay Gruden and the Redskins choked away a terrific opportunity for a much needed in on Sunday. They collapsed. Disappeared. Crumbled. Crumpled. Caved in. 

Whatever word you choose, the result was terrible. Washington held a 31-16 lead with less than five minutes remaining. That score should absolutely result in a Redskins victory. Only it didn't.

Gruden deserves plenty of blame for the loss, as does the Redskins defense that gave up back to back late touchdowns to allow Drew Brees and the Saints to come all the way back. The offense also couldn't get a yard, one yard, when they needed it, for the second time in two weeks. There's lots of blame to go around, and deservedly. 

But, stop talking about Gruden's future with the Redskins. 

Just stop. 

MORE: KIRK COUSINS GIVES HIS SIDE OF THE INTENTIONAL GROUNDING

He's not going anywhere. The loss in New Orleans drops the Redskins record to 4-6, and very likely, eliminates Washington from the playoff picture. With a favorable schedule remaining, it's possible the Redskins could win out, but that would be a tall order. A finish around 8-8 seems most likely.

So, the naysayers will shout, why does Gruden get to stay? Let's count the reasons:

  • For starters, the Redskins just signed Gruden to a two-year contract extension in the offseason. That means he's under contract through 2020. Gruden makes roughly $5 million a year, and to get rid of him would cost the organization eight figures. Not gonna happen.
  • Beyond the money and the contract, Gruden has been good. The Redskins were awful when he arrived, going 3-13 in 2013. Awful. And the team has had steady improvement under Gruden. They won the NFC East in 2015, narrowly missed a playoff spot in 2016, and this year, when healthy, competed with the best teams in the NFL.
  • This year's Redskins team is wildly beat up. The defense lost three starters before the first snap of the year, and the offense just lost their best player when Chris Thompson broke his leg against the Saints. 
  • Gruden is also getting better, and more competent. The coach overhauled his defensive staff this offseason, and the team has responded. He has a growing role in scouting and personnel, and largely, the results are working.  

It's easy to be upset after a colossal sinkhole of a game like what happened in New Orleans. Gruden needs to be better. He knows it.

"It's terrible," Gruden said after the game, correctly. "We laid it all out on the line. We came out to a hostile environment against a team that has won seven in a row. You don't get anything for close."

Remember, however, that Jay Gruden has brought the Redskins from terrible to good. Crazed fans that want him gone need to remind themselves of that.

RELATED: HOW EXACTLY DID THAT LOSS HAPPEN? LISTEN TO A NEW REDSKINS TALK PODCAST BELOW

Quick Links

Five takeaways from the Redskins' devastating loss in New Orleans

usatsi_10426101.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Five takeaways from the Redskins' devastating loss in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS—Here are my five main takeaways from the Redskins stunning overtime loss to the Saints

It’s everybody’s fault—When the game ended my Twitter timeline exploded with people venting and blaming the offense or the defense or the play calling or Kirk Cousins for the blowing the game. But it’s not as simple as pointing the finger at the third and one run that didn’t work or the grounding call on Cousins or the inability to get pressure on Drew Brees during the Saints’ final three drives. You don’t have enough fingers to point to everything that went wrong. When you blow a 15-point lead with six minutes left, it’s a total team collapse. It’s everyone.

Chris Thompson a huge lossHe’s not just the team’s leading rusher and leading receiver. Thompson is part of the heart and soul of the locker room. He’ll talk to anyone in the media any day and give thoughtful, intelligent answers. At age 27, Thompson is the “old man” in the running back room and the other backs looked to him for knowledge and as an example to follow. The Redskins have overcome a lot of injuries this year but this one might be the toughest to deal with.  

READ MORE: THIS REDSKINS LOSS LITERALLY DEFIED THE ODDS

No defense—It’s hard to figure out who on defense to blame for the Saints’ last two drives of regulation. It was just a Brees blitzkrieg. In the two drives, he was 11 for 11 for 164 yards and the two touchdowns. Without knowing the coverage calls it was hard to tell who was supposed to be covering the players who caught the ball because they weren’t anywhere near the receivers. There was virtually no pass rush and poor coverage. That turned out to be a fatal combination.

A good performance by Cousins—It’s hard for me to pin much of the blame here on Cousins, even though he is getting a lot of it. If you help put up 31 points and throw a touchdown pass that puts your team up by 15 points with just under six minutes to play, I think you’ve done your job. The grounding call we’ll discuss right here.

There should have been no penalty for intentional groundingWe can debate the audible call and whether Cousins should have thrown the ball all day. But that was not intentional grounding. That penalty requires that the passer be “facing an imminent loss of yardage due to pressure [and] throws a forward pass without a realistic chance of completion.” That’s from the rule book. Cousins was not facing an imminent loss of yardage; he took the snap and threw the ball immediately. The play does not fit the definition of the rule. I’m also confused by the 10-second runoff. It’s always been my understanding that the runoff was only enforced in situations where the penalty stops a moving clock. Jamison Crowder had gone out of bounds on the previous play so the clock was not running. I’m not positive that referee Walt Coleman blew that aspect of the call but he did make a mistake is throwing the grounding flag in the first place.

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.