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Need to Know: Looking ahead—The Redskins' 2017 depth chart

Need to Know: Looking ahead—The Redskins' 2017 depth chart

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, November 5, 8 days before the Washington Redskins play the Minnesota Vikings at FedEx Field.


Today's schedule: Bye week

Days until: Packers @ Redskins 15; Redskins @ Cowboys on Thanksgiving 19; Redskins @ Cardinals 29

The Redskins’ 2017 depth chart

During the bye week I’ll spend some time looking ahead at the 2017 offseason and what might happen then. Today, I take a stab at what the 2017 depth chart will look like on opening day.

Quarterback: Kirk Cousins
Backups: Colt McCoy, Nate Sudfeld

Although Cousins is a free agent I believe he will be back either with a new multiyear contract or via another application of the franchise tag. McCoy has another year left on his contract and they will continue to develop Sudfeld to see what they have.

Running backs: Robert Kelley
Backups: Chris Thompson, Matt Jones

Next September the running back situation could be right where I see it being the rest of the season, with one back starting but not always getting the most carries or the most important carries. For the rest of this year I think Jones starts but Kelley gets a lot of rushing attempts. Next year, with Kelley having another offseason and camp under his belt he could get the first snaps. If 2017 pick Keith Marshall is healthy he could compete for a spot as could Mack Brown. You can’t rule out a draft pick being thrown in the mix either.

Wide receivers: Josh Doctson, draft pick/free agent
Backups: Jamison Crowder (slot receiver), Ryan Grant

Yeah, it’s kind of scary to look at relying on Doctson, who missed all but a couple of games with an Achilles problems. Assuming that he’s ready to go he will have to get up to speed in a hurry. I don’t think that either Pierre Garçon or DeSean Jackson will be back. They may want to get a veteran receiver (Alshon Jeffrey? Terrelle Pryor?) to pair with Doctson. They will leave Crowder in the slot, where he is most effective.

Tight end: Jordan Reed
Backups: Vernon Davis, Niles Paul

Reed will be around for a while. I think they will make a concerted effort to bring back Davis, who is on a one-year contract.

Offensive line: LT Trent Williams, LG Shawn Lauvao, C Spencer Long, RG Brandon Scherff, RT Morgan Moses
Backups: G Arie Kouandjio, T Ty Nsekhe, 1-2 draft picks

I think that the current OL is locked in. Lauvao will be in the last year of his contract so they will try to draft a successor there if they don’t think that Kouandjio can make it.

Defensive line: Draft pick/free agent X 2,  Chris Baker
Backups: Ricky Jean Francois, Matt Ioannidis, Ziggy Hood.

There could well be more turnover than this. Baker is a free agent and might not be back. Hood might not be re-signed. Anthony Lanier could be in the mix. Given that the free agent pool is paper thin on the line I expect the Redskins to try to get a D-lineman early in the draft.

Linebackers: OLBs Preston Smith, Ryan Kerrigan; ILBs Will Compton, Mason Foster
Backups: Trent Murphy, Su’a Cravens, Junior Galette, Martrell Spaight, Stephen Daniels

The Redskins don’t value the inside linebacker spot very highly so unless there is a player there who Scot McCloughan values for his character they probably won’t add a top-tier player here. Galette is probably 50-50 to be there and regardless of whether or not they sign him they would be wide to draft a pass rusher in case he is injured. Does the organization add Murphy to the list of players they want to lock up with an extension a year early?

Defensive backs: CBs Bashaud Breeland, Josh Norman; S Will Blackmon, draft pick/free agent
Backups: Kendall Fuller (slot), Quinton Dunbar, David Bruton, Deshazor Everett, 2-3 draft picks/free agents

I know that this news will shock you but the Redskins will have major turnover at safety this coming offseason. I’m not sure that Blackmon will be back but perhaps they keep him to transition over to a safety they get in the draft. Bruton isn’t a sure bet to be back either but he’s a veteran presence, good on special teams, and not very expensive. There may be some changes at the end of the CB depth chart but the top four should be good to go.

Specialists: K Dustin Hopkins, LS Nick Sundberg, P Tress Way

This is on the assumption that Hopkins doesn’t make a habit out of missing 34-yard field goals. That remark is partly in jest but you never know when a kicker can just all of a sudden lose his aim.

Tandler on Twitter

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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 and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.


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. 


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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