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
So while Norman is getting flagged for tacky-tack fouls, 2 Bengals committed fouls worthy of big fines, not flagged. https://t.co/KHF6cSA2tu— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) November 4, 2016
In case you missed it
- Gruden: Cousins shouldn't worry about DeSean Jackson's stats
- What will the Redskins do with Cousins in 2017?
- NTK: Five free agents the Redskins need to re-sign
- Two Bengals fined for actions in Redskins game
- Redskins Bye Week Grades: The Great Kirk Cousins Debate
- Redskins Bye Week Grades: Leader emerging at running back?