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Need to Know: Only a handful of starters will be left from 2012 Redskins team

Need to Know: Only a handful of starters will be left from 2012 Redskins team

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, February 5, 19 days before the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

Five thoughts on the Redskins with free agency a month away

—Although it wasn’t particularly surprising, it was noteworthy that we got the first words uttered by a Redskins official saying that Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris are likely to be gone in 2016. Actually, Griffin is certain to be gone and Allen predicted that he will get a chance to succeed elsewhere. Allen didn’t close the door on a Morris return but they aren’t going to offer him a contract before free agency starts and they will applaud if he goes elsewhere. The 2012 season was a long, long time ago.

—I don’t get the feeling that Scot McCloughan and Joe Barry are as hopped up to bring in a stud inside linebacker as some fans and media members are. I think they would be perfectly content to bring back Mason Foster, start him alongside Will Compton, possibly cut Perry and save his $4 million salary, and go with Martrell Spaight and perhaps a relatively cheap veteran. If the right guy is there early in the draft I think they would take him but it’s not on their “gotta have” list.

—If Riley does end up leaving there will be five players who started 10 or more games in 2012 who are under contract for this year—Pierre Garçon, Trent Williams, Kory Lichtensteiger, Ryan Kerrigan, and DeAngelo Hall. Lichtensteiger is no sure bet to be on the team in 2016 so there could be just four starters left. In addition, Logan Paulsen, who started 10 games, is slated to be a free agent and may or may not be back.

—In a post on Kirk Cousins yesterday I look a bit at the lack of depth at wide receiver. Andre Roberts is sure to be cut and Ryan Grant played 425 snaps and he caught just 21 passes and dropped four. Rashad Ross is fast but he needs to learn how to play receiver. And let’s not forget that DeSean Jackson and Garçon both turn 30 this year. The situation could get ugly quickly. I get the need to bolster the defense but if there is a quality receiver on the board in any round, including the first, McCloughan will seriously consider taking him.

In my post here yesterday I did not list Duke Ihenacho when I was sketching out a possible safety depth chart for 2016. I didn’t include him for a few reasons, the primary one being his problems staying healthy. He’s been on the Redskins’ payroll for two years but he’s been on the field for just four games. He’s a restricted free agent and it’s not certain that they will offer him an RFA tender, which would be a one-year contract worth about $1.6 million. That’s probably more than they want to pay him. If they don’t tender him, he becomes an unrestricted free agent. On the positive side, he did compete for and win a starting safety job last year. So he does have a shot at returning and contributing.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 26 days ago. It will be about 219 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL Combine 19; NFL free agency starts 33; 2016 NFL draft 83

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Where's Galette, Cousins' future

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Where's Galette, Cousins' future

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, November 18, one day before the Washington Redskins play the New Orleans Saints at Mercedes Benz Superdome.

Timeline

Today’s schedule: AM walkthrough and then travel to New Orleans. No media availability.

Days until:

—Giants @ Redskins Thanksgiving (11/23) 6
—Redskins @ Cowboys Thursday night (11/30) 13
—Redskins @ Chargers (12/19) 23

Quick Redskins news hits

C Spencer Long tried to play last week and he couldn’t make it more than a dozen snaps before sitting down for the rest of the day. He is out against the Seahawks tomorrow.

With Brian Quick and Ryan Grant questionable with concussions and Terrelle Pryor out with an ankle injury, the Redskins are down to three healthy wide receivers. While Quick and Grant might play, the depth chart could have Doctson, Crowder, and Harris on it.

The Redskins week that was

2 reasons Redskins didn't trade Terrelle Pryor—If you want to know why the deal with the Browns didn’t happen, follow the money. Between his signing bonus and the half of the year’s salary, the Redskins have already paid $4.5 million. Although he hasn’t been nearly as productive as they hoped he would be, there was no point in letting him go to save $1.5 million unless they got a second-day draft pick, or maybe a fourth, in return. See that Jay Gruden said that he didn’t hear of the proposed trade, talks must not have become too serious.

Remember Junior Galette? The Redskins don't seem to—As with Pryor, everyone is waiting for Galette to break out. But unlike Pryor, he’s not an expensive unproductive player. He’s making the veteran minimum. Against the Vikings, he played just 19 snaps. Perhaps a return to New Orleans for a game against his old team will spark a sack or two.

Recent comments from Cousins may hint at future in D.C.—Cousins has been big on making statements about the long-term future with the Redskins (read the post for specifics). That doesn’t mean that it’s a lock that he stays in town. But it should give some pause to those who believe that it is a lock that he will be in another uniform when 2018 or, at the latest, 2019 rolls around. He has never been inclined to go to the highest bidder and if the Redskins make a competitive offer that delivers what he wants he could well stick around.

How the Vikings scored 21 unanswered points against the Redskins—The 21-0 run in about seven minutes of game time that the Vikings used to make a competitive game at FedEx Field a rout was a combination of good offense by the Vikings and bad defense and offense by the Redskins. They couldn’t cover Adam Thielen on either drive. Cousins threw an interception off of his back foot and that set up the middle of the three touchdowns. If the Redskins end the season a game out of a playoff spot that seven-minute stretch will be one of the big reasons why they failed to make it.

Player one-liners, defense— Usually, the offensive edition of the player one-liners tends to be the most popular but this week it was the defense that drew the most interest. The defensive player I’m going to keep an eye on the most in the last seven games is rookie safety Montae Nicholson. He has the speed and hard hitting ability that the secondary needs. When asked what will happen when Nicholson is healthy, Jay Gruden said without hesitation that he is the starter. Nicholson’s health will be important for the defense down the stretch. DeAngelo Hall is better suited to a part-time role at this stage of his career.

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.

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Redskins getting thin at receiver with two more injured wideouts out on Sunday

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Redskins getting thin at receiver with two more injured wideouts out on Sunday

In August, Redskins fans would freak out if they heard Jordan Reed and Terrelle Pryor would both miss a November game.

In November, that news doesn’t carry much worry.

Washington coach Jay Gruden announced that Reed and Pryor, along with center Spencer Long, won’t play Sunday against the Saints.

RELATED: KEYS TO VICTORY AGAINST THE SAINTS

Reed hasn’t played in a few weeks as he is dealing with a hamstring injury. It seemed he might have returned last week before a setback slowed down his progress.

In his place, Vernon Davis has proved to be a sturdy backup capable of some big games.

Long injured his knee and while he played last week, he did not practice this week.

Not having Pryor is a bit of a surprise. His ankle injury popped up this week and he will see a specialist next week to examine the joint. In the middle of a disappointing season, the Redskins offense won’t lose much with his absence.

Elsewhere on the injury list, a number of players will be questionable for Sunday’s contest against the 7-2 Saints.

Perhaps most important, Trent Williams is questionable but will probably play.

MORE ON THE REDSKINS: FIVE PLAYERS UNDER PRESSURE

Receivers Ryan Grant and Brian Quick are expected to play after undergoing concussion protocol, but that will leave the Redskins with only three fully healthy wideouts: Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson and Maurice Harris.