Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, May 7, 40 days before the Washington Redskins hold their mandatory minicamp.
Question of the day
A few days a week I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.
@Rich_TandlerCSN What's the QB depth chart going into week 1 of the preseason and do you expect it will remain same by end of preseason #NTK— T M (@reshmanuel) May 6, 2015
I got a few questions about the quarterback situation so I figured I’d answer them all in this one.
Right now it looks like there will be a four-man quarterback room with holdovers Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy being joined by rookie Connor Halliday. It appears that the Redskins have signed the Washington State product as an undrafted free agent. Although the team has not yet announced any UDFA signings, we’re going to presume that Halliday will be in the mix.
Halliday was leading the nation in passing yards and touchdown passes last year before he suffered a broken leg. He has some ability but he is clearly a long-term project.
Right now, the way Jay Gruden has explained it Griffin is at the top of the depth chart. McCoy and Cousins will split the reps with the second and third teams. So the depth chart looks like this:
If Griffin doesn’t fall flat on his face—and I don’t think he will—the depth chart should remain that way into the start of the preseason schedule. And there is really no reason at that point to declare a “winner” between Cousins and McCoy unless one is clearly, clearly outshining the other. I also don’t anticipate that happening. They can split time in the preseason, taking turns relieving Griffin.
It’s hard to figure how much time Halliday will get behind center in the preseason. The Redskins did not have a fourth quarterback last year so we don’t have a precedent for how Gruden will handle this. At most he will get some late snaps during the first three games and maybe a more substantial chunk in the fourth game when the starters and key reserves get the night off.
But regardless of how much Halliday plays, Gruden and Scot McCloughan will need to determine if he is a quarterback worth developing. If he is, they will have to figure out if they want to try to get him through waivers and onto the practice squad or if they want to keep him on the 53-man roster.
There is an issue with keeping him on the practice squad. First, as noted, he would have to get through waivers without being claimed. And if the Redskins keep the other three quarterbacks they would have four, and that’s one too many. There is plenty of work for an extra QB to do when there is a 90-man roster. When it shrinks to 63 (53 active plus 10 on the practice squad), not so much.
In other words, the standard number of QB’s for an NFL team to keep is three, whether it’s three on the 53 or two active and one on the practice squad. If Halliday stays, another quarterback likely would need to go.
Griffin is going nowhere if only because of his guaranteed $3.4 million salary. McCoy has not drawn much interest as a free agent the last two offseasons so he likely has no trade value. Cousins could be worth a draft pick if a team gets into training camp and loses a quarterback to injury.
Taking out my crystal ball I see them going into the game against the Dolphins with a QB depth chart that looks like this:
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—It’s been 130 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 129 days until they play another one.
—Days until: Redskins minicamp starts 40; Redskins training camp starts 84; Redskins @ Giants 140
If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.
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