The Redskins will report to training camp on Wednesday with 90 players on the roster. One of the biggest jobs the coaching staff will have is to determine who will be on the 53-man roster when the season starts.
We all know, however, that there are not 53 jobs up for grabs. Some players are locks to be on the roster when the season starts on Sept. 7 in Houston, barring injury or other unforeseen circumstances. How many players are locks and how many roster spots are really at stake? Let’s take a look:
Offense (16): OL Trent Williams, Morgan Moses, Shawn Lauvao, Spencer Long, Kory Lichtensteiger; WR Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts; QB Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins; RB Alfred Morris, Roy Helu, Darrel Young; TE Jordan Reed, Logan Paulsen, Niles Paul
Some will want to debate a few of these such as Young and Paul. But I’ve heard that Young is a lock despite Gruden’s history of not always keeping a fullback on the roster in Cincinnati and with the team trying to revive the special teams units Paul isn’t going anywhere. I could have put Tyler Polumbus as a lock but he’s more like 95 percent certain to be on the 53; If Moses can come on like gangbusters, the organization could decide that Polumbus’ $2.5 million salary is too much for a backup.
Defense (15): DL Jason Hatcher, Chris Baker, Barry Cofield; LB Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, Trent Murphy, Keenan Robinson, Perry Riley; CB DeAngelo Hall, David Amerson, Tracy Porter, Bashaud Breeland; S Brandon Meriweather, Ryan Clark, Phillip Thomas
The only possible question mark is Breeland but I don’t see them exposing their fourth-round pick to waivers in an effort to get him on the practice squad. Free agent linebackers Spencer Hayward, Akeem Jordan, and Darryl Sharpton are in the 95 percent category but there is a possibility that there won’t be room for one of the three.
I’m not prepared to call any of the six specialists locks. Long snapper Nick Sundberg is the closest but the organization might look at the fact that he has spent a total of 19 games on injured reserve the past two years and go with Kyle Nelson. While Kai Forbath and Robert Malone are solid favorites at kicker and punter, respectively, neither is a lock.
With a total of 31 roster locks, 22 jobs are legitimately up for grabs between now and when final cuts are made on August 30. The competition will be fierce and it gets underway on Thursday.
Did I miss any players you think are locks? Anyone listed not a lock in your opinion? Let me know in the comments.