It is the season for looking into the future, both to the 2016 season and beyond.
Let’s look at the Redskins three years from now. Who will still be here? Which players will be top performers? Here’s a possible snapshot of the team going into training camp in the year 2019. We’ll look at the offense today and the defense later this week.
To define the terms here, a blue chip player is one who is one of the top four to six players in the league at his position, is a consistent Pro Bowl caliber performer and occasionally gets All-Pro consideration.
A solid starter is also known as a red chip player. The team is happy with his level of play and is not looking to upgrade, These players are below the elite level but firmly in the top 10 or 12 at their positions. These players perhaps make an occasional visit to the Pro Bowl.
Potential starters are exactly that, players who could be starting in three years or who could be on the bench or playing elsewhere. Even if they are starting in Washington the team may be on the lookout for an upgrade.
Potential blue chip players: Trent Williams, Brandon Scherff, Jordan Reed
Solid starters: Kirk Cousins, Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder, Morgan Moses
Potential starters: Spencer Long, Arie Kouandjio, Matt Jones
Williams already is established as a blue chipper and Reed is becoming recognized as one. As long as he stays healthy he will be a bona fide blue chipper this year. Scherff has the talent and work ethic to get to the Pro Bowl in the next couple of years and once he gets in he will be an annual selection.
Cousins could emerge into a quality quarterback but right now it’s hard to see him getting up into the upper echelon of QBs. We’ll know more after next year.
Doctson is a pure projection since he hasn’t taken an NFL snap yet. There is no reason to think that Moses and Crowder will not continue to be very productive players.
Long had a chance to take a firm hold on his future after starting 13 games last year but he finds himself in a competition for a starting job. This is a big year for Jones, who has a chance to either break out or bust. Kouandjio has yet to take any meaningful snaps but he is likely to in the next couple of years.
The chances are that older players like DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garçon, and Kory Lichtensteiger will be gone by 2019.
Under team control through 2019 are Williams, Scherff (with 5th year option), Reed, and Doctson. Moses and Long will be free agents following the 2017 season, Crowder, Kouandjio, and Jones have contracts that expire after 2018.