Redskins

Quick Links

Will the Redskins hold on to NT Cofield?

cofield-in-line.png

Will the Redskins hold on to NT Cofield?

This morning, we examined the 2015 outlook for the Redskins’ defensive line and studied the salary cap situation at the position. Now, CSNWashington.com Insiders Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler will give their take on the most pressing issue at the position:

Should the Redskins keep Barry Cofield at nose tackle?

Tandler: Cofield converted from defense tackle in the Giants’ 4-3 defense to nose tackle in the Redskins’ 3-4 when he signed with Washington as a free agent in 2011. He was solid in the role his first two seasons but his performance has started to fade. Injuries are partly to blame. He played the first few games of the 2013 season with a cast on his hand after suffering a broken thumb in the preseason. Then last year he suffered a high ankle sprain in the season opener and spent the next eight games on short-term injured reserve. Cofield played the rest of the season but was not very effective with one sack and five tackles while played 252 snaps. The question now is if his body can continue to hold up under the pounding that comes with the position in the middle of the line at his age (31 before OTAs start) and size (listed at 303, probably heavier but still a smaller than average NT). When you factor in his cap number, which is fifth highest on the team at $7.7 million, you have to think that Scot McCloughan will be considering other options at nose tackle. I think he takes a reduction from his 2015 salary of $5 million, including roster and workout bonuses) and moves to a rotational role at end.

El-Bashir: Earlier today, I noted that four of the Redskins’ seven defensive linemen are on the wrong side of 30. And, as Tandler just mentioned, Cofield is one of them. He’s a respected, lead-by-example veteran in a locker room that needs more players of his type. In 2013, he was one of the league’s most productive defensive linemen. But in the NFL, it’s all about, ‘What have you done for me lately?’ And when you couple Cofield’s recent injury history (particularly the groin/hernia ailment that required two procedures last season) his high mileage and salary, it’s difficult to conclude that his current (and even projected) production matches his $7.7 million cap number in 2015. It’s very difficult, in fact, especially when you take into account the fact that 27-year-old Chris Baker is able to step in as the starter at nose tackle. Would Cofield accept a pay cut? I’ve got imagine the Redskins will ask him to do so. If he won’t, it's possible he'll be elsewhere in '15. I do believe Cofield’s versatility and leadership can be a key asset as a new general manager and defensive coordinator reshape the Redskins’ D-line. But I suspect it will only happen at the team’s price. And that could complicate matters.

 

Quick Links

Need to Know: Five safe draft picks for the Redskins

Need to Know: Five safe draft picks for the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, April 22, four days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

Five safe picks for the Redskins

Sometimes teams try to hit home runs with their draft picks. They may hit a few but they also will strike out a lot. Teams often are better off trying to hit solid singles and doubles. Here are five picks who would are unlikely to make many Pro Bowls but the Redskins would not regret the pick if they turned in the cards with their names on it. 

RB Kerryon Johnson, Auburn—I’m starting off here with a player who would be a safe pick in the third round. Of course, the Redskins don’t have a third right now but if they do swing a trade and get one, Johnson would be a good pick. He doesn’t have breakaway speed, which is one reason why he might be available in the third. He is a grinder who will be an upgrade over Samaje Perine and Rob Kelley. 

DL Vita Vea, Washington—There is plenty of hand wringing over whether Vea is a three-down player or just a base defense nose tackle. But even if he can’t rush the passer very well his floor is a player who can go a long way towards helping the Redskins stop the run, a chronic weakness. This is why a lot of fans and media are urging the Redskins to not overthink this and take a player that will, at a minimum, bolster one of their weakest areas. 

OL Billy Price, Ohio State—He started 55 games for the Buckeyes, the most of any player in the storied history of the program. He did suffer the partial tear of a chest muscle in the combine but that will be fully healed by training camp. When he’s ready, he’s an explosive, smart, and powerful player. Just plug him in at left guard and the Redskins’ O-line is set with all home-grown talent. 

LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State—He doesn’t have the ceiling that the more heralded Roquan Smith and Tremaine Edmunds have. However, he may have a higher floor. Smith is undersized, and Edmunds will be highly drafted based more on potential than on production. At 6-4, 256, Vander Esch has plenty of size, and he racked up 141 tackles last year on his way to defensive player of the year honors in the Mountain West. 

 CB Isaiah Oliver, Colorado—The All-Pac-12 selection has the size and athleticism that add up to a safe pick in the second round. He needs some work on technique, but he has enough natural athletic ability—he competed in the decathlon—to be a productive cornerback right out of the gate. One other plus that fans will appreciate is that his strength is press coverage, not off man. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS.

Tandler on Twitter

Timeline  

Days until:

—OTAs start (5/22) 30
—Training camp starts (7/26) 95
—Redskins @ Cardinals (9/9) 140

In case you missed it

Quick Links

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 21, five days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington

Should the Redskins pursue Dez Bryant? This topic was one like a meteor, very hot for a short period of time before it quickly faded out. It started to heat up as soon as the Cowboys cut Dez (about a month too late) and when it was reported that he wanted to play against Dallas twice a year it really picked up steam. But then people started to actually think and figured out that signing Bryant didn’t make much sense for the Redskins. Add to that the reports that the Redskins had no interest and would not look into signing Dez in the future and the Redskins fans quickly lost enthusiasm for the topic.

Seven-round Redskins mock draft—I think that most Redskins fans would be happy with this mock. Well, I’ll say some Redskins fans, most is a pretty strong word in this case. 

Is the draft pool deep enough for the Redskins to trade back? There is plenty of talk about the Redskins trading down in the first round to recoup the third-round pick they gave up in the Alex Smith trade. But they need to be careful. Many consider the draft to be top heavy and they may lose their chance to pick up an impact player if they trade back too far. The question then becomes one of quality vs. quantity. 

Three questions as offseason workouts get underway—There will be plenty more questions that we can ask about this team. But we don’t really know what to ask before the draft, particularly when it comes to the defensive line and running back. One the personnel settle into place we will know what we don’t know. 

Tweet of the week

On Chris Cooley’s thought that the Redskins might try to trade back and get Da’Ron Payne in the draft and the use the assets obtained to move up to get Derrius Guice. 

This is related to the questions about trading back. On paper it looks like a good idea, assuming the Redskins want Payne. We’re pretty sure they would like to have Guice but we haven’t heard as much about the Alabama defensive lineman. 

I had many reply that Guice won’t be there in the second round. It’s possible, perhaps even likely, but you just don’t know. There was zero chance that Jonathan Allen would be there at No. 17 last year, right? 

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.

Timeline  

Days until:

—OTAs start (5/22) 31
—Training camp starts (7/26) 96
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 141

In case you missed it