The Redskins currently sit (maybe lie quietly is a better choice of words, actually?) at 0-5 to start the 2019 season. Barring multiple miracles that are especially miraculous, their next 11 games won't include a playoff chase.
That doesn't mean those contests and the time they span are totally meaningless. While the team as a whole isn't going to be climbing the standings, they'd like to start playing some respectable football. As for the individuals on and around the team, some of them have a lot riding on the next few months.
These five guys, in particular, could see their long-term futures change dramatically based on what happens between now and the season finale.
The thought was, once the Redskins moved on from Jay Gruden, they would also move on to Haskins. Yet for some reason, Bill Callahan isn't inserting the rookie yet, but his time should be coming and hopefully very soon.
When he assumes the role of starter, Haskins will likely have issues, considering he was the guy for just 13 games at Ohio State. However, it's more about how Haskins progresses and where he ends up as opposed to how he begins.
If the 22-year-old can turn those momentary flashes he displayed in the preseason into more consistent and steady stretches of stardom as well as manage the mental side better, then the Redskins will feel comfortable building around him beginning in 2020. If not, Washington might have to considering using their early first-rounder on another signal-caller.
Like Haskins, O'Connell has the opportunity to show the front office that he's someone they should invest heavily in beyond these next 11 matchups.
Under Gruden, O'Connell helped with the offense. Under Callahan, O'Connell is running the offense. And if he handles that promotion, he could be running the Redskins next year.
There are a lot of exciting candidates in the NFL and in college that the Burgundy and Gold should be interested in pursuing as their next full-time head coach. O'Connell is in that mix, too, because the Redskins won't want to let go of another bright, up-and-coming coach. Let's see how he does as the primary play caller and if he can develop a rapport with Haskins.
It's widely believed that Allen will remain in a powerful position with the Redskins until their stadium deal is done, and perhaps that's true. But say the Redskins finish 2-14 or 1-15 and have more experiences at FedEx Field that resemble the Patriots loss, where droves of opposing fans fill the place. Would Dan Snyder still stick with Allen?
It's hard to guess what Snyder is thinking because he just doesn't hold public speaking appearances. There could be a point, though, where Snyder gets fed up with Allen's poor record and either dismisses him entirely or keeps him on to secure the new stadium but do nothing else.
Maybe Allen really is invincible and will stay around as long as he wants. But if things get uglier as the schedule plays out, it'll be intriguing to see if Snyder reaches a breaking point.
Will Williams return to Ashburn at some point, or is he truly going to stay away? Will Allen, who said on Monday he's not looking to trade Trent, maintain that stance or make a move? Those questions have a good shot at being answered shortly.
For the other four people on this list, what happens on the field through the rest of October, November and December is what matters to them. For Williams, meanwhile, it's all about what happens away from it — if anything happens at all.
This holdout has reached a point not many expected it to. Either the end is in sight, or neither side will budge and they'll possibly do it all again in 2020.
Arguably the No. 1 reason to watch the Redskins these days is No. 17. The rookie receiver has dazzled in the four games he's played in and has a chance to finish with some gaudy stats.
With Jordan Reed's NFL future in doubt, Derrius Guice's health concerns, Adrian Peterson's disappointing numbers and Paul Richardson's inability to become a deep threat in D.C., McLaurin seems to be the only legit playmaker this offense can count on down the line.
As long as he keeps up his sharp route-running and dependable hands and avoids further injuries, then Washington can go into 2020 knowing they have at least one pass-catching stud. McLaurin continuing on the path that he's on the rest of this season will allow the organization to spend top money and premium draft capital elsewhere.
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