Here is what you need to know on this Friday, March 16, 42 days before the NFL draft.  

Do the Redskins let too many of their own good players walk?

The expected departures of Kirk Cousins and Bashaud Breeland became official earlier this week when news broke that Cousins will sign with the Vikings and that Breeland is headed to Carolina. With it brought on some complaining by Redskins fans on my Twitter timeline. Here is just one example:

And that was before the departures of Trent Murphy, and Spencer Long added fuel to the fire. We will have to see about Ryan Grant’s ultimate status after his contract agreement with the Ravens fell through due to a failed physical.

The notion that the Redskins have a pattern of letting their homegrown talent walk has been around for a long time and for a long time it was a very fair criticism. From 2001-2009 they had seven first-round draft picks and none of them signed second contracts with Washington. They did not fare much better with their later-round picks as the way of doing business was to bring in free agents and let the homegrown talent walk.

But they have done much better keeping their own starting in 2010. We’ll look at players taken in the 2010-2014 drafts since the players taken in 2014 are eligible for free agency this year.

In that time span, they drafted 42 players. They signed the following players to contract extensions.

  • Morgan Moses
  • Jordan Reed
  • Chris Thompson
  • Ryan Kerrigan
  • Niles Paul
  • Trent Williams
  • Perry Riley

They also have re-signed undrafted free agents Quinton Dunbar and Deshazor Everett.


Back to the draft picks, seven re-signed picks out of 42 does not sound all that impressive. But consider that many of those players picked are either out of the NFL or playing part-time roles in the league.

A total of 23 of those draft picks did not play in the NFL in 2017 (that number includes Riley, who was released two years into his contract extension and then played for the Raiders in 2016).

Seven Redskins draft picks played at least one game on a team other than the Redskins in 2017. Those players—CB David Amerson, G Josh LeRibeus, LB Keenan Robinson, RB Alfred Morris, OL Tom Compton, DE Jarvis Jenkins, and WR Aldrick Robinson—started a combined 21 games. It’s hard to argue that the Redskins should have made a major effort to keep any of them with the possible exception of Morris and Amerson.

It’s not as though there are lots of high-impact, homegrown players the Redskins let walk who currently are in starring roles around the league. Cousins and the 2014 picks who walked could end up making the Redskins regret letting them go. Overall, however, they have done a good job of picking the players they felt they had to keep and not making many mistakes in deciding who to let go.

Draft record

One other thing here—I was wondering about how the Redskins’ draft record of having 18 of 42 draft picks (43 percent) in that four-year span who appeared in at least one game in 2017. I didn’t have time to go through the whole league, but I did look around the division and counted 12 of 36 of the Giants’ picks (33 percent) who are still in the league. The count for the Cowboys was 19 of 37 Cowboys (51 percent) and 20 of the 48 Eagles’ picks (42 percent). You may conclude whatever you wish from those numbers.

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

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Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 31
—NFL Draft (4/26) 41
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 177

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