Here is what you need to know on this Monday, February 12, 30 days before NFL free agency starts.
—In case it wasn’t clear, my article yesterday wasn’t a prediction that the Redskins will win 10 games. I see that as the level they need to attain to make fans happy and keep FedEx Field from being a home away from home for fans of visiting teams. Whether they get there or not is another matter. We’ll have to see how things shake out as the offseason progresses.
—With about $31 million in salary cap space, how aggressively will the Redskins hit the free agent market? I think that the priority will be to give extensions to Jamison Crowder, Brandon Scherff and perhaps Preston Smith and to re-sign Zach Brown. Extensions of fourth-year players generally carry relatively low first-year cap hits, so even if they get all of that done, they still should have around $18 million left. They probably want to go into the season with about $8 million and they will need a couple of million to sign their draft picks. They can fit a couple of mid-tier players with the other $8 million. So, to answer the original question, not very aggressive.
—I just saw that the Bucs, who stopped playing the same day the Redskins did, fired their defensive line coach over the weekend. It’s a reminder that while the top level of the Washington staff remains intact, it’s not too late to make a change. The possibility that Jay Gruden may decide to make a change is slim but it’s not out of the question. The Colts’ hire of Frank Reich may have ripple effects that reach the Redskins’ staff. All that said, the Redskins should end up seeing what a year of stability will do.
—It will be interesting to see what the Redskins do with RB Kapri Bibbs. You know that Samaje Perine and Chris Thompson will be on the roster. It’s hard to see Gruden favorite Rob Kelley not getting a chance to redeem himself after an injury-plagued 2017 season. They will keep no more than four running backs on their 53-man roster, so if they sign a free agent or draft a running back, Bibbs could be the odd man out. Last year during the draft, Bibbs was traded from the Broncos to the 49ers with San Francisco also getting Denver’s fifth-round pick in that draft and sending their fourth rounder in this year’s draft to the Broncos. So he may have some trade value again, although it should be noted that last year he was on the street from September 1st until the Redskins signed him in late November.
—NFL Combine (3/1) 17
—NFL Draft (4/26) 73
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 208
Tandler on Twitter
The #Redskins don’t like to use restructures to create more cap space. The Steelers do it just about every year, often with multiple players. Not necessarily a road to cap hell with cap growing annually. https://t.co/fTNBbiqXLr— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) February 10, 2018
In case you missed it
- Tandler's Take—What should expectations be for the 2018 Redskins?
- Inside the Numbers: Comparing Alex Smith and Kirk Cousins
- No mixed messages from Alex Smith
- What the Redskins will do at RB and CB, more on the trade