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Notable Redskins with shakier roster spots thanks to the regime change and free agency additions

Notable Redskins with shakier roster spots thanks to the regime change and free agency additions

When a team goes 3-13 one year, there should be lots of roster turnover before the next season begins.

But when that team also hires a new head coach and then adds 10-plus guys through free agency and trades, it's easy to imagine more churn than normal. That, of course, means that some notable players from the season before will be let go.

On Monday, the Redskins released one such player in Montae Nicholson. He likely won't be the last familiar face to be shown the door.

With that in mind, here are more notable members of the Burgundy and Gold whose roster spots now feel shakier thanks to Ron Rivera's arrival and his ensuing, busy free agency period.

The in-house linebackers

Rivera and the Redskins have brought in Thomas Davis and Kevin Pierre-Louis at linebacker, with the former slotting in as a starter and the latter having a chance to compete for the same role. Cole Holcomb and Jon Bostic should still have very safe futures, but the options behind them face uncertainty now. 

Those options include Shaun Dion Hamilton, Reuben Foster and Josh Harvey-Clemons. Hamilton and Harvey-Clemons are draft pick holdovers from the previous regime, while Foster could be looking at a lengthy and difficult recovery from his 2019 knee injury.

Come training camp, whenever that may be, the battle at linebacker figures to be an intense one. By the end of it, at least one recognizable defender will be left out, if not more.

Geron Christian

Christian is a 2018 third-round pick who's taken longer to develop than the franchise would like to admit. That's likely a big reason why the Redskins opted to sign Cornelius Lucas, a veteran who has experience at both tackle spots as a pro.

If Christian had shown more promise in his first two seasons, then Lucas may not be in town. In fact, if Christian had shown a lot more promise, then there wouldn't be so much concern about replacing Trent Williams. 

Regardless, Christian's past can't be changed. It'll be on him to improve now, or else his disappointing career could soon hit its lowest point.

Jeremy Sprinkle

Much like the current linebackers and Christian, Sprinkle's no doubt feeling the heat after what Washington's done in free agency. So far, the organization has brought in both Logan Thomas and Richard Rodgers, and they still have the draft to address tight end further.

Sprinkle is fine as long as he's depth at the position, but his shaky hands and lack of speed limit his role beyond that. Plus, his cap hit is about to triple because he's entering the last year of his rookie deal.

Ultimately, it's unclear if he'll even reach that point with the Redskins.

A promising young running back?

The players mentioned above are on obviously unsteady ground, while the ones who are about to be mentioned don't appear to be in nearly as much danger. For now, at least.

When healthy, Derrius Guice and Bryce Love could really make a difference in the Redskins' offense. Guice has already displayed that on the NFL level, while Love's skill set and college production are indicators he could, too. Yet durability is still a question for both.

Some have wondered why Rivera and Co. have inked both JD McKissic and Peyton Barber to contracts, but in doing so, he's given himself and his team additional bodies in the backfield should Guice or Love run into trouble.

Those two should be roster locks if they're healthy when football picks up again, but they now have to look over their shoulders a bit because of McKissic and Barber's presence.

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Former Redskins coordinator Greg Manusky got a new job, and it’s much different than his old one

Former Redskins coordinator Greg Manusky got a new job, and it’s much different than his old one

For most NFL assistant coaches getting fired comes with the territory, but the key is being able to stay in the league and adapt. For former Redskins defensive coordinator Greg Manusky that plan didn't work out. 

At least this time.

Manusky played in the NFL from 1988 to 1999, including three seasons in Washington, and has coached in the NFL in various capacities since 2001. He's served as a linebackers coach and as defensive coordinator for four different teams; the 49ers, the Colts, the Chargers and most recently the Redskins. 

That makes his new job all the more bizarre. After more than 30 years in the NFL in some capacity, Manusky moved to the college ranks, but not as a defensive coordinator. 

Manusky took a job at the University of Kentucky as a defensive quality control assistant.

Typically, quality control coaches are young guys starting out in their coaching careers. All coaches grind, but the QCs usually have to do serious grunt work. And Kentucky isn't exactly a football powerhouse. The Wildcats are best known for their elite basketball team, but the football program has been to four straight bowl games and won the Belk Bowl last year. 

It's unknown if Manusky has a connection to the program or to Kentucky coach Mark Stoops, but Wildcats defensive coordinator Brad White did serve on Mansuky's staff when he was running the Colts defense from 2012 to 2015. That could certainly be the connection. 

Of the former Redskins coaching staff now all of the main players have landed new jobs. Jay Gruden is the offensive coordinator in Jacksonville, Kevin O'Connell is now the offensive coordinator for the Rams. Bill Callahan took over as the offensive line coach in Cleveland, and now Manusky is settled in at Kentucky. 

In 2019 the Redskins defense ranked in the bottom five NFL teams for points allowed and yards allowed and reports emerged of growing frustration with the team's defensive scheme. Washington overhauled their entire defensive staff this offseason, led by new head coach Ron Rivera and new defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio. 

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Free agent safety Damarious Randall is openly talking to Landon Collins about joining the Redskins

Free agent safety Damarious Randall is openly talking to Landon Collins about joining the Redskins

With Coronavirus forcing most Americans to stay home, it looks like NFL players might be just as stir crazy as the rest of the country. 

On Friday night, free agent safety Damarious Randall reached out to Redskins safety Landon Collins about possibly joining up this fall and playing together. Of course, this conversation took place via Twitter.

Randall started things out with this tweet to Collins, aka @TheHumble_21.

Collins responded, at which point some segments of Washington fans probably lost their mind. 

Check the Twitter feeds of both players for more similar, yet quite vague, interaction about playing together. 

It's important to point out that some reports suggested the Redskins had interest in Randall as a free agent. A first-round pick in 2015, Randall played three seasons for the Packers before being traded to the Browns the last two years. He's been versatile throughout his career, playing all over the field as a cornerback and then as a safety in Cleveland. Randall also has ballhawking skills with 14 career interceptions in 56 starts. 

Before people get too excited, however, the Redskins just signed safety Sean Davis from Pittsburgh. The plan with Davis is to pair him up with Collins, allow Davis to play deep center and let Collins stay closer to the line of scrimmage. 

That's the plan. Accept that. 

Could Randall still help in a secondary that lost both Josh Norman and Quinton Dunbar? Sure, but the price will need to be right. 

Washington's biggest free agent signing this year was cornerback Kendall Fuller, and he got four years at more than $40 million with $23.5 million in guarantees. Davis got $5 million. The team won't spend that much to bring Randall in, and he's probably looking for more. 

It's a situation to monitor as free agency continues because the Redskins' staff has openly talked about their desire for versatile players, and Randall can help all over the field. Keep in mind though that once Davis signed, the chances of Randall coming to Washington took a big hit. 

Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

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