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Despite some strong signings, 3 things Redskins still need to address this offseason

Despite some strong signings, 3 things Redskins still need to address this offseason

It might seem impossible for an organization to be both highly functional yet at times in various stages of disarray, but the Redskins 2017 offseason has achieved that rare balance.

When the team dismissed Scot McCloughan in early March, expectations for the team plumetted.

A month later, the Redskins have addressed needs throughout the roster via free agency, with a few really strong signings mixed in.

Inking Zach Brown to a one-year deal on Monday likely adds a fifth new starter to the Washington defense, a unit that needed a significant overhaul from 2016.

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT

With Brown on board, combined with Terrelle Pryor at wideout and D.J. Swearinger at safety, the Redskins front office deserves credit for a smart and effective free agency period. That said, plenty remains to be done. Let's take a look:

1. Pay up — Signing Pryor should help offset the loss of DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon on the 'Skins offense, but the huge issue remains that Kirk Cousins is again set to play on a franchise tag. He did it in 2016, and broke his own single-season passing yards record. At some point, Washington must pay up to keep Cousins.

Bruce Allen told CSN at the annual league meetings that the team has options for 2018 with Cousins should a deal not get reached, but those options are outrageously expensive. Get a deal done with Cousins before the July 15th deadline, and this offseason will look like one of the best in recent memory, even with the ugly divorce from McCloughan.

2. Pick your nose — Coming into the 2017 offseason, defensive line needed the most work of any position group on the 'Skins. Even with the signings of Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee, defensive line remains the position group in need of the most work. The team is still yet to address the nose tackle position.

Asked about the position at the league meetings, Jay Gruden said, "Coach [Jim] Tomsula has assured me that he will find a nose guard, [and] he’ll make a nose guard. If you look at his track record, [and] you look at the nose guards [that] he’s had, none of them have been priority first-round draft choices. He’s made nose guards. He coaches that position extremely well, and I have faith that he’ll do that."

That's great in theory, but it's a lot for Washington to rely on. Perhaps the 'Skins can get a solid year from former first-round pick Phil Taylor, but that would be a big leap from his 2016 season, while Ziggy Hood returns for Washington after a solid if unspectacular 2016 season. It seems free agency is largely done after the Brown signing, but Washington still has 10 draft picks, and must continue to build on the defensive line to field both a better team in 2017 and beyond. 

3. Get deep — Unlike the D-line, the Redskins offensive line is arguably the best position group on the team. With two Pro Bowlers in Trent Williams and Brandon Scherff, not to mention Morgan Moses and Spencer Long, four of the 'Skins five O-line spots have strong players. Shawn Lauvao was not a strong player in 2016, and though he battled injuries, the 'Skins could upgrade at left guard. It's likely the team brings back Lauvao, and he has played well in spots with Washington. Still, among the 10 draft picks later this month, Bruce Allen would be wise to continue to fortify the offensive line. At the very least, the team absolutely needs a backup center.

RELATED: LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS

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Redskins Talk live from Miami for Super Bowl week: How to watch, live stream, listen

Redskins Talk live from Miami for Super Bowl week: How to watch, live stream, listen

Before the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers play for the right to hoist the Lombardi Trophy, the Redskins Talk crew will break down the Redskins and happenings around the NFL.

JP Finlay and Mitch Tischler will welcome special guests everyday from Tuesday to Friday, live from Radio Row in Miami.

The Redskins are in the midst of a busy time, ushering in a new era under the direction of newly minted head coach Ron Rivera. With the NFL Combine, free agency and the draft right around the corner, Redskins Talk has your fix with analysis, discussion and high-profile guests. 

Here's everything you need to know.

Redskins Talk: End of Season Special

When: Every day from Tuesday, January 28, through Friday, January 31, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Radio Row in Miami

Live Stream: Click here to watch the live stream on NBCSportsWashington.com or stream in the MyTeams App (click here to download)

TV Channel: NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

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Redskins' wide receiver Terry McLaurin planned NFL future in 2005 letter

Redskins' wide receiver Terry McLaurin planned NFL future in 2005 letter

Redskins wide receiver Terry McLaurin just finished his rookie season in the NFL and ranked among the best first-year pass catchers across the league in 2019. Among rookies, the Ohio State product ranked second in receptions with 59, second in receiving yards with 919 and tied for third in touchdowns with seven — all in 14 games.

That kind of production from a third-round pick may have surprised some. But for McLaurin, this was always the plan.

On Friday, McLaurin took to his Instagram story to post a letter he wrote in 2005 — when he was 10 years old — where he proclaimed his aspirations to be an NFL wide receiver.

“I really want to be a wide [receiver] and a starter,” McLaurin wrote in the letter titled ‘My Future.’ “I will play hard every game.”

McLaurin officially achieved his goal of becoming a professional wide receiver when the Redskins made him their third-round pick last April. He didn’t waste any time accomplishing the second part of his dream, cracking the starting lineup in the first game of the season against the Eagles.

In his letter, McLaurin also discussed the possibility of playing running back in the NFL. In his senior year of high school, the 2013 Indiana Mr. Football was an all-around weapon. He posted 14 total touchdowns, recorded 58 catches for 953 yards receiving and rushed for an additional 744 yards.

Ultimately, McLaurin settled into the receiver position in college when he joined the Buckeyes program. His best season came in his senior year, when he was paired with Dwayne Haskins, and caught 35 passes for 701 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Low productivity in college — just 75 career receptions — may have caused McLaurin’s fall to the third round. But now, he’s making up for it and was one of the steals of the draft.

If McLaurin’s standout numbers continue, he should have no problem accomplishing a couple other goals he laid out in the letter.

“Make lots of money and live in a big house,” a young McLaurin wrote.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.

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