Here is what you need to know on this Friday, May 19, four days before the Washington Redskins start OTAs on May 23.
It’s been 138 days since the Redskins played a game. Their season opener against the Eagles at FedEx Field is in 114 days.
—Redskins OTAs start (5/23) 4
—Training camp starts (7/27) 69
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 83
21 Redskins are on one-year contracts
“There’s so many guys on this team who are on one-year deals,” quarterback Kirk Cousins told Larry Michael on Redskins Nation earlier this week.
Cousins was not exaggerating. Between players like Cousins, whose franchise tag contract is in essence a one-year contract, and players who are on multi-year deals that expire after this season, there are 21 players who are not under contract in 2018 and eligible to become unrestricted free agents.
Not all these players are vital to the success of the Redskins. Some of them will not even make the team this year. But the Redskins would like to bring back some of them. Let’s look at the list of UFAs and break them down by how important it will be to re-sign them.
High priority: Cousins, RB Chris Thompson, WR Terrelle Pryor, ILB Zach Brown, C Spencer Long
The importance of retaining Cousins is obvious. Thompson is valuable as the third-down back. If Long makes progress in his fourth NFL season he could be the best young center the team has had in years. If Pryor and Brown perform like they did with other teams last year they will be key members of the offense and defense, respectively.
Moderate priority: CB Bashaud Breeland, OLB Trent Murphy, ILB Will Compton, K Dustin Hopkins, ILB Mason Foster, OLB Junior Galette
The Redskins have prepared for Breeland’s possible departure by drafting third-round cornerbacks in each of the past two seasons. Galette and Murphy could be an either/or situation with the team making an effort to sign one or the other. Same with Compton and Foster, assuming that Brown is back. Hopkins should be back but only at the right price.
Low priority: WR Ryan Grant, S Josh Evans, S DeAngelo Hall, S Will Blackmon, G Shawn Lauvao, LB Chris Carter, TE Niles Paul, WR Brian Quick, TE Derek Carrier, NT Phil Taylor
There are a couple of categories here. There are some older players and the Redskins likely will want to go younger and cheaper—Hall, Blackmon, and Lauvao. Then there are players who are on the bubble for making this year’s team in Grant, Evans, Carrier, Paul, Quick, Carrier, and Taylor.
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