Here is what you need to know on this Friday, June 9, four days before the Washington Redskins start their mandatory minicamp on June 13.
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 36
—Training camp starts (7/27) 48
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 62
—Season opener Eagles @ Redskins (9/10) 93
Redskins on the bubble—defensive edition
A couple of weeks ago I looked at the players who are locks to make the Redskins’ 53-man roster. There are 39 players (18 offense, 18 defense, 3 specialists) who are going through the offseason program working on refining their games and not on ensuring that they have jobs after the September 2 cut to 53.
There also are players who don’t have a realistic shot at making the roster. These players are fighting for one of the 10 practice squad jobs or, failing that, a shot at making another team’s roster or at least getting a call when a team needs an injury replacement.
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In between, there are the players on the bubble. They have a legitimate shot at making the 53 but they are not sure things. Some of these players must prove that they have recovered from injuries while others, like some of the late-round draft picks, need to show that they have what it takes to make it in the NFL.
Here are the defensive players on the bubble watch. We looked at the offensive players earlier this week.
D-Line: Matt Ioannidis, Phil Taylor, Joey Mbu, A.J. Francis, Ondre Pipkins
Pipkins may be more of a long shot than a bubble player but the lack of an identified solution at nose tackle gives the 325-pound undrafted rookie a shot. I have five locks listed so these players likely are fighting for one spot.
Linebacker: ILBs Martrell Spaight, Chris Carter, and Zach Vigil, OLBs Houston Bates and Lynden Trail
Spaight is close to a lock but he will have to fight off the other two inside LBs here to make it. Sixth-round pick Josh Harvey-Clemons will need a year of seasoning to build up some size and he is in the long shot category. Bates and Trail will compete for a possible fifth outside spot that may only be available during Trent Murphy’s four-game suspension.
Defensive backs: CBs Fabian Moreau, Joshua Holsey, and Dashaun Phillips, Safeties DeAngelo Hall, Will Blackmon, Montae Nicholson, Deshazor Everett, Josh Evans
Moreau likely would be a lock if there was confidence that he will be healthy enough to participate in training camp. Holsey could benefit if Moreau starts the season on PUP. Earlier this year the coaches were talking like Hall was a lock but he must be recovered from his torn ACL and fight off the other safeties to wrap up his spot.
The numbers: There are a total of 30 bubble players, 12 on offense and 18 on defense. I consider 39 players to be locks to make the roster so that means that the 30 players who are in realistic contention for jobs will be competing for 14 jobs.
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