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Need to Know: Redskins roster shuffles will continue as rookie camp, OTAs unfold

Need to Know: Redskins roster shuffles will continue as rookie camp, OTAs unfold

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, May 8, 16 days before the Redskins start OTAs on May 24.


It’s been 127 days since the Redskins played a game. Their season opener against the Eagles at FedEx Field is in 125 days.

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 4
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 16
—Training camp starts (7/27) 80

Roster shuffles will continue as rookie camp, OTAs unfold

The players have been on the field at Redskins Park for a few weeks now but they have been doing conditioning and drills and very little that looks like football. That is going to change this week.

Rookie camp, May 12-14—This is about the 10 draft picks, the eight undrafted free agent signees and as many as 50 tryout players. It’s easy to see that the tryout players are under tremendous pressure. For them, it’s a chance to get a chance. They will get a few precious reps over the three days to show that they deserve a contract, a chance to participate in OTAs later this month. But the undrafted players who are under contract also are under the microscope. If the staff sees a tryout player outperform an undrafted signee, the contract can be terminated and the player on tryout can take that roster spot.

Organized team activities (OTAs), starting May 24—OTAs will run on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday for three consecutive weeks. The practices will be open to the media for the Wednesday practices each week. During this phase of the offseason program the offense and defense can run plays against each other, although no contact is allowed. There may be some additional roster shuffling here if some of the undrafted rookies show that they can’t cut it when going up against the seasoned pros. Attendance for these sessions is voluntary; sometimes the best thing that can happen to a rookie hopeful is for a veteran at his position to take a week off, giving the rookie a chance to get snaps with the first or second unit.

RELATED: Which Redskins draft picks can make the 53-man roster?

Minicamp, June 13-15—This is a lot like OTAs but attendance is mandatory. It’s also a last chance to impress the coaches before the players scatter for six weeks prior to the start of training camp. Remember that even for players who are extreme long shots to make the 53-man roster there is a chance at one of the 10 practice squad spots. That doesn’t pay as well ($7,000 per week during the season compared to over $27,000 per week on a rookie minimum deal) but it is the proverbial foot in the door.

Training camp, starting July 27—This is when the competition gets real as the pads go on and the physical and mental grind that simulates and NFL season gets underway. Injuries become a factor and the scouts are scanning the waiver wire for replacements and upgrades.  

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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The Redskins intend to be ready for 'every scenario' when the 2020 NFL Draft begins

The Redskins intend to be ready for 'every scenario' when the 2020 NFL Draft begins

Kyle Smith began his media session at the Combine Tuesday by thanking Dan Snyder and Ron Rivera for giving him his new role of Vice President of Player Personnel, others in the front office for helping him in the past and even the hosts of the NFL's offseason staple for putting on such a well-run event.

It was an impressive way for the young executive to open up his presser and hinted at how detail-oriented he is. So, it should be no surprise that Smith intends to be beyond prepared for whatever the 2020 NFL Draft may throw at him and his franchise.

"Trade scenarios, we'll talk through all that stuff. That's part of those three, four, five days leading up to the draft. We'll go through every scenario," he told reporters in Indianapolis. "We will go through every scenario of how far back would we go if that scenario came or what if this team called and what do they have available? We'll go through all those scenarios so that draft night, when those opportunities come, we'll be ready to roll."

Every Redskins fan on the planet — as well as Redskins fans on other planets, if they exist (which is something this story won't examine further, sorry) — know that the key decision facing Washington these days is what to do with the No. 2 pick. And while Smith was open with his praise of Chase Young's potential, he made sure to mention that this year's class features plenty of other strong prospects.

As for the kinds of players Smith and Rivera will target, the two leaders are already unified in what they value, according to Smith.

"Sitting down from the very first conversation we had at Mr. Snyder's house, we talked through our process and what we've been doing with the draft and the type of players we've been looking for," he said. "And he talked about his process and... we kind of meshed it together. And we'll move forward together."

In explaining how the Redskins will assemble their draft board — by the way, hardcore fans will love his full breakdown on this episode of the Redskins Talk podcast — Smith explained that he's going to run those meetings. Eventually, Smith and the personnel folks will huddle with the coaches and pass over names of soon-to-be-pros the coaches need to review.

Then, by April, the two staffs will meet once more and finalize everything. Only then will the answer to Washington's major offseason question finally reveal itself, and Young or a couple of other of top selections will join the Redskins.

Regardless of that answer, Smith expects the organization to reach it in a shared fashion.

"It's a collaborative deal," he said. "We believe in our process. We're going to talk through everything... Once the coaches come in in April, we will sit in there and literally go through each thing, each scenario and set it together so everybody's on the same page and everybody's working together."


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Redskins VP of Player Personnel Kyle Smith on Dwayne Haskins: 'He needs his time'

Redskins VP of Player Personnel Kyle Smith on Dwayne Haskins: 'He needs his time'

Dwayne Haskins knows that the Redskins starting quarterback job will not be given to him; he must earn it. Ron Rivera has made that clear multiple times since taking over as the team's head coach.

Rivera has mentioned he's excited about Haskins' future, too, but the new head coach could also be looking for the second-year quarterback to use this offseason to go above and beyond and truly take command and ownership of the job. Doug Williams, the Redskins senior vice president of development, said as much earlier this week.

Redskins vice president of player personnel Kyle Smith believes thus far, Haskins has done exactly that.

"He's ready to do everything he possibly can," Smith said to local media on Tuesday in Indianapolis, speaking for the first time since being promoted to his current role in January. "The other day he told me he's bringing the guys down to Florida to throw with them and do the things he can do. He's doing all the extra stuff that we expect of him and he's got a bright future."

Working out with teammates at an off-site location during the offseason is not uncommon for NFL players. The league has placed multiple rules and regulations on NFL teams that restrict the amount of hands-on access coaches can have with players. It's up to the players to go about it themselves and coordinate times to work out together.

In addition to reaching out to his wideouts to schedule offseason work, Haskins has remained in the building since the season ended and continued to work on his craft. That's something Smith has noticed.

"He's smiling walking around the building," Smith said. "He's excited, he's energized."

The 22-year-old is still raw when it comes to experience; he only started one year at Ohio State and seven games a year ago as a rookie. Smith recognizes this and believes time will serve Haskins extremely well.

"He also needs his time. He's a young kid, man," Smith said. "He's got the right stuff. He's a good kid, he works hard. We're all excited about Dwayne."

Haskins had more than his fair share of growing pains as a rookie, but the Ohio State product really started to catch his stride towards the end of the season. Through the final six quarters of Haskins' season, he threw for 394 yards, four touchdowns, and zero interceptions.

Haskins' progression towards the end of the 2019 campaign has excited many in the building, Smith included.

"I'm really excited about Dwayne," Smith said. "Obviously, as everybody has seen, he kind of ascended as the season went on. He played in [seven] games, he kept improving. I just had a conversation with him the other day. I'm excited, man."

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