Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, February 21, 16 days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.
—NFL Franchise tag deadline (3/1) 8
—NFL Combine (3/2) 9
—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 55
—NFL Draft (4/27) 65
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 201
Under the radar offseason issues for the Redskins
We know the top line personnel issues for the Redskins this offseason—Kirk Cousins, Jackson and Garçon, D-line, etc. Here are some other issues flying below the radar:
Who’s the backup center? Kory Lichtensteiger retired and John Sullivan is a free agent. That leaves Spencer Long as the only true center under contract. Do they try to bring back Sullivan? Look for one in the draft? The free agent pool is very thin but perhaps a solid backup could get cut.
Guard depth Lichtensteiger also provided some insurance at guard so his absence hits creates a double hit on the depth chart. Right now, the only backup to Shawn Lauvao and Brandon Scherff is Arie Kouandjio. Scherff is durable but Lauvao hasn’t played a 16-game season since 2012. Unless they have more faith in Kouandjio than I suspect they do they will need depth. Perhaps they could spend a mid-round pick for depth this year and then let him compete with Kouandjio for the LG starting job assuming Lauvao moves on after his contract is up
Need depth at cornerback The Redskins’ top two cornerbacks, Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland, aren’t bad. And maybe Kendall Fuller and Quinton Dunbar are good as the No. 3 and No. 4 CB’s although they perhaps should have some stiff competition. But it’s a long season and injuries happen. They have former Seahawk Tharold Simon and Dashaun Phillips on the roster and they may re-sign Greg Toler. They probably need one or two more veterans or draft picks to compete for the last one or two spots.
More Redskins: NFL Mock Draft 3.0
QB of the future? The most likely scenario in the Cousins saga is that he gets tagged on March 1 and if he does sign a long-term deal it will not be until closer to July 15. That would leave the Redskins in a bit of a tight spot, going through free agency and the draft not knowing if their starter at the most important position on the field will be back in 2018. What about Nate Sudfeld? Would he be ready to at least back up, presumably, Colt McCoy or another veteran? If not, do they need to look for one in the middle of draft, or perhaps earlier? If they are concerned about Cousins’ status and Sudfeld’s ability to develop into a starter this needs to be on the front burner.
Tandler on Twitter
I wonder how many fans are thinking like this and how much of a consideration it will be for the organization. July 15 too late? https://t.co/ioV0WAt36F— Rich Tandler (@TandlerNBCS) February 20, 2017
In case you missed it
- Will McCloughan go defense in 1st round?
- Pierre Garçon has simple question: 'Y'all hiring?'
- Expect Kirk Cousins to sign long-term with Redskins, per analyst
- Noman's deal precludes big moves for the Redskins at cornerback
- Redskins OT Nsekhe unlikely to go anywhere