Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, January 14, 106 days before the Washington Redskins go on the clock for the first round of the NFL draft.
Question of the day
We’re changing up the format of Need to Know for the offseason. Every day I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.
Today’s question comes from Twitter:https://twitter.com/PhonsyFmrCeo/status/554954064979443712
This is something that is more the subject of a series of articles rather than a single post but since it’s going to be a week or more before we can get to them, there are some quick takes about the roster going into the 2014 season and what went wrong:
Orakpo’s franchise tag—It wasn’t a terrible gamble and preferable to one alternative, which was to give into his camp’s demands for a long-term contract. But it sure did blow up on them, with Orakpo having just a half a sack in seven games before his season-ending injury. He was handling the other aspects of playing linebacker well, in coverage and against the run, but an $11.45 million dollar salary comes with expectations to be a playmaker and he did not deliver there.
Scrimping at right tackle—They could have had Donald Penn, who did a good job for the Raiders at left tackle this year, at right tackle but they wouldn’t up their offer and pay him a little closer to what a left tackle makes. Had the matched the Raider’s two-year, $10 million offer, or come close, he would have been with the Redskins. Instead, they paid Tyler Polumbus $2.5 million to play his way onto the bench halfway through the season. A Penn-Trent Williams bookend set would have helped the offense considerably and Penn could have slid over to the left side when Williams was injured.
Safety on the cheap—The Redskins and safety Mike Mitchell were about half a million bucks apart in their negotiations on the first night of free agency. They couldn’t close the gap and Mitchell signed with the Steelers. I don’t have to go into a lot of detail about what weaknesses at the safety position cost this team.
Lack of upgrade on special teams—The signed Akeem Jordan, Darryl Sharpton, and Adam Hayward to help with special teams. Sharpton didn’t play at all and Jordan played just two games due to injuries. Hayward’s season ended early with a broken leg. Sharpton had an injury history so the Redskins perhaps should have known better than to rely on him.
Signing Jason Hatcher—Were the Redskins better of with him and his 5.5 sacks? Sure. But like Orakpo, the Redskins did not get enough bang to the buck. He will end up getting paid about $13 million for two seasons and will leave a dead cap hit of some $4.5 million if he is let go after the 2015 season.
Any more to add? Chime in below in the comments.
—It’s been 17 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 242 days until they play another one
—Days until: NFL free agency starts 55; 2015 NFL Draft 106
If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.
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