Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, January 17, 38 days before the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.
Question of the day
We’re flipping into offseason mode with Need to Know. At least a few days a week 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 the Real Redskins Facebook page.
The Redskins have needs everywhere. I can’t think of a single area on the team where Scot McCloughan can look at the depth chart and say, “I’m set there, I don’t need to add a good player at that position.” Whether it’s at the top of the depth chart or as a reserve, the team needs help everywhere.
But some needs are more urgent than others. Here are a few areas where starters or key reserves will be needed in either 2016 or 2017.
Running back—It seems likely that Alfred Morris will move on and it’s not clear if Matt Jones can be the replacement. They want a dynamic back who is capable of contributing on all three downs.
Safety—Dashon Goldson and DeAngelo Hall are short-term solutions at best. Kyshoen Jarrett appears to be a keeper but they need at least two more.
Quarterback—They will lock up Kirk Cousins with either a long-term contract or with the franchise tag. But Robert Griffin III will be gone and Colt McCoy could decide to seek greener pastures elsewhere.
Defensive line—They could field three decent starters here in 2016 even if Jason Hatcher does retire. But the unit needs an injection of youth and finding one or two linemen in the draft will start the rebuild process.
There are some other areas with needs of varying degrees of urgency. They will need a new center sooner rather than later. Andre Roberts is likely to move on in free agency and the top two receivers will turn 30 this year. Niles Paul’s return will help the tight end depth chart but they still don’t have a blocking TE on the roster. Looking at some of the cornerbacks the Redskins had to use later in the year, they could use some help there.
And so on. Again, there isn’t a position on the team where they couldn’t use either a draft pick or a quality free agent at the right price.
I’m going to leave the question of free agent targets alone for right now. It’s early and there are a lot of moving parts including players who are under contract who will be cut and pending free agents who will be signed. Just keep in mind that McCloughan is not one to make a free agent splash so look for him to target younger players who won’t eat up a ton of cap space.
—The Redskins last played a game seven days ago. It will be about 238 days until they play another one.
—Days until: NFL Combine 38; NFL free agency starts 53; 2016 NFL draft 102
In case you missed it