State of the Redskins Roster: Who Stays, Who Goes?
The Washington Redskins hired a new GM this past week when they brought in Scot McCloughan to take complete control over all personnel decisions. It’s a big move for the Redskins and may very well be the best hire Daniel Snyder has made since buying the franchise.
McCloughan is coming into a situation in serious need of someone of his particular skills to help mold the roster heading into the future. The Redskins are currently the only NFL franchise without a contract that stretches past the 2017 season.
Several moves are awaiting McCloughan’s decisions. We decided to take a look for ourselves. Not every player on the roster will be listed; Some rookies, injured players, and others were left off.
The Building Blocks
After years of not doing things the correct way, the Redskins currently have a roster that has fatal flaws. That doesn’t mean they don’t have several players who, if built around correctly, could lead Washington into the future. Below is a list of players the Redskins should look to build around:
– LT Trent Williams – The captain of the entire team was voted to his third straight Pro Bowl this year after battling the season out and standing tall through dozens of injuries.
– LB Ryan Kerrigan – Ryan Kerrigan really stepped his play up in 2014 and is showing he’s not afraid to learn more and get even better than the 13.5 sacks and five forced fumbles he created this year.
– RB Alfred Morris – Alfred Morris joined Stephen Davis as the only other Redskins running back to start their careers off with three straight 1,000 yard seasons.
– WR DeSean Jackson – After just one year DeSean Jackson has already shown that he deserves a spot on this list…without question.
– WR Pierre Garcon – Even though his numbers dipped significantly in 2014, he is still very much the number one receiver for Washington.
– CB Bashaud Breeland – Breeland stepped in and up at a fast rate in 2014. He was easily the best corner the Redskins had this past year.
Somewhere in the Middle
These guys will not be going anywhere in 2015, but need to make that final “push” to get into the “building blocks” category.
– QB Robert Griffin III – Question marks may still exist with RGIII, but it’s pretty much a known thing that he will get at least one more year to show what he has. Griffin’s athletic ability is so high that giving up on him too early could prove rather costly for the Redskins, so they must be careful.
– CB David Amerson – After showing promise as a rookie in 2013, it appeared as if David Amerson took a step back in 2014. He will be back next year but needs to improve his feet & cover skills.
– LB Trent Murphy – Trent Murphy showed flashes after getting more playing time due to Brian Orakpo’s injury. He won’t be going anywhere anytime soon but has not yet achieved “building block” status.
– LB Keenan Robinson – After having issues with shoulder injuries early in his career, Robinson finally was able to stay healthy in 2014 and lead the Redskins in tackles. IF he can prove to stay healthy from here on out he could find himself at “building block” status real soon.
– TE Jordan Reed – If Jordan Reed could stay healthy there is no doubt he would be in the “building blocks” category.
– DE Jason Hatcher – Jason Hatcher’s age makes it hard to call him a “player to build around,” nevertheless his spot on the roster is all but guaranteed.
– P Tress Way – Rookie punter who lead the league in kicking and was on pace to break a record held by Sammy Baugh for most of the season. If punters were considered building blocks, he would have been on the list.
– DT Chris Baker – Chris Baker has continued to get better with time, but the team will likely draft another 3-4 nose tackle if they stick with the scheme.
– FB Darrel Young – So long as the team keeps a fullback on the roster, there will be a spot for Darrel Young.
On the “Cusp”
These guys below could stay but could go as well. This completely depends on what Jay Gruden and Scot McCloughan want to do with the roster and just how much of rebuild there will be in year one.
– RB Roy Helu Jr – Helu has made it pretty clear he is going to test the free agency market. If the team can keep him on an affordable contract he will return.
– QB Colt McCoy – Colt McCoy ended his 2014 campaign with a neck injury. McCoy may test the free agency waters to see what is out there for him but the fact is the best opportunity for him may very well be in Washington with Jay Gruden. If McCoy comes cheap the Redskins should look to bring him back.
– QB Kirk Cousins – After hearing Jay Gruden speak about Kirk Cousins it’s hard to know what the future holds for the former Michigan State standout.
– WR Andre Roberts – Andre Roberts got a pretty sizable contract last offseason when the Redskins thought he would be their number two receiver. After DeSean Jackson was signed, Roberts role was devalued to the point of being a slot guy/return man…two roles Andre did not excel in last year. It might surprise some, but Roberts is in danger of being traded or cut this year.
– DT Barry Cofield – Barry Cofield is set to make a ton of money in 2015 and didn’t play much in 2014 due to injury. It is still possible that the Redskins will shift Cofield out to defensive end and look to restructure his deal to a much affordable cap number.
– LB Perry Riley – Perry Riley regressed in 2014 and ultimately showed his talent level is somewhere near mediocre.
– CB DeAngelo Hall – DeAngelo Hall suffered a torn Achilles tendon in 2014 and his future remains a mystery. It’s possible he could return as a free safety, everything depends on how well his rehab goes.
– S Phillip Thomas – After having injury issues to start his career, Phillip Thomas showed signs that he’s progressing when given a chance to start in 2014.
– PK Kai Forbath – The Redskins brought in a kicker during the offseason in 2014 to push Kai Forbath. Kai responded positively for much of the season and will be the starting placekicker going into 2015.
– C Kory Lichtensteiger – All offensive lineman in this category get the same thoughts…the line needs to be replaced, until it can be done the team will continue to have issues.
– RG Chris Chester
– LG Shawn Lauvao
– LT Tom Compton – Tom Compton showed signs of growth in 2014, if the Redskins could pick a side for him to stay on his progression may go better.
Which Players Go?
The Redskins currently have 15 players who are eligible for free agency. Many of those players will not be back in 2015.
Below is a list of current players who we feel will not be back in 2015, some are under contract as of now, some are not.
– RT Tyler Polumbus – Should have been gone last year.
– LB Brian Orakpo – Too many injuries over the time-frame he’s been with the Redskins. Orakpo also is hard-headed and refuses to try to learn new moves that would make him a better pass rusher. It’s my thoughts that he’s in the wrong defensive scheme, as he should be a defensive end in a 4-3. In the end, he just isn’t worth the money he wants.
– S Ryan Clark – Retirement will likely end Clark’s career, but honestly, if it doesn’t the Redskins should move on anyway. Clark is a great guy, but after watching him in 2014, many believe his career is over.
– DE Stephen Bowen – Stephen Bowen had one of the biggest contracts for the Redskins in 2014 despite not playing much at all and even being a healthy scratch a couple of times. Washington could save nearly 5 million in cap dollars by letting Bowen walk.
– TE Logan Paulsen – He’s overpaid for what he brings to the field.
– CB Tracy Porter – Only saw the field a couple of times in 2014 due to injury.
– CB EJ Biggers – The thing with Biggers is that he does nothing that stands out, during the season he showed he needed to improve in coverage and tackling. The Redskins will likely replace Biggers with a rookie from the draft.
– WR Leonard Hankerson – Hankerson may get another shot heading into camp after losing almost an entire season in 2014 while recovering from injury.
– WR Santana Moss – Santana Moss may retire, but knowing Moss, he will still be trying to make the team come training camp time next season.
– S Brandon Meriweather – Meriweather is a free agent and has regressed the last few years.
– DE Jarvis Jenkins – It’s still a mystery what may happen with Jarvis Jenkins in 2015, it mainly depends on what type of money he wants.
– DT Chris Neild – Injuries have cost Chris Neild every season he has been with the Redskins.
– TE Niles Paul – Not fully sure if Niles Paul will be back in 2015 or not. He appears to enjoy being a Redskins player but may look to test free agency.