Tuesday, February 8, 2011 9:20 AM
By Ryan O'Halloran and Rich Tandler
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Change is a constant with the Redskins. As the offseason gets underway, it seems inevitable there will be a lot of new faces at Redskin Park for the 2011 season. An NFL roster is a zero sum game; for every new face added, a familiar one has to go. There are many options for finding new players, and we will zero in on the draft and free agency over the next several months. This week, we predict who wont be back this season. Redskins beat writer Ryan OHalloran and blogger Rich Tandler take a crack at predicting what the roster will look like. Today, we look at the offense; later this week, well see what changes are to come on defense. Note: Although the labor situation makes the outlook rather cloudy, we are assuming here that there will be a free agent period, even if it is brief. Offensive line Whos here now: Casey Rabach, Erik Cook, Will Montgomery, Derrick Dockery, Artis Hicks, Kory Lichtensteiger, Jammal Brown, Trent Williams, Selvish Capers, Stephon Heyer Tandler: Dockery, Heyer and Brown are headed out. Dockery spent most of the season on the inactive list after losing his starting job to Lichtensteiger. He is not a good fit for a zone-blocking scheme, and although the team will try to trade him, it may not find many takers for his contract, which has an average salary of 4.7 million per year for the next three years. Heyer and Brown are unrestricted free agents. Its difficult to see the Redskins trying very hard to keep Heyer, who has proven to be a less than adequate reserve. The Redskins do want Brown to come back, but the feeling here is that he will get an offer to play left tackle, at left tackle money, and he will be gone. OHalloran: Dockery and Hicks are headed out. This is the main spot where players will return not because of their performance but more so because, well, you cant replace all 22 starting positions. Dockery is definitely gone, and he seemed resigned to it late in the year. He was the classic square peg in a round hole, exactly like Andre Carter trying to play linebacker. The Redskins hoped Hicks would be a stopgap at right guard, but he eventually lost his job to Montgomery. Ill go the other way on Heyer. Mike Shanahan was effusive in his praise of Heyer throughout the season, and although hes not a starter, he can plug a hole as a fill-in player. The same goes for Brown. If the Redskins go quarterback in the first two rounds, it probably means theyre not going offensive line. Browns play improved in the second half of the season, and he has to realize hes not getting big money from anybody so he might as well stay put. Receivers Whos here now: Anthony Armstrong, Terrence Austin, Brandon Banks, Malcolm Kelly, Santana Moss, Roydell Williams Tandler: Williams and Moss will be gone. Williams is an easy one; even for a third or fourth receiver, eight receptions in 16 games is unacceptable production. Moss is a tougher call. We will see how committed the organization is to a youth movement by how big a contract they are willing to give a speed receiver who will be 32 when the season starts. Kelly appears to have the right mindset now, and if he can stay healthy, he will get his shot in 2011. OHalloran: Ill go with Williams and Kelly. Moss is a free agent and is coming off a career-best 93 catches. He wouldnt be a No. 1 receiver on a majority of NFL teams, but the Redskins should make him a priority, because who else in-house could take over that role? I didnt have Kelly making the team last year, and he ended up on injured reserve before a preseason game was played. He goes to camp again, but hes in total show-it mode and the guess is hell come up short. Tight ends Whos here now: Chris Cooley, Fred Davis, Logan Paulsen Tandler: None of them is going anywhere unless another team comes around with a trade offer for Cooley or Davis that is too good to turn down. OHalloran: All three will go to camp, and only Paulsen will have to rewin his job. The Redskins should be cautious if theyre shopping Davis. The way the NFL is operating, offenses need two solid tight ends to be effective, and even though Davis had just 21 catches last year, hes a very good insurance policy. Quarterbacks Whos here now: Donovan McNabb, Rex Grossman, John Beck Tandler: McNabb and Beck will not be back. Tens of thousands of words have been written about McNabbs pending departure, so there is no need to elaborate. The feeling here is that Mike Shanahan will draft two quarterbacks in April, one in the first two rounds and another late. Rex will keep the spot until the earlier-drafted rookie is ready, and the late-rounder will replace Beck, who, at age 30, is a bit old for a developmental QB. OHalloran: McNabb is under contract but wont be back and when his release is official, so too will the trade be labeled a complete and utter disaster. Why didnt the Redskins do more head-scratching last spring when Andy Reid was willing to trade his only starting quarterback within the division? Just pathetic. Beck signed a contract extension last preseason and will come back as the No. 2 with Grossman as the temporary starter and a draft pick as the third-teamer. Running backs Whos here now: Mike Sellers, Darrel Young, Andre Brown, James Davis, Clinton Portis, Ryan Torain, Keiland Williams Tandler: Portis, Sellers, Brown and Davis will all be sent packing. Even if Portis takes a severe salary reduction, the Redskins will want a more reliable option than a 31-year-old, high-mileage back who has finished the past two seasons on injured reserve. Sellers is aging and fairly expensive, and the team will either promote Young or get a replacement late in the draft. Brown, Davis, Torain, Williams and a rookie will be fighting for three roster spots. Brown and Davis, who has talent but who doesnt seem to possess the work ethic that Shanahan demands, will be the odd men out. OHalloran: First, the easy ones Portis (Richs aforementioned reasons), Brown (no track record here) and Davis (didnt play a snap after blowing a blitz coverage late in the year) are out. The interesting decision is Sellers. His playing time escalated throughout the season, and he had only 24 combined catchescarries. The key is if the Shanahans believe Young is ready for the full-time fullback role. I think Sellers sticks for another season before Young takes over. Under no scenario do I see Portis here this year. You can reach Ryan by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can write Rich at RTandlerCSN@comcast.net.