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As final cuts loom, how many Redskins are roster locks?

As final cuts loom, how many Redskins are roster locks?

The Redskins have the league maximum 75 players on their roster and we are just three days away from the final cuts being made. The final determination on some of the roster spots will come down to tomorrow’s fourth preseason game against the Jaguars. But the vast majority of the roster spots are already locked up.

Here are the players who are locks to make the final roster

Offense (22)

QB (2): Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy

RB (4): Alfred Morris, Darrel Young, Matt Jones, Chris Thompson

WR (6): Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts, Ryan Grant, Jamison Crowder, Evan Spencer

TE (2): Jordan Reed, Derek Carrier

OL (8): Trent Williams, Kory Lichtensteiger, Shawn Lauvao, Morgan Moses, Spencer Long, Brandon Scherff, Arie Kouandjio, Tom Compton

Defense (20)

DL (5): Jason Hatcher, Stephen Paea, Chris Baker, Ricky Jean Francois, Terrance Knighton

LB (7): Ryan Kerrigan, Trent Murphy, Preston Smith, Keenan Robinson, Perry Riley, Will Compton, Martrell Spaight

DB (8): Chris Culliver, Bashaud Breeland, David Amerson, Dashon Goldson, Jeron Johnson, Kyshoen Jarrett, DeAngelo Hall, Duke Ihenacho

Bashaud Breeland is listed here even though he will not be on the initial 53-man roster as he will be serving a one-game drug suspension.

Specialists (3)

K Kai Forbath, P Tress Way, LS Nick Sundberg

That makes a total of 45 locks so eight jobs are up for grabs. A ninth player will make it but for only a week due to Breeland’s return from suspension in Week 2.

Who is in contention for those eight spots? I count 23 players who right now appear to have a legitimate chance of challenging for those jobs:

Offense (9): OL’s Josh LeRibeus, Austin Reiter, Takoby Cofield, Ty Nsekhe; TE’s Je’Ron Hamm, D.J. Williams; QB Robert Griffin III; RB Trey Williams; WR Rashad Ross

Defense (9): DL’s Kedric Golston, Frank Kearse; LBs Jackson Jeffcoat, Houston Bates, Terrance Plummer; DB’s Trenton Robinson, Akeem Davis, Deshazor Everett, Justin Rogers

I don’t think I need to explain the inclusion of Griffin on the bubble list. His future is very much up in the air for reasons familiar to all.

NFL teams usually keep 25 each on offense and defense and the three specialists. So it is likely that three of the offensive bubble players will land jobs and five on the defensive side.

So with 45 locks and 18 on the bubble that leaves 12 players whose chances of making the roster are very slim. That doesn’t mean there is no hope for them. An unanticipated great performance could open the door for one of them as could an injury to another player. And there is always hope that a solid performance on tape will catch the eye of another NFL team in need of a player.

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Redskins Playbook: Niles Paul forcing a fourth tight end roster spot?

Redskins Playbook: Niles Paul forcing a fourth tight end roster spot?

Redskins coaches appreciate Niles Paul. Not just for the immense physical skills, a 6-foot-1, 225 lb. college receiver turned NFL tight end and fullback. He works hard every day at practice, and demands the same from his teammates. 

Last season, Paul landed on the injured reserve after an injury in London during a Week 8 tie against the Bengals. Because of that, some speculation emerged that Paul could be the odd man out in the Redskins tight end group, behind Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis and fighting with 2017 draft pick Jeremy Sprinkle, not to mention veteran Derek Carrier. 

RELATED: COULD REDSKINS MAKE RUN AT NICK MANGOLD?

After two preseason games, it's clear Paul is ready to fight for that spot. Against Green Bay on Saturday night, Paul logged a touchdown catch and a fumble recovery on special teams, showing the versatility that makes him so valuable to Washington. 

For Paul, he's just happy to be back on the field. 

"I got my season cut in half last year. I just want to be back on the field by any means necessary. I've just been missing it. I've been missing football in my life," Paul said after the game (full video above).

Paul's acrobatic TD grab showed that he still has the explosiveness to help the offense, but his special teams play is what will keep him on the roster. It also helps that head coach Jay Gruden complimented Paul for an outstanding camp and work ethic. 

"His speed looks where it was before the injuries. I mean, I think he's had an outstanding training camp so far. He's done so many different things. And that's one of the toughest positions," Gruden said of Paul. 

The Redskins offense hasn't hit full cylinder yet, but Paul thinks the return of Jordan Reed will help. 

"We're missing a major piece and that's Jordan Reed," he said. "We got some fine tuning to do."

Considering Reed's injury history, and backup tight end Vernon Davis starting the season at 33, a healthy Paul is a luxury for the Redskins. He stands to make nearly $2.5 million this season, but he also brings versatility. Paul is happy to play fullback, a role that seems to be growing, as well as all over the field on special teams. 

Washington will absolutely keep Reed and Davis. With his play this preseason, Paul seems a sure thing too. And if the squad wants to keep their draft pick in Sprinkle, who has tremendous size and has shown promise, four tight ends on the 53-man roster looks like the future. 

<<CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS TRAINING CAMP>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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With Spencer Long on the shelf, could Redskins make a run at Nick Mangold?

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USA Today Sports

With Spencer Long on the shelf, could Redskins make a run at Nick Mangold?

News broke late Monday night that Redskins' center Spencer Long underwent a minor knee scope and is expected to miss two weeks. That timetable spells good news for Washington, as that would bring Long back to the team before the first regular season game against the Eagles on September 10th. 

In the meantime, expect rookie Chase Roullier to take over at center for the Redskins. A 6th round draft pick, Bruce Allen and the Washington brass moved up to select Roullier, and the young player out of Wyoming had a strong training camp. 

RELATED: NILES PAUL FORCING HIS WAY TO A ROSTER SPOT?

"He’s done a great job, he really has. For a rookie to come in here and handle all the things he has to handle, it’s been very impressive," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said of Roullier in early August. 

Still, Jay Gruden has been very clear about the need for a backup center on the roster. Last season the team brought in veteran John Sullivan during the year to provide depth at the position after Kory Lichtensteiger went down with injury.  Sullivan ended up starting one game for Washington, and is now playing with the Rams. 

With Long on the mend, the only other center on the Redskins roster is Roullier. Ronald Patrick is listed with the more generic OL designation though he has played center too.

It seems likely the team will move quickly to add another center, and one name that will get suggested is Nick Mangold. An 11-year veteran that played his entire career with the Jets, Mangold has more experience than Long, Roullier and Patrick combined.

He's also played the position at a very high level. Twice named to the NFL's All Pro team, Mangold has made seven Pro Bowls, most recently in 2015.

It's not entirely clear why Mangold isn't on an NFL roster already. He worked out for the Ravens this offseason, though some reports suggested Mangold wanted more guaranteed money than was discussed. 

A quick look at his Twitter feed does not suggest a guy missing the NFL life. A big soccer fan, Mangold seems very dialed in to London's Tottenham Hotspur and the New York City Football Club. (Check his Twitter out here)

If the team truly believes Long should not miss any regular season action, Mangold is probably not a fit. At 33-years-old with an impressive resume, Mangold likely doesn't want to come back just to be a backup, and Gruden has repeatedly talked about Long's ability and potential in the middle of the line. Should Long suffer a setback, the equation could change. 

Other names are likely to pop up for tryouts, as the 'Skins must consider more interior line depth. Making a run at Mangold might be something fans want to do, though it might not make sense at this point.

<<CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS TRAINING CAMP>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!