The Redskins may have missed out ona free agent. In this case, don't expect any bitter feelings.Brian Banks has accepted an offer to workout in the Seattle Seahawks minicamp this week, according to the Associated Press. Already in Kansas City for a workout with the Chiefs, the 26-year-old linebacker will report to Seattle on Wednesday.Banks, a former USC linebacker recruit who had his football career cut short in 2002 when he plead no contest to a schoolmate's false accusation of rape at the age of 17. Banks spent his next five years in a jail cell and is now seeking an opportunity in the NFL. Last month Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said he called, spoke with Banks and anticipated a visit. To date that hasnot happened and depending on what transpires in Seattle, that may not. Football-wise, Banks is a long shot to make an NFL roster. In this case, that was hardly the point."I think when somebody goes through the situation that he went through, he deserves an opportunity to try out for somebody," Shanahan said last month. "This kid deserves a chance."
Over the next few weeks, Rich Tandler will take a position-by-position look at the Redskins’ 2017 depth chart as the team enjoys some R&R ahead of training camp. Some positions are easy to handicap. Others have moving parts and, thus, are more complex. So, who’s in? And who’s in trouble?
Position: Outside linebacker
On the roster: Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, Trent Murphy, Junior Galette, Ryan Anderson, Houston Bates, Lynden Trail
Locks: Kerrigan, Smith, Murphy, Galette, Anderson
Murphy is here with an asterisk. He will not be on the 53-man roster to start the season as he will have to serve a four-game suspension before he plays. The 2014 second-round pick broke out with nine sacks and the suspension is an unfortunate setback in his contract year.
Kerrigan is the most consistent player on the defense. You can pencil him in for 16 starts and 11 sacks right now.
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What can you pencil in for Smith? If you know, tell Greg Manusky and company, I’m sure they would like to find out. If he breaks out, it could be for 15 sacks or more plus several forced fumbles and a couple of interceptions. If he remains inconsistent he could end up being a part-time player.
They may not know what they are going to get out of Smith but the real mystery man is Galette. Can he stay healthy and get on the field after zero snaps in two seasons under contract with Washington? And if he’s healthy, can he perform to the level that he did in his final two years with the Saints when he posted 12 and 10 sacks?
Anderson will learn on the job. It’s best to keep expectations low; let’s hold off on the “bust” label if he ends the season with, say, four sacks. He was drafted with 2018 in mind as Murphy and Galette both will be unrestricted free agents.
On the bubble: Bates, Trail
If not for Murphy’s suspension, these two would be more in the long shots category. But a door is open for one of them to possibly make the roster as a placeholder for Murphy. And once you’re on the roster you have a strong chance of staying.
MORE REDSKINS: Redskins 53-man roster projection, defense
Bates was the fourth outside linebacker last year. He played only 24 snaps on defense plus a few on offense lined up as a short-yardage fullback. A torn ACL ended his season in Week 14 but he appears to be on track to be ready for training camp.
Trail is very large (6-7, 270) and still very raw after spending time on the practice squad in 2015 and 2016. His ticket to the roster might be special teams; opponents will be very reluctant to block the massive Trail running downfield on kick coverage.
Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, June 29, 28 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond on July 27.
The Redskins last played a game 179 days ago; they will open the 2017 season against the Eagles at FedEx Field in 73 days.
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/17) 18
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 42
—Roster cut to 53 (9/2) 65
Examining the roles of oldest players on the Redskins
The Redskins have six players on their roster who will be 30 or older when the season starts on September 10. What roles will these players have on the team? Let’s take a look:
S DeAngelo Hall, 33 as of Week 1—He will turn 34 in November, making him the senior member of the team—if he is still around. It’s likely that the 14-year veteran will be around to be a reserve safety and steady, experienced presence in the secondary. But the Redskins have plenty of younger (and cheaper) talent at safety so it’s not a slam dunk that he will be there to celebrate that 34th birthday.
TE Vernon Davis, 33—Given the injury prone nature of starting tight end Jordan Reed, Davis will have a key role as the backup. Even when Reed is in the lineup, Davis will play a significant number of snaps as a second tight end. The Redskins are banking on him being one of those rare athletes who can be effective into his mid-thirties.
S Will Blackmon, 32—Like Hall, Blackmon converted from cornerback to safety last year. But unlike his teammate, Blackmon stayed healthy all year. It was a difficult transition at times but overall his play was solid. His roster insurance may come from his ability to fill in at nickel corner if injuries strike.
OT Ty Nsekhe, 31—He also will celebrate a birthday during the season as he turns 32 on October 27. His age is of zero concern, considering that he is a reserve and he didn’t play an NFL snap before joining the Redskins in 2015.
QB Colt McCoy, 31—As of now, there isn’t much concern over McCoy’s age either, considering that if all goes according to plan he won’t play a snap this season. However, he could be a very important 32-year-old in 2018 if Kirk Cousins goes elsewhere as a free agent next March.
DL Ziggy Hood, 30—After starting 14 games last year, Hood should have more of a rotational role, coming off of the bench to keep the line fresh. That’s a role that is better suited to where he is in his career.
Turning 30 before the end of the season: G Shawn Lauvao, CB Josh Norman, LS Nick Sundberg.
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