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In-depth chart: Offensive line

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In-depth chart: Offensive line

The Redskins 90-man offseason roster is set, at least for the time being. Its time to take a look at who they have, who will start, and who will be around when the Sept. 9 opener in New Orleans rolls around.We started the series earlier this week with a look at the offensive backs, today its the offensive lin.TacklesStarters: Trent Williams (left), Jammal Brown (right)
Reserves: Willie Smith, Tyler Polumbus
Fighting for a job: James Lee, Tom Compton, Nick MartinezWilliams and Brown could be as strong as any starting tackle tandem in the division or they could be missing in action. Brown has had hip problems bothering him for both of his season with the Redskins. Mike Shanahan has said that he appears to be in great shape now but that could change in October or November. Williams needs to steer clear of a positive drug test to avoid a one-year suspension. Even if he does, hes missed five starts in the past two years due to injuries so he will need a reliable fill in.Smith was pretty good filling in for Williams when he was suspended last year but he is not the franchise left tackle the team will need in the long term. He could be Browns eventual replacement on the right side.Polumbus is a utility reserve, he could play any line position but center in a pinch. His presence could allow them to keep the veteran Lee or the rookie draft pick Compton on the roster as he could count as both a guard and a tackle.GuardsStarters: Kory Lichtensteiger (left), Chris Chester (right)
Reserves: Maurice Hurt, Josh LeRibeus
Fighting for a job: Adam Gettis, Nevin McCaskillLichtensteiger might not participate in OTAs but a nine-month recovery period from his torn ACL and MCL should have him ready in time for the start of training camp. That will give Hurt andor LeRibeus a chance to get some work in with the first unit.Chester started to play better as the year went on as he adjusted to the zone scheme and he is a keeper, at least for the next couple of years.Hurt didnt embarrass himself when he was plunged into the starting role in Week 9. It was an admirable performance by a player who went from rookie practice squad tackle to starting guard in a three-week span but that doesnt mean that it was up to snuff. Hell have to improve if he wants to stay around in the long term.LeRibeus could end up being the backup center if the Redskins decide that the 6-6 Erik Cook is too tall to get the proper leverage to play in the middle. Gettis could make the 53-man roster or he could end on on the practice squad depending how fast LeRibeus can learn two NFL positions.CenterStarter: Will Montgomery
Reserve: Open
Fighting for a job: Erik Cook, Grant GarnerMontgomery did not miss a snap last year, although he did play almost three games at left guard after Lichtensteiger went out. That was how long it took to see the Cook was struggling at center. Cook would have to show some vast improvement during training camp if they are going to give him another show as a backup.Garner is a pretty good undrafted free agent pickup and he has a chance to stick on the practice squad, especially if LeRibeus and Gettis both make the 53-man roster.Days until: OTAs start 3; Minicamp 25; Preseason opener 83; Redskins @ Saints 114Rich Tandler blogs about the Redskins at www.RealRedskins.com. You can reach him by email at RTandlerCSN@comcast.net and follow him on Twitter @Rich_Tandler.

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Need to Know: Redskins OT Ty Nsekhe unlikely to go anywhere

Need to Know: Redskins OT Ty Nsekhe unlikely to go anywhere

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, February 20, 17 days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.  

Timeline

Days until:

—NFL Franchise tag deadline (3/1) 9
—NFL Combine (3/2) 10
—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 56
—NFL Draft (4/27) 66
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 202

More free agency quick hitters

Ty Nsekhe not going anywhere There seems to be some confusion as to Ty Nsekhe’s free agent status. Some websites have him as a restricted free agent. But from what I can tell he will be an exclusive rights free agent. You need to have three accrued seasons to be a RFA. Nsekhe has two seasons from the last two years here but he came to the Redskins without any. He did appear in two games for the Rams in 2012 but he wasn’t on the roster long enough to accrue a season. This means that the Redskins will bring him back, probably on a one-year, minimum salary contract.

More Redskins: NFL Mock Draft 3.0

Thompson, Compton restricted The Redskins third-down back and Mike linebacker are restricted free agents as they each have three accrued seasons in Washington. The Redskins can tender them one-year contracts and then they can go out and solicit offer sheets that Washington would have an opportunity to match. RFA’s rarely end up changing teams so they both likely will be back.

Duke Ihenacho back? He played in 15 games at safety last year, starting 10. His play was competent in may respects but had the most missed tackles in the team, 15, despite being 10th on the team in snaps played. The coaches were reluctant to use him sometimes because he tended to freelance. Ihenacho will be an unrestricted free agent and I haven’t heard much talk about his status. That’s kind of unusual for a guy who started 10 games. If I had to guess I’d say he’s not going to return but that’s just a hunch.

Cousins to tag and sign? Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports said that he believes that Kirk Cousins will get the franchise tag by March 1 and then “I suspect Cousins has a long-term deal with Washington agreed to.” I’m not sure what will happen between March 1 and July 15 that would get the Redskins to make a better offer or that would get the Cousins camp to lower their demands. But July 15 deals do happen so we’ll see. I’ll stick with my belief that if a long-term deal is not done by March 1 it won’t get done at all.

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Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Offseason questions: Can the Redskins trust Dustin Hopkins at kicker?

Offseason questions: Can the Redskins trust Dustin Hopkins at kicker?

The good news for the 2016 Redskins was that they didn’t collapse after winning the division the previous season as has been their pattern in the past. The bad news was that they didn’t take the next step and improve from a franchise that can compete to make the playoffs into one that is playing multiple postseason games year in and year out.

That work begins right now for Jay Gruden, Scot McCloughan and the players. In the coming weeks, Redskins reporters Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will examine the biggest questions facing the Redskins as another offseason gets rolling.

RELATED: #RedskinsTalk podcast: It's tag day

Can the Redskins trust Dustin Hopkins at kicker?

Finlay: Nick Novak. Graham Gano. Shaun Suisham. That's just a recent list of kickers the Redskins gave up on too early. 

Dustin Hopkins missed a couple of important kicks in 2016, especially after a very strong start to the year, but with a powerful leg and a sharp mindset he should absolutely be the 'Skins kicker in 2017. In two seasons with Washington, Hopkins has made 84 percent of his field goals and 95 percent of his extra points. Don't forget he routinely puts kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks too.

Yes, Hopkins missed a game winner against the Bengals and other important kicks later in the year. That happened. Missed kicks are a part of life in the NFL. Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski missed an extra point in the Super Bowl. 

At 6-foot-2 and just 26 years old, Hopkins is young and athletic. Of 70 career field goal attempts, Hopkins has missed 11 times. Of the misses, six of them came from 50+ yards. In 31 games, Jay Gruden has proven he trusts Hopkins to attempt long kicks. The 'Skins would be well served to stick with the young kicker.

Tandler: 

Finding a quarterback may be the most difficult, least scientific task that NFL organizations must undertake. Deciding when to let go of a struggling kicker is second.

There are plenty of strong legs out there spending hours every day kicking on high school fields in hopes of getting an NFL tryout. But being successful as a kicker is as much about what is above the shoulders as it is what’s below the waist. It appears Hopkins had a mental slump last year but he came back to finish strong.

Hopkins started the year making 14 of his first 15 field goal attempts, with the miss coming in the wind in Baltimore. But then in the dome in Detroit he just missed a 45-yard try and that set off a slump where he missed five of 15 field goal tries. He pulled it back together and missed just two of his final nine kicks, one of them a “why not” 57-yard try at the end of the first half against the Giants.

So, it was more of a slump than a bad year for Hopkins. He continued to pound the ball into the end zone, finishing tied for fourth in touchback percentage. I would understand if they brought in some competition for him during training camp but it will be a major upset if he is not the Week 1 kicker.

More offseason questions: 

What are reasonable expectations for Josh Doctson?

— Will there be a surprise salary cap cut?

— Should the Redskins defense switch to the 4-3?

— Is Spencer Long the answer at center?

— How many D-linemen do the Redskins need?

— Should the Redskins draft another QB? 

— With Sean McVay gone, will the Redskins run the ball more?

— Can Cravens handle the transition to safety? 

— Will the Redskins re-sign Pierre Garçon? 

Will Rob Kelley be the lead running back in 2017?

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!