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Fan questions: Redskins' depth, Seastrunk, O-line and more

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Fan questions: Redskins' depth, Seastrunk, O-line and more

I got a lot of great questions this week so we're going to do this in two parts; look for more tomorrow. Let's dive right in.
@Rich_TandlerCSN #RedskinsTalk Which of this year's Redskins rookies will make a significant impact this season?

— Gene Wu (@TheWuWu) May 14, 2014
I don't see any of them having a "significant" impact if you're talking about having seasons like RG3 and Alfred Morris in 2012. But if you're looking for a Redskins rookie of the year, I'll make Lache Seastrunk my favorite. When we asked Jay Gruden which of his pick he was most anxious to see on the field he named Seastrunk. I think that the former Baylor back will get some opportunities in relief of Morris and will make some SportsCenter top 10 type runs.
@Rich_TandlerCSN which position on offense and defense do we have the best depth in? #RedskinsTalk — ThePorchReport (@ThePorchReport) May 14, 2014
I just talked about that exact topic yesterday on Redskins Nation so let's go all multimedia here with a video answer to this question:

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@Rich_TandlerCSN #RedskinsTalk project starting OLine week 1?

— Gary (@gimmedemcookies) May 14, 2014
Obviously Trent Williams will be the left tackle and I think Shawn Lauvao is pretty well locked in at left guard. Do the other three who are on top of the depth chart right now keep their jobs, at least for the start of the season? Mike McGlynn and possibly Adam Gettis will push Kory Lichtensteiger at center, Spencer Long will challenge Chris Chester, and Morgan Moses will give Tyler Polumbus a run for his money. My projection is subject to change after seeing some of these guys on the field but right now my projection is that the starters on Sept. 7 from left to right will be Williams, Lauvao, Lichtensteiger, Chester, and Moses.
@Rich_TandlerCSN Surprised no ILB "project" was taken in the draft? More they like who they have or not like who was available?#RedskinsTalk

— Derek Childress (@Poker_Donkey) May 14, 2014
Not really. From what I hear they like Keenan Robinson and he is their "project" guy. They would like to have him ready to start by Week 1 or at least at some point during the season. Until then, Akeem Jordan will probably hold the spot down with some others rotating in on nickel packages. If they liked somebody they might have taken him but they didn't think there was a particular need there because of Robinson.
@Rich_TandlerCSN seems like there is a crowded backfield now that seastrunk is here. Who gets cut in your opinion? #RedskinsTalk

— S.N. (@SankyNagz) May 14, 2014
It was already crowded with Chris Thompson coming back from injured reserve and now Seastrunk leaves them with five tailbacks on the roster. Obviously Alfred Morris isn't going anywhere. As far as the rest, pick two between Thomas, Seastrunk, Roy Helu, and Evan Royster. Seastrunk is probably safe but he has a lot of development to do before taking over a significant role. Helu, I believe, stays around for that reason. That would leave Thompson and Helu on the outside looking in.
@Rich_TandlerCSN What's the word on Spencer Long playing center? #RedskinsTalk

— AJ (@AJ_bus) May 14, 2014
No word right now. Some think that will be his NFL position in the long term and I'm sure they are thinking about it. But for right now, he's a guard and he'll have plenty to learn there. Would I be shocked if he's the starting center for the 2015 season opener? Not in the least.
@Rich_TandlerCSN what does our new OLB coach bring to the table and how is he going to make our starters better? — HTTR (@BrandonLeta) May 14, 2014
Excellent question. Brian Baker's title is outside linebackers coach but he's really the pass rush coach. He won't just work with Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, Trent Murphy and the others, he'll also work with Jason Hatcher, Barry Cofield, Perry Riley and everybody else in the front seven to try to teach them pass rush techniques. Among the Pro Bowl pass rushers Baker has coached are DeMarcus Ware, Anthony Spencer, Jay Ratliff, Julius Peppers, Kevin Williams, Robert Porcher and Luther Elliss. We'll have to wait and see what specifically they do differently but his hiring shows that there will be an added emphasis on getting pressure on the QB.
@Rich_TandlerCSN #RedskinsTalk which of our picks do you see starting

— Slappy (@VolSkins) May 14, 2014
Right now I don't see any of them starting on Sept. 7. It could be quite a different story by November. By then, there's a decent shot that Morgan Moses and Spencer Long will make up the right side of the offensive line.
@Rich_TandlerCSN Does the addition of Murphy hint at someone moving back to the D-line? Will they move to a 4-3? Who'll be gone in 2015?

— J. Brown (@Jaybro215) May 14, 2014
No, nobody is moving anywhere. No, they're not changing to a 4-3. In case you hadn't heard, Brian Orakpo is on a one-year deal called the franchise tag. Murphy gives them options if they can't or don't want to pay what Orakpo will be looking for in 2015.

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Report: Cousins won't sign with Redskins before getting tagged

Report: Cousins won't sign with Redskins before getting tagged

There may not be much drama when the March 1 franchise tag deadline comes around. It appears that a Kirk Cousins tag is inevitable.

According to a Pro Football Talk report, Cousins will not sign a long-term deal prior getting tagged by the Redskins. PFT cited a source with knowledge of the situation.

This is not exactly a surprising report. The situation has seemed to be destined to reach this point since minutes after the Redskins’ final game of the season when Cousins, whose one-year franchise tag deal expired when the game ended, was asked if he wanted to remain in Washington.

 “It’s really not my decision to make,” he said. “They chose to tag me and the same is true this year, so if they don’t choose to tag me then I think that question is answered at that point, but right now the ball’s not in my court.”

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 3.0

Actually, the ball is in his court; he could instruct his agent to hammer out the best deal he can get to stay in Washington and then sign it. But apparently, he will choose the tag, a solid business decision for a number of reasons.

For one thing, if he gets tagged and quickly signs the tender as he did last year he would guarantee a salary of $23.94 million, a 20 percent raise over the $19.95 million he earned last year. If he plays out the season on the tag he would be virtually guaranteed of never getting tagged again since such a move would give him a 44 percent raise over his previous year’s cap number. The number is designed to make a third tag cost prohibitive and it does.

For the team’s part, there have been scattered reports that some in the Redskins organization pushed for letting Cousins hit the open market and letting his value be determined there. But that changed after Kyle Shanahan, the Redskins’ offensive coordinator for the first two years of Cousins’ career and a big Cousins fan, became the head coach of the 49ers. There is no question that San Francisco would make a strong play for Cousins and the most likely scenario now is that the will tag him.

More Redskins: Under the radar issues

Where does this go after Cousins is tagged? The Redskins would have until July 15 to sign him to a long-term contract. It would still take a strong offer for the team to keep Cousins around for the long term.

Team president Bruce Allen seems to be optimistic about getting a deal done eventully.

"I don’t think it’s as complicated as everyone wants to make it,” he said earlier this month. “And we’ll get together with his agent, and I’m sure we’ll come to an agreement."

That remains to be seen. The only thing that seems certain in this saga is that it won’t be coming to a resolution any time soon.

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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Need to Know: Under the radar issues for the Redskins

Need to Know: Under the radar issues for the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, February 21, 16 days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.  

Timeline

Days until:

—NFL Franchise tag deadline (3/1) 8
—NFL Combine (3/2) 9
—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 55
—NFL Draft (4/27) 65
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 201

Under the radar offseason issues for the Redskins

We know the top line personnel issues for the Redskins this offseason—Kirk Cousins, Jackson and Garçon, D-line, etc. Here are some other issues flying below the radar:

Who’s the backup center? Kory Lichtensteiger retired and John Sullivan is a free agent. That leaves Spencer Long as the only true center under contract. Do they try to bring back Sullivan? Look for one in the draft? The free agent pool is very thin but perhaps a solid backup could get cut.

Guard depth Lichtensteiger also provided some insurance at guard to his absence hits creates a double hit on the depth chart. Right now, the only backup to Shawn Lauvao and Brandon Scherff is Arie Kouandjio. Scherff is durable but Lauvao hasn’t played a 16-game season since 2012. Unless they have more faith in Kouandjio than I suspect they do they will need depth. Perhaps they could spend a mid-round pick for depth this year and then let him compete with Kouandjio for the LG starting job assuming Lauvao moves on after his contract is up  

Need depth at cornerback The Redskins’ top two cornerbacks, Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland, aren’t bad. And maybe Kendall Fuller and Quinton Dunbar are good as the No. 3 and No. 4 CB’s although they perhaps should have some stiff competition. But it’s a long season and injuries happen. They have former Seahawk Tharold Simon and Dashaun Phillips on the roster and they may re-sign Greg Toler. They probably need one or two more veterans or draft picks to compete for the last one or two spots.

More Redskins: NFL Mock Draft 3.0

QB of the future? The most likely scenario in the Cousins saga is that he gets tagged on March 1 and if he does sign a long-term deal it will not be until closer to July 15. That would leave the Redskins in a bit of a tight sport, going through free agency and the draft not knowing if their starter at the most important position on the field will be back in 2018. What about Nate Sudfeld? Would he be ready to at least back up, presumably, Colt McCoy or another veteran? If not, do they need to look for one in the middle of draft, or perhaps earlier? If they are concerned about Cousins’ status and Sudfeld’s ability to develop into a starter this needs to be on the front burner.

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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.