Now that salary cap-gate is over, what's next for the Redskins 53-man roster. According to Rich Tandler - and without factoring in potential savings by cutting certain veterans - there is around 3.8 million left to play with, some of which goes toward signing the remaining draft picks. So, what should the Shanahan's do with that remaining coin? Considering the free agent options remaining are your rank and file types, there are few must-have players. Regardless, you never know what happens between now and the start of training camp and the regular season. That is why we're compiling this list of the viable and rainy day options among remaining NFL free agents. So far, we focused on the available offensive tackleline, running back, defensive back and wide receiver and tight end options. Now the defensive lineman.Based on Tandler's recent depth chart analysis, the only positions likely in play are the deep reserves at end - especially if five are kept - and nose tackle where 2011 seventh round pick Chris Neild backs up Barry Cofield. Should there be a need for more training camp depth or injuries strike,here are some of the names the Redskins could be calling on. In this area, those cut before or during training camp might will dramatically bolster the free agent pool.Andre Carter: The former Redskin pass rusher had a resurgent campaign with the Patriots last season, posting 10 sacks in 14 games before suffering a torn quad. Reports suggest the 33-year-old will be "ready to practice full speed in training camp." There is also a belief the Patriots are open to bringing Carter back.It would be a stunner to see Carter, never a good fit in a 3-4 scheme, return to D.C. "It was no surprise to see Carter thrive in the 4-3 again," the minds at Walter Football wrote, "which makes you wonder why the Redskins installed a 3-4." Let's move on.Aubrayo Franklin: The 31-year-old nose tackle wasslapped with the49ers franchisetag in 2010. After a downer of a season with the Saints in 2011, he nowfalls into the secondary free agent market. Like Cofield, Franklin is not the most massive of nose tackles (317 pounds), but he has played 16 games in four straight seasons.Marcus Thomas: Reportedly was seeking a long-term deal from the Broncos, but so far Denver has not given in to the 26-year-old tackle. The 2007 fourth-round pick started 11 games last season, finishing with 30 tackles.Would likely move outside in a 3-4.Rocky Bernard: With only one start over the past three seasons at defensive tackle for the Giants,adding the 33-year-old would be a pure depth play. Kelly Gregg: Another true veteran of the trenches, the former Ravens mauler still was a force against the run at times last season for the Chiefs. Turns 36 in November.Fred Robbins: Played his career primarily as a 4-3 defensive tackle. At 35, Robbins is obviously much closer to the end than the beginning of his career, but notched six sacks in 2010.Others: Wallace Gilberry, Tim Bulman, Jovan Haye And yes, Albert Haynesworth is available...
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.
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Will the Redskins go with a defensive player in the first round of the 2017 Draft?
Finlay: The Redskins haven't drafted a defensive player in the first round since 2011 when the franchise grabbed Ryan Kerrigan with the 16th pick. In fact, the team has only drafted five defensive players in the first round over the last 15 years.
History suggests Washington will stay away from a defensive player, but sources in Ashburn have suggested otherwise. Assuming the talent is there when the 'Skins pick at No. 17, Scot McCloughan would like to bolster the team's defensive line specifically.
Things will get complicated should Leonard Fournette or Dalvin Cook slide to 17. Rich Tandler certainly would like to see the Burgundy and Gold add a top-flight running back.
Tandler: Many fans believe that conducting a draft is like going into a grocery store with a list. Defensive lineman is at the top of the list so you go to aisle 12 and put a DL in the cart. Safety is next on the list so you push the cart over to that aisle and pick out one of those.
No, a draft is much more unpredictable. There might not be a defensive lineman who is close to worthy of the No. 17 pick when the Redskins are on the clock. Talk of taking the best available player is like fingernails on a chalkboard to some. But if you’re reaching for need in a draft, you’re losing that draft. Sure, if a player in a position of need is just a spot or two down from the best available you think about it. Still, staying true to your board is the way to build a team.
The other thing to consider here is that we haven’t gone through free agency yet. Needs will shift after that. Suppose the Redskins sign two starting-caliber D-linemen and lose both Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson in free agency? Defensive line is no longer a five-alarm priority and receiver will be.
More offseason questions:
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!
Twice in the last five seasons Pierre Garçon logged more than 1,000 yards receiving as a member of the Washington Redskins, including the 2016 season. He's caught 376 passes in Washington for 21 touchdowns over 74 games.
Outside of a foot injury that cost his six games in 2012, Garçon has been arguably the Redskins most durable wide receiver, and he's known to be a hard worker in the weight room and the practice field.
Despite all that, Garçon doesn't know that he will be back with the Burgundy and Gold once free agency opens. In fact, that uncertainty led the 30-year-old wideout to post a simple question on his Instagram page.
The top of the Redskins offseason questions remains QB Kirk Cousins. Garçon and fellow wideout DeSean Jackson are headed for free agency, as is standout defensive lineman Chris Baker. Reports show that the team has made little to no contact with any of the players or their representatives, though many conversations could be planned for the NFL Draft Combine in Indianapolis later this month.
Garçon's question seems simple, but the answer remains a mystery.
Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN 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!