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Need to Know: Redskins still have more holes to patch in free agency

Need to Know: Redskins still have more holes to patch in free agency

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, March 10, 38 days before Washington Redskins start offseason workouts on April 17  

Timeline

Days until:

—NFL Draft (4/27) 48
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 75
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 127
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 184

Redskins still have free agency work to do

Ideally, a team should be able fill its basic needs during free agency. They should be able to field a team with 22 competent starters by the end of March. That way they can draft by their board and not because of need. Relying on a draft pick to start is very risky business. The draft should be about depth and the future.

The Redskins still have some work to do in free agency to get there but they got off to a good start on the first day that the marketplace officially was open.

Starting from the back of the defense first, they took care of the hole at safety by signing D.J. Swearinger. They can now line up two safeties in Swearinger and Su’a Cravens. They likely will try Swearinger at free safety, where he played some with the Cardinals last year. If that alignment doesn’t work, they still have Will Blackmon, who started six games at free last year and played reasonably well.

On the line, the Redskins added Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee on a day when Chris Baker signed with the Bucs. You could line up with McClain, McGee. Ricky Jean Francois rotating and end and Phil Taylor at nose tackle if you had to. However, that is not a line that would hold up very well. If they can add another good lineman over the next few days, perhaps Bennie Logan or Jonathan Hankins. They would be off to a good start on the line if they can do that and then add another D-lineman in the first few days of the draft.

While many think the team needs to upgrade at inside linebacker, they could still field experienced players there, at outside linebacker, and at cornerback if the season started today.

On offense, Vernon Davis is back so they have depth at tight end. Their starting offensive line is back as are the top four on the running back depth chart. According to reports Kirk Cousins will drop by Redskins Park to sign his franchise tag soon so QB is set, for this year, anyway.

Wide receiver needs some help with Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson gone. Jamison Crowder the only receiver on the roster with as many as 40 career receptions. There is hope that Josh Doctson, last year’s first-round pick, will be healthy and productive. But they need more, which is why Terrell Pryor was visiting with the Redskins last night. There was nothing reported out of Redskins Park last night but it seems likely that the visit will continue this morning.

Whether it’s Pryor or perhaps Terrance Williams of the Cowboys, the Redskins need to add one more experienced wide receiver to the mix.

They are off to a solid start in Day 1 of free agency but they still have a lot of work to do.

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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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Jay Gruden presser recap: Enough is on Chris Thompson's plate already

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USA Today Sports Images

Jay Gruden presser recap: Enough is on Chris Thompson's plate already

Here is a recap of Jay Gruden’s press conference on Wednesday:

—The injuries are covered in a separate post here. Jordan Reed was the only non-participant. Gruden said his status is “wait and see.”

—Gruden doesn’t see them playing Chris Thompson more than they do now. He noted that in addition to being the third-down back he also returns kicks and comes in on second and long plays. “It’s important for us to keep him healthy,” said Gruden. “He’s not a guy that I personally want to give him 30 carries a game.”

RELATED: MUST-SEE PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS' WIN IN LA

—In a year, Matt Ioannidis has gone from being on the practice squad to being a key member of the defensive line. Gruden was impressed with his play against the Rams. “Against the Rams, he played very well,” he said. “He had pressured the quarterback four or five times, he hawked down Tavon Austin on a jet sweep, which was a big play on the first play of the game. If he gets out of there, it could’ve been a 70-yard touchdown.” Gruden said that work in the weight room with help from fellow DL Ziggy Hood helped in Ioannidis’ transformation.

—Gruden said that the Rams game might have been the best of Jordan Reed's career despite gaining just 48 receiving yards on six catches. “Yeah, Jordan was awesome,” he said. “I thought he had the best all-around game he’s had in a while. I think, not just route-running, but blocking. He was outstanding in blocking. Had a key block on the touchdown Chris Thompson had on the second series of the game, was physical and did a great job.”

MORE REDSKINS: FIRST LOOK AT REDSKINS VS RAIDERS

—The Su’a Cravens situation was dismissed rather quickly. The Redskins will not be adding another safety to the roster. “No, we have Fish [Smithson] already as our fifth guy on the practice squad and he’s doing a good job, so we’re OK at safety spot,” said Gruden. “As far as Su’a’ is concerned, we just have to put it behind us, move forward and let him take care of his personal life and let us take care of this season.”

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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Redskins injury report: Jordan Reed out of practice, six are limited

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Redskins injury report: Jordan Reed out of practice, six are limited

There were a lot of wounded Redskins on the practice field on Wednesday as the team started preparations for their game against the Raiders on Sunday.

One injured player was not on the field. Jordan Reed was out with a chest injury. Obviously, there is concern but Jay Gruden said that it is too early to rule him out of the game.

A half dozen players were limited: RB Rob Kelley (rib), S Montae Nicholson (shoulder), CB Josh Norman (shoulder), OT Morgan Moses (ankle), S Deshazor Everett (knee), and LB Mason Foster (shoulder).

RELATED: MUST-SEE PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS' WIN IN LA

While none of the injuries seems particularly serious, they still could affect each player’s status for the game.

Foster suffered a separated shoulder during the game, popped it back in, and continued without missing a snap. He said that said that he was letting the athletic trainers handle it. “I’m going in, getting my treatment, doing what they tell me to do,” he said.

Kelley suffered a rib cartilage injury in the second quarter on Sunday. He said that the pain was very high that day but that it has subsided since.

MORE REDSKINS: FIRST LOOK AT REDSKINS VS RAIDERS

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.