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Need to Know: Examining the Redskins' pre-free agency depth chart

Need to Know: Examining the Redskins' pre-free agency depth chart

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, March 10, the day the Washington Redskins and the rest of the NFL start free agency. It officially gets underway at 4 p.m.

Depth chart pre-free agency

With free agency starting in just a few hours let’s take a look at the Redskins’ depth chart as is stands now. We’ll bookmark this and look back prior when we hit other milestones—the draft, the start of training camp, the start of the season—to compare and examine changes.

Starters in bold

Offense

QB: Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins
This is the spotlight position this year; it’s make or break for both of these players. A third QB will need to be acquired at some point.

RB: Alfred Morris, Darrel Young, Chris Thompson, Silas Redd
Morris and Young are going into the last year of their contracts and Redd and Thompson are very much unproven. If Roy Helu leaves as a free agent we can look for another back to be added in free agency or the draft.

WR: DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garçon, Andre Roberts, Ryan Grant
The team will need a wide receiver. We don’t know for certain how much interest there is in bringing back Santana Moss and/or Leonard Hankerson.

TE: Jordan Reed, Niles Paul, Logan Paulsen
Paul has re-signed. There has been chatter that they might try to replace Paulsen as the blocking tight end but there hasn’t been much movement at this point.

OL: Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Kory Lichtensteiger, Chris Chester, Tom Compton, Spencer Long, Morgan Moses, Josh LeRibeus, Tyler Larsen, Xavier Nixon
There probably won’t be as much change here between now and the start of the season as some would like. But there are likely to be some new faces and some competition for positions, especially on the right side. C Tyler Larsen and T Xavier Nixon are street free agent pickups who will be worth watching.

Defense

DL: Jason Hatcher, Stephen Paea, Chris Baker, Ricky Jean-Francois, Kedric Golston, Frank Kearse
This is just a guess at how they’d line up if the season started today; we will have to see what Joe Barry does with the scheme. They aren’t done here yet if Jarvis Jenkins leaves in free agency. There are a few intriguing prospects like NT Robert Thomas and the massive LaKendrick Ross (6-4, 350) to keep an eye on.

LB: Trent Murphy, Ryan Kerrigan, Perry Riley, Keenan Robinson, Will Compton, Adam Hayward, Jackson Jeffcoat, Steve Beauharnais
There is plenty of talk that the top draft choice will line up at outside linebacker so this could well change substantially. It will be interesting to see if the team tries to bring in veteran linebackers to bolster special teams like they did last year (Hayward, Akeem Jordan, Darryl Sharpton) or if they go with younger players like Jeffcoat.

DB: David Amerson, Bashaud Breeland, Phillip Thomas, Vacant, DeAngelo Hall, Tracy Porter, Akeem Davis, Duke Ihenacho
The Redskins need to find someone to line up at free safety and at least a Plan B in case Thomas can’t get it done at strong. Between free agency and the draft as many as five defensive backs could be added.

Specialists: PK Kai Forbath, P Tress Way, LS Nick Sundberg
Forbath is back on a restricted free agent tender so this is set, although it wouldn’t be surprising if a competitor for Forbath will be brought in. The team also could add a return specialist, an area that has been hurting for a few years.

Timeline

—It’s been 72 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 187 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 41; 2015 NFL Draft 51; Redskins training camp starts 142

If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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In case you missed it

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The Redskins plan to add multiple new front office positions, according to Bruce Allen

The Redskins plan to add multiple new front office positions, according to Bruce Allen

The Redskins will be adding as many as three new positions to their front office, team president Bruce Allen said on Monday.

Speaking with the media at the Redskins Charitable Golf Foundation, Allen explained that he has spoken with 12 people from outside the organization about possible jobs.

Many wondered if the Redskins would make a hire after the early March firing of former general manager Scot McCloughan.

Reports showed that Allen wanted to promote a new GM from within, and that could still be the case. Doug Williams, Scott Campbell and Eric Schaefer are considered the internal leaders for the vacant position.

MORE REDSKINS: Who will stand out this season and who will disappoint?

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

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What — if anything — can Redskins learn from Patriots' situation with Jimmy Garoppolo?

What — if anything — can Redskins learn from Patriots' situation with Jimmy Garoppolo?

Despite reports of a highly motivated trade market for Jimmy Garoppolo, the New England Patriots decided to hold on to their backup quarterback this offseason. It's easy to dismiss the notion of keeping Garoppolo as just one part of the unique genius of Pats coach Bill Belichick, but that might be overly simplistic.

In an article last week for MMQB.com, Albert Breer writes that New England ultimately decided there is more value in a QB a team trusts than a package of draft picks, even high draft picks.

Your off-season lesson for this week: Having a good young quarterback on your own roster is more important than what he’s worth as an asset.

The emphasis belongs to Breer, and it could be an interesting lesson for Redskins fans. 

A vocal part of the fan base believed that Washington should have moved QB Kirk Cousins before the draft. The logic went that since the Redskins can't get a long-term deal done with Cousins, the organiztion should maximize the value with the passer and trade him, potentially for the first or second overall pick in the 2017 draft.

Breer's argument, however, might poke holes in that theory. 

Belichick and the Pats decided to keep Garoppolo despite plenty of reasons to move the young signal caller. The first - and super obvious - reason being a healthy Tom Brady. That needs no explanation.

Beyond Brady, Breer explains that it seems more likely Garoppolo's stock will actually decrease in 2017, just because it's so high right now. Looking ahead to the 2018 draft, a number of quarterbacks are expected to be worth high selections, starting with USC quarterback Sam Darnold.

If there was a time to move Garoppolo, it would have been this offseason. And Belichick didn't do it. That suggests the Patriots want to keep the former Eastern Illinois product playing in Foxborough, especially if age ever catches up to the 39-year-old Brady. 

One more note on Garopollo - he is slated for free agency in 2018. Just like Cousins. It's entirely possible Jimmy G walks in free agency next season, and the Pats get no compensation. The exact same possibility is in play for Cousins and the Redskins. New England could franchise Garoppolo too next offseason, as has been the case for Cousins the last two seasons in Burgundy and Gold. 

The truth is Garoppolo has thrown less than 100 passes in the NFL. Cousins threw more than 600 just last season. There is no true comparison for Cousins' situation, just as there isn't for Garoppolo's. Both players have great value. Cousins has proved he's an NFL starter. Garoppolo certainly looked like one in two starts in 2016. 

One key takeaway: Belichick opted to keep Garoppolo this year, even though the Patriots could have recouped a lot of value, and knowing that the 2018 QB market should be significantly better than the 2017 crop. And that's with a very uncertain contract future for Garoppolo and the organization.

In some ways, the Redskins and Bruce Allen made the same decision with Cousins. It could certainly backfire. Cousins might leave next offseason and Washington gets nothing in return. Still, the Redskins will have their passer for 2017, and with an improved defense, should be an NFC playoff contender. It also remains possible the team finalizes a deal with Cousins before the July 15th deadline. It's not probably, but definitely possible. 

But in a league where most can only hope to emulate the success in New England, maybe, just maybe, Washington is following the Patriots handbook. 

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back