Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, January 14, 61 days before the start of NFL free agency.
Five Redskins free agents who are unlikely to return
ILB Keenan Robinson—If you’d told me a year ago that he would be on a list like this one in early 2016 I would have said that you’re crazy. But a nagging injury and issues with fitting in to the defensive scheme led to him spending a lot of time on the bench this season. He could be a good player but he needs a change of scenery.
QB Colt McCoy—The Redskins need to get a younger backup quarterback with some potential. They were able to survive the downfall of Robert Griffin III because Mike Shanahan had drafted Cousins. While there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about Cousins’ future there are no guarantees. They need to get and groom a younger quarterback to be the backup and let McCoy, who will be 30 before the season starts, go to another team.
RB Alfred Morris—I’m not going to say that there’s no way Morris will be back. Perhaps there won’t be much of a market for back who has seen both his per-carry average and total rushing yards decline in each of the last four years and he and the Redskins will agree on a short-term deal. But it seems much more likely that he will find a team that emphasizes the zone-blocking scheme and move on.
TE Logan Paulsen—His season was shut down before it even started after he suffered a toe injury in training camp. There was talk that he might not have made the team had he not been injured. The team would like more speed and athleticism at the position and seem likely to move on from Paulsen, who turns 29 next month.
CB Will Blackmon—He did a decent job filling in for the injured Chris Culliver and, before that, DeAngelo Hall. Decent is fine for a guy you pick up in Week 2 of the season but not when you have the whole offseason to sift through options and find a backup to Culliver, who could miss some regular season time after tearing his ACL and MCL.
—The Redskins last played a game four days ago. It will be about 241 days until they play another one.
—Days until: NFL Combine 41; NFL free agency starts 61; 2016 NFL draft 105
In case you missed it
The Redskins haven't shied away from using draft picks on players with an injury history, and that trend continued all the way to their final pick of the draft with Auburn CB Joshua Holsey.
Holsey missed parts of the 2013 and 2015 seasons at Auburn due to torn ACLs, but rebounded with a strong season in 2016. He had 30 tackles, three interceptions and 10 passes defended in his senior season.
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He was overlooked through most of the draft process due to his injury history and was snubbed at the combine.
The seventh round is a spot to take a flier on a guy who has some traits you like, and this certainly fits the bill with the pick of Joshua Holsey.
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With two picks in the seventh round, the Redskins rolled the dice and selected Josh Harvey-Clemons. A safety from Louisville that started his career at Georgia, Harvey-Clemons was a five star recruit out of high school that eventually left Georgia due to multiple positive drug tests.
His junior year at Louisville, however, was a breakout season for Harvey-Clemons. Here are three things to know:
- Testing - At Georgia, Harvey-Clemons dealt with multiple suspensions for marijuana. That had a major impact on his draft status, and will have the eyes of the NFL watching him on the next level.
- Size - Harvey-Clemons has the size to play safety in the NFL, or maybe even more of a hybrid role like Su'a Cravens as a rookie. He's listed at 6-foot-4 and 217 lbs. NFL.com describes him with an "alpha mentality."
- Keep it together - After sitting out a transfer year, Harvey-Clemons played well at Lousville for two seasons. He logged more than 140 tackles and took ACC conference honors in 2015 and 2016. Whatever problems he had early in his college career (cough pot cough) he controlled at Louisville. If that continues, Harvey Clemons could have a chance at making the Redskins roster.
Simply put? The Redskins rolled the dice on a kid with good size and tackling ability who had problems with marijuana early in his college career. A lot of college students have problems smoking marijuana early in their college career. In the 7th round, this seems like a good gamble.
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