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Need to Know: Five things the Redskins need to do before free agency starts

Need to Know: Five things the Redskins need to do before free agency starts

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, February 1, 23 days before the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

Five things the Redskins need to do before free agency starts

January is a fairly slow time for NFL teams after they are eliminated from the playoffs. Most of the Redskins’ coaching staff took some vacation time after working for about a week immediately after their playoff loss to the Packers. Things get cranking in February. Here are some things the organization has to get done.

Evaluate the current roster—It all starts here, assessing the players they have under contract and their players who are slated to be free agents. Scot McCloughan will consult with Jay Gruden, the coordinators and the position coaches to see who is worth hanging on to and who should be allowed to walk

Go to the NFL Combine—McCloughan started the draft scouting process by attending East-West Shrine game and Senior Bowl in January. The coaches get involved in Indianapolis at the combine. This group places much more of a premium on interviews and is less likely than some teams to be impressed by a fast time in the forty-yard dash.

Conclude negotiations with Kirk Cousins—They have a month until they have to put the franchise tag on Cousins so March 1 is a deadline that could drive a deal. It’s a soft deadline because if they to apply the tag they would still have until July 15 to come to a long-term deal with Cousins before he has to play out the year on the tag. But that would put things on the back burner for a while and it would be best for both sides if they can come to contract agreement prior to the tag being used.

Start negotiations with their free agents—In addition to Cousins, the Redskins need to get with the agents of their own free agents they want to retain and start getting some firm offers in place. Ideally, they would like to lock them up prior to the start of free agency. They also need to get the wheels turning on any contracts they want to restructure or renegotiate in order to create more cap room.

Watch the waiver wire—There will be players who are on the streets before the start of free agency, cap casualties given their freedom early as teams set up their budgets for the new league year. The Redskins need to be ready to do an evaluation, decide if they are interested in pursuing the player and what a contract might look like. They need to be ready to move fast as there could be competition for the player’s services.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 22 days ago. It will be about 223 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL Combine 24; NFL free agency starts 38; 2016 NFL draft 88

In case you missed it

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Redskins draft oft-injured Auburn CB Joshua Holsey with their final pick

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USA TODAY Sports

Redskins draft oft-injured Auburn CB Joshua Holsey with their final pick

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.

RELATED: REDSKINS ROLL THE DICE ON 7TH ROUND SAFETY

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. 

MORE REDSKINS: ANOTHER TALL WR? 3 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ROBERT DAVIS

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All or nothing? Redskins roll dice on 7th-round safety with lots of talent

All or nothing? Redskins roll dice on 7th-round safety with lots of talent

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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."
  3. 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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