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Need to Know: Only a handful of starters will be left from 2012 Redskins team

Need to Know: Only a handful of starters will be left from 2012 Redskins team

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, February 5, 19 days before the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

Five thoughts on the Redskins with free agency a month away

—Although it wasn’t particularly surprising, it was noteworthy that we got the first words uttered by a Redskins official saying that Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris are likely to be gone in 2016. Actually, Griffin is certain to be gone and Allen predicted that he will get a chance to succeed elsewhere. Allen didn’t close the door on a Morris return but they aren’t going to offer him a contract before free agency starts and they will applaud if he goes elsewhere. The 2012 season was a long, long time ago.

—I don’t get the feeling that Scot McCloughan and Joe Barry are as hopped up to bring in a stud inside linebacker as some fans and media members are. I think they would be perfectly content to bring back Mason Foster, start him alongside Will Compton, possibly cut Perry and save his $4 million salary, and go with Martrell Spaight and perhaps a relatively cheap veteran. If the right guy is there early in the draft I think they would take him but it’s not on their “gotta have” list.

—If Riley does end up leaving there will be five players who started 10 or more games in 2012 who are under contract for this year—Pierre Garçon, Trent Williams, Kory Lichtensteiger, Ryan Kerrigan, and DeAngelo Hall. Lichtensteiger is no sure bet to be on the team in 2016 so there could be just four starters left. In addition, Logan Paulsen, who started 10 games, is slated to be a free agent and may or may not be back.

—In a post on Kirk Cousins yesterday I look a bit at the lack of depth at wide receiver. Andre Roberts is sure to be cut and Ryan Grant played 425 snaps and he caught just 21 passes and dropped four. Rashad Ross is fast but he needs to learn how to play receiver. And let’s not forget that DeSean Jackson and Garçon both turn 30 this year. The situation could get ugly quickly. I get the need to bolster the defense but if there is a quality receiver on the board in any round, including the first, McCloughan will seriously consider taking him.

In my post here yesterday I did not list Duke Ihenacho when I was sketching out a possible safety depth chart for 2016. I didn’t include him for a few reasons, the primary one being his problems staying healthy. He’s been on the Redskins’ payroll for two years but he’s been on the field for just four games. He’s a restricted free agent and it’s not certain that they will offer him an RFA tender, which would be a one-year contract worth about $1.6 million. That’s probably more than they want to pay him. If they don’t tender him, he becomes an unrestricted free agent. On the positive side, he did compete for and win a starting safety job last year. So he does have a shot at returning and contributing.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 26 days ago. It will be about 219 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL Combine 19; NFL free agency starts 33; 2016 NFL draft 83

In case you missed it

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2017 Redskins depth chart preview: Quarterback

2017 Redskins depth chart preview: Quarterback

The Redskins are part of the way through the process of retooling their 2017 roster. While the major part of free agency is over, they still can add a few veterans all the way through training camp. They have 10 picks in the draft that starts on Thursday. In this series, we’re going to take a look at what has changed on the Redskins roster since the season ended and what they need to add to remain competitive in the revived NFC East.

This series started on defense and you can see all those posts here. On offense we’ve put the wide receivers, running backs, offensive line, and tight ends, under the microscope. Today the focus turns to quarterback.

2016 final game starter: Kirk Cousins

Has started all 32 games in two seasons since he was named the starter. Cousins played every offensive snap last year.

Departures: None

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 10.0

Projected 2017 starter: Cousins

Trade talk that was all over the place in February and early March is all but gone. It appears that Cousins will be the starter for 2017. Beyond that it’s anyone’s guess.

2017 reserves: Colt McCoy, Nate Sudfeld

For a while in 2014, McCoy was ahead of Cousins on Jay Gruden’s depth chart, starting three games over a healthy Cousins. McCoy is under contract through 2018 and it will be interesting to see if he gets another shot at starting if Cousins leaves as a free agent. But for 2017 McCoy will continue his role as an insurance policy.

Sudfeld will find out a lot more about his future in burgundy and gold in the next several days. Former general manager Scot McCloughan was very high on Sudfeld’s potential as a future starter. If others in the building were as convinced as McCloughan was they likely will bypass the position in the draft. Taking a QB, especially somewhere in rounds three or four, would be a sign that they don’t like Sudfeld nearly as much as McCloughan did.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins mock 2.0 goes offense early, defense often  

Where can the quarterback position find improvement?

Cousins had another big statistical year, breaking his own team record by passing for nearly 5,000 yards. But he can improve in the red zone, where his completion rate plummeted to 47.5 percent after completing 64.1 percent in 2015. Cousins also saw his third-down completion percentage drop from 69.2 percent in 2015 to 61 percent last year. Not surprisingly, the offense struggled in both areas.   

Locks and bubble players

If no quarterback is drafted all three are locks. If one is taken, Sudfeld should start looking at how he can break his lease.  

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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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast: JP & Tandler break down Redskins draft targets, and players to avoid

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New #RedskinsTalk Podcast: JP & Tandler break down Redskins draft targets, and players to avoid

How plausible is a draft day trade? Could the Redskins move up? And what to do about all those 'diluted samples'? JP Finlay and Rich Tandler break it all down.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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