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Need to Know: What is the 2016 Redskins' expectation for wins?

Need to Know: What is the 2016 Redskins' expectation for wins?

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, June 12, 46 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 154 days ago. It will be 92 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 46; Preseason opener @ Falcons 60; Final roster cut 83

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—There will be more on this in the weeks to come, but I’m starting to think that the Redskins will exceed expectations. What are expectations for the 2016 team? I think it’s somewhere around seven to nine wins. Fewer wins than that would be legitimate grounds to be disappointed and reevaluate how they are doing things; more than nine wins would be cause for celebration.

—What is their path to 10 wins? Going 4-2 in the division, 3-1 against the AFC North (the London game against the Bengals will be key there) and splitting their other six games against the NFC North, the Cardinals, and the Panthers. The last part is not easy but doable with the two toughest NFC North games coming at home against the Vikings and Packers.

—Could they do better than 10? Sure but right now it would be a very tall order. They would have to win a game like the one in Arizona and/or upset the Steelers in the opener. At the moment getting 11 or 12 wins looks like drawing to an inside straight.

—The more I see of David Bruton, the more I think that he will hold on to a starting safety job into the season. At 6-2, 225 he looks like a linebacker who lined up a little deep and in the no-pads phase of practices he has looked good. To be sure, a player who has just eight starts in seven seasons in the NFL still has a lot to prove.

—Every time I look up to see the running backs doing individual drills, Matt Jones is hustling up to the front of the line. That doesn’t mean that he’ll be able to add a yard to his 3.4 per-carry average from last year or develop a stickier grip on the football. But it is a sign that he is genuinely interested in improving and that’s not always a given.

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Need to Know: Washington Redskins free agency needs—Offense

Need to Know: Washington Redskins free agency needs—Offense

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, February 23, 14 days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.  

Timeline

Days until:

—NFL Franchise tag deadline (3/1) 6
—NFL Combine (3/2) 7
—Redskins offseason workouts start (4/17) 53
—NFL Draft (4/27) 63
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 199

Free agent moves—Offense

Free agency starts two weeks from today. The Redskins have plenty of needs, both big and small. Let’s take a look around and see what offensive positions they might be looking to bolster when things get going. I’ll follow up with the defense in the next few days.

Quarterback—It could be a yawner at this position or there could be plenty of drama. If Kirk Cousins gets franchise tagged or defies current expectations and signs a long-term deal, the depth chart will remain the same. If he is gone via a trade, things could be shaken up. While they may draft a QB in late April they could go for a mid-priced veteran as insurance.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 3.0

Running back—The Redskins have a depth chart loaded with young, unproven talent at this position. If they want a veteran presence in the meeting room they could look at someone like Robert Turbin (McCloughan had a hand in drafting him in Seattle in 2012) or maybe Knile Davis.

Wide receiver—Things will get very interesting if the word on the street comes to pass and both Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson are gone. They have a presumably healthy Josh Doctson in line to replace one but they would need a veteran. Maybe Kenny Stills or Kenny Britt, both young and productive, could be under consideration. If one of the veterans stays they likely will get depth in the draft.

More Redskins: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice for his own good?

Tight end—Vernon Davis seems likely to be back. If he’s not, the Redskins probably would rather have an alternative to Niles Paul as Jordan Reed’s primary backup. The probably won’t swim in the deep end of the pool with Martellus Bennett and Jared Cook. But maybe they will look at Jermaine Gresham, who made the Pro Bowl twice in Cincinnati while Jay Gruden was the Bengals’ offensive coordinator.

Offensive line—Yesterday, JP and I discussed what they might do at left guard if they want to upgrade from Shawn Lauvao. Perhaps they could go for Kevin Zeitler, another Bengal who played under Gruden. But he will command a contract in the $8-$10 million range and with Brandon Scherff coming up for an extension next year that might be too much to spend at the guard position. Look for the Redskins to take an eventual Lauvao replacement in the draft.

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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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If Redskins trade Kirk Cousins to 49ers, 5 prospects to consider with No. 2 pick

If Redskins trade Kirk Cousins to 49ers, 5 prospects to consider with No. 2 pick

It still seems like a long-shot the Redskins trade Kirk Cousins, but if there is one persistent rumor, it's that the San Francisco 49ers want the Washington passer. The story is too familiar at this point: New Niners coach Kyle Shanahan was in D.C. when Cousins was drafted and wants the quarterback to come run his offense in San Francisco. With the second overall pick, the 49ers have a tremendous asset they can dangle in trade talks.

<<<CLICK HERE TO SEE 5 PROSPECTS FOR THE REDSKINS AT NO. 2 PICK>>>

Whether or not any of this rumor is true, it sure makes for engrossing speculation. With the NFL Draft Combine next week in Indianapolis, NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah said he wouldn't be shocked to see the trade go down.

That's the backdrop. Beyond the debate of the merits of trading an established QB like Cousins, which is a very serious debate, there's also the notion of what player the 'Skins would select with the second overall pick.  

MORE REDSKINS: 2017 top heavy Cap could be a problem

It's worth examining the impact players available to Washington with the second selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, and the options are varied, including perhaps a new QB. Check it out. 

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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