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Need to Know: What will the Redskins QB depth chart look like Week 1?

Need to Know: What will the Redskins QB depth chart look like Week 1?

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, May 7, 40 days before the Washington Redskins hold their mandatory minicamp.

Question of the day

A few days a week I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.

I got a few questions about the quarterback situation so I figured I’d answer them all in this one.

Right now it looks like there will be a four-man quarterback room with holdovers Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy being joined by rookie Connor Halliday. It appears that the Redskins have signed the Washington State product as an undrafted free agent. Although the team has not yet announced any UDFA signings, we’re going to presume that Halliday will be in the mix.

Halliday was leading the nation in passing yards and touchdown passes last year before he suffered a broken leg. He has some ability but he is clearly a long-term project.

Right now, the way Jay Gruden has explained it Griffin is at the top of the depth chart. McCoy and Cousins will split the reps with the second and third teams. So the depth chart looks like this:

1. Griffin
2. McCoy
2. Cousins
4. Halliday

If Griffin doesn’t fall flat on his face—and I don’t think he will—the depth chart should remain that way into the start of the preseason schedule. And there is really no reason at that point to declare a “winner” between Cousins and McCoy unless one is clearly, clearly outshining the other. I also don’t anticipate that happening. They can split time in the preseason, taking turns relieving Griffin.

It’s hard to figure how much time Halliday will get behind center in the preseason. The Redskins did not have a fourth quarterback last year so we don’t have a precedent for how Gruden will handle this. At most he will get some late snaps during the first three games and maybe a more substantial chunk in the fourth game when the starters and key reserves get the night off.

But regardless of how much Halliday plays, Gruden and Scot McCloughan will need to determine if he is a quarterback worth developing. If he is, they will have to figure out if they want to try to get him through waivers and onto the practice squad or if they want to keep him on the 53-man roster.

There is an issue with keeping him on the practice squad. First, as noted, he would have to get through waivers without being claimed. And if the Redskins keep the other three quarterbacks they would have four, and that’s one too many. There is plenty of work for an extra QB to do when there is a 90-man roster. When it shrinks to 63 (53 active plus 10 on the practice squad), not so much.

In other words, the standard number of QB’s for an NFL team to keep is three, whether it’s three on the 53 or two active and one on the practice squad. If Halliday stays, another quarterback likely would need to go.

Griffin is going nowhere if only because of his guaranteed $3.4 million salary. McCoy has not drawn much interest as a free agent the last two offseasons so he likely has no trade value. Cousins could be worth a draft pick if a team gets into training camp and loses a quarterback to injury.

Taking out my crystal ball I see them going into the game against the Dolphins with a QB depth chart that looks like this:

1. Griffin
2. McCoy
3. Halliday

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Timeline

—It’s been 130 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 129 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins minicamp starts 40; Redskins training camp starts 84; Redskins @ Giants 140

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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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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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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