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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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Will Jay Gruden increase his 'big role' in the Redskins' personnel process?

Will Jay Gruden increase his 'big role' in the Redskins' personnel process?

While it hasn’t been the best offseason for the Redskins organization in many respects it has been a good one for coach Jay Gruden. In the midst of turmoil over the status of general manager Scot McCloughan, Gruden got a two-year contract extension.

Although the final agreement on the deal came on March 4 in a steakhouse in Indianapolis during the NFL Combine, team president Bruce Allen said that talk of extending Gruden started much earlier.

“It was after the season, Dan [Snyder], Jay and I got together and we talked about the game plan because we’d made some changes on the coaching staff as well following the season,” Allen told CSN’s JP Finlay at the owners’ meetings in Arizona.

Gruden became the team’s head coach in 2014. His original five-year contract was set to expire after the 2018 season but now he is in the fold through 2020.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 6.0

Gruden’s record in Washington is 21-26-1, not the kind of record that normally has an organization rushing to extend a head coach. But after a 4-12 inaugural season, Gruden has led the Redskins to records of 9-7 and 8-7-1 the last two years. While by many standards that is a modest achievement, it marked the first back-to-back winning seasons in Washington since 1996-1997. The hope is that Gruden will keep them moving in the right direction.

The extension is likely to be popular in the locker room as players have come to like Gruden’s style.  

“His directness, his sarcasm and at the same time he gets his coaching point in but the guys do like his sense of humor as well,” said Allen. 

It’s not known if Gruden’s extension gives him more authority over personnel. His original deal gave him very little, with first Allen and then McCloughan having the final say in personnel selection and control over who makes the 53-man roster. Some NFL head coaches have final say in free agency acquisition and in the draft while many have control over who makes the 53.

MORE REDSKINS: 3 takeaways from talking to Allen

Gruden does have some informal influence when it comes to the draft.

“He’s got a big role,” said Allen. “First of all, he coordinates all the coaches’ reports and when we set the draft board, Jay will be up there. He watches every player who will be on the draft board and he will have an opinion.”

There is a power vacuum at Redskins Park with McCloughan gone. A new general manager won’t get hired until after the draft and the authority of that GM will have will be a matter of negotiation. It would not be surprising to see Gruden ending up with roster control.

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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Need to Know: What is the Redskins' plan for QB Kirk Cousins?

Need to Know: What is the Redskins' plan for QB Kirk Cousins?

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, March 28, 30 days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/17) 20
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 45
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 57
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 109
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 157

Tuesday three and out

1. Maybe Bruce Allen and the Redskins have a master plan for saving the whole Kirk Cousins situation but right now it just looks like they’re stuck without a solution to paying $24 million to a quarterback who likely will be gone in a year. That’s money that could either be rolled over into future seasons if Cousins gets traded or used as a down payment on a long-term Cousins deal. Maybe there’s a master plan there somewhere but right now it looks an awful lot like the organization is just stumbling around in the dark, stubbing its toe while trying to find the light switch.

2. WR Brian Quick will cost the Redskins less against the salary cap than they are paying him. That’s because his contract takes advantage of the minimum salary benefit. He gets the sixth-year minimum salary of $775,000 plus an $85,000 signing bonus, a total of $860,000. Because of the minimum salary and low signing bonus the CBA rules allow the team to essentially discount the cap hit for the contract down to $695,000. The rule is designed so that younger players are necessarily cheaper, at least when it comes to the salary cap.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 6.0

3. Allen hinted that the Redskins won’t necessarily hire a general manager after the draft. While talking to colleague JP Finlay he said, “We’ll talk about what we need after the draft from a staffing standpoint.” Not “we’ll search high and low for the best GM in the business” but that needs will be examined. It’s going to be interesting to see how it all shakes out.

And out—Allen didn’t have much to say when JP asked about the stadium project that was a hot topic a year or so ago, only confirming that talks are ongoing. The fact that he had so little to say, not even some platitudes about the desire to build a great environment for the fans. Reading between the lines, this makes me think that a deal is getting close and the less that is said about it at this point the better. Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe will be term limited out of office next January and the feeling is that he will want to leave a Redskins stadium deal as his legacy.

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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