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Need to Know: Will there be any Redskins roster additions before camp?

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Need to Know: Will there be any Redskins roster additions before camp?

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, July 15, 15 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.

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’ll also take your Need to Know questions via email. Hit me up rich.tandler+csn@gmail.com with “NTK” in the subject line. Just keep them relatively brief, please. 

Today’s question comes from the Real Redskins Facebook page:

I think Scot McCloughan and Jay Gruden are generally happy with the 90 players who are on their roster. They are not under any delusions that it’s a Super Bowl team, mind you, but they believed that they upgraded as best they could give the cap space and draft picks they had and pool of available talent.

But that doesn’t mean they won’t consider signing someone if they think he is an upgrade. I think that there are two areas on particular they might like to upgrade, tight end and free safety. But the free agency pools are not very deep and the quality of the players available is highly suspect.

At tight end, the name that jumps out at you there is Jermaine Gresham. The Bengals drafted him in the first round in 2010 and he made consecutive Pro Bowls when Jay Gruden came to Cincinnati as the offensive coordinator the following year.

Gresham to Washington would seem to be a good fit but there are some issues. He underwent surgery for a herniated disc in his back in March and there hasn’t been much interest in him by any team. At this point I think he will wait and sign with a team after training camp starts. There has been no word that Gruden was even interested in kicking the tires on Gresham but that doesn’t mean they won’t, especially if Jordan Reed ends up sidelined with another injury during training camp.

Outside of Gresham it’s pretty slim pickings when it comes to free agents at tight end. Zach Miller was cut by Seattle in a cap move but he is coming off of an ankle injury that landed him on IR last year and approaching 30 years old. We know that McCloughan has an aversion to signing free agents with a “3” at the start of their age.

The choices at free safety are similarly unattractive. The Giants, who are starving at safety, chose not to attempt to re-sign Quintin Demps, who started nine games for them last year. As of now, there don’t appear to be any free safeties on the market who would be upgrades.

In fact, the market was very slim to begin with. Otherwise, McCloughan would not have settled for trading for Dashon Goldson, who will turn 31 during Week 2 of the season. He almost had no choice but to agree to pay Goldson $4 million this year, coming off of two bad years in Tampa Bay.

They will have their eyes open, looking at the waiver wire to see if anyone who can help them lands there. But the lack of quality players at positions of need who are on the street at this time will have them them standing pat until they report to training camp two weeks from today.

Timeline

—It’s been 199 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 60 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 15; Preseason opener @ Browns 29; final cuts 52

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Redskins offseason questions: Can Kirk Cousins take the next step in 2017?

Redskins offseason questions: Can Kirk Cousins take the next step in 2017?

The good news for the 2016 Redskins was that they didn’t collapse after winning the division the previous season as has been their pattern in the past. The bad news was that they didn’t take the next step and improve from a franchise that can compete to make the playoffs into one that is playing multiple postseason games year in and year out.

That work begins right now for Jay Gruden, Scot McCloughan and the players. In the coming weeks, Redskins reporters Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will examine the biggest questions facing the Redskins as another offseason gets rolling.

RELATED: #RedskinsTalk podcast: Is Kirk too nice?

Will Kirk Cousins take the next step in 2017?

Finlay: The better question might be what constitutes the next step for Cousins? And going one step further, will it be with the Redskins? Answering the second part first, Cousins will be the 'Skins quarterback in 2017. Taking the next step is trickier, since the passer has thrown for more than 9,000 yards in the last two seasons.

For me, Cousins can still get much better, particularly in the red zone. If the Redskins scored at the same pace they pile up yards, this team would have won 11 games in 2016. 

In 2016, Cousins ranked 3rd in the NFL in passing yards, yet outside of the Top 10 in TDs with 25. To really enter the next phase of his career, Cousins needs to lead an offense that scores more, and that means 30+ touchdowns. He can do it. 

Tandler: I don’t look at the next step for Cousins being about numbers. Sure, maybe he can throw for 5,000 yards and 30-plus touchdowns on year. But being a top quarterback is more than that.

I want to see him go into Seattle next year and rally the Redskins from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter. I want to see him go into a playoff game and, unlike what happened against the Packers after the 2015 season, will the team to a win when the Redskins aren’t playing their best and when a QB like Aaron Rodgers is on the other side. I want to see him glare at a lineman who missed an assignment and correct a receiver who went the wrong way on a route.

To be sure, he has led the team to some comeback wins and he has played very well in some key games, like the division-clinching win in Philadelphia in 2015. But a top-flight quarterback can’t essentially negate one of those with a play like the season-ending pick against the Giants. Sure, any quarterback is going to have an off day. But you have to have more pluses than minuses on the ledger.

Cousins has been a starter for just two years so maybe he can develop into a top-shelf quarterback. Putting up good stats is part of the picture but he won’t be there until he elevates and motivates those around him. Maybe he can take that next step but until he does there is no way of knowing if he will. 

More offseason questions: 

What are reasonable expectations for Josh Doctson?

— Will there be a surprise salary cap cut?

— Should the Redskins defense switch to the 4-3?

— Is Spencer Long the answer at center?

— How many D-linemen do the Redskins need?

— Should the Redskins draft another QB? 

— With Sean McVay gone, will the Redskins run the ball more?

— Can Cravens handle the transition to safety? 

— Will the Redskins re-sign Pierre Garçon? 

— Will Rob Kelley be the lead running back in 2017?

— Defense in the first round?

— Will they make a change at left guard?

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTuneshere for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

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Some good news from Redskins Park: Josh Doctson running, catching football (VIDEO)

Some good news from Redskins Park: Josh Doctson running, catching football (VIDEO)

There hasn't been much good news out of Redskins Park lately, as the team deals with pending free agency for QB Kirk Cousins and others combined with rumors of infighting among the front office. So video of 2016 first round pick Josh Doctson running and cutting comes at a great time for beleaguered 'Skins fans. 

Doctson posted the video to his Snapchat account. When he last spoke after the Washington season ended, Doctson made clear he was feeling much better and that '100 percent health' is his main goal this offseason.

His rookie year, however, was a different matter.

The receiver out of TCU missed all but the first two games of the year. Even in those games, he played a very reduced role. Drafted 22nd overall, he had just two catches all year as an obscure Achilles' injuries landed him on the injured reserve. His plight could not be figured out by a slew of doctors and specialists, and the team finally decided to sit down their prized rookie.

A breakout year in 2017 would serve Jay Gruden's squad well, as the team stands to lose DeSean Jackson and/or Pierre Garçon to free agency. It looks likely the 'Skins will lose at least one of their starting WRs, and losing both is a distinct possibility. That could result in more than 2,000 receiving yards leaving the Redskins offense, and the team will need Doctson to pick up a good chunk of that production.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!