Refreshed and recharged from a week on North Carolinas Outer Banks, here are my three things possibly related to the Redskins and other matters.5. I was asked on Twitter yesterday for my pick for a surprise player to make the 53-man roster. My response was running back Alfred Morris. Although its usually not a huge surprise when a sixth-round draft pick makes the squad its far from a given, especially since the Redskins have three backs who are at least semi established in Roy Helu, Tim Hightower, and Evan Royster. With Mike Sellers gone, Darryl Young is the only fullback on the roster. The last two years the fullback has played only about a third of the snaps, making it hard to justify keeping a second fullback on the roster. If Morris can play fullback and contribute on special teams he will have a good shot at making the 53.4. Ill have an article later this morning on rumors that the Redskins are interested in trading for Tampa Bay cornerback Aqib Talib, who faces trail on felony charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon later this month. A debate on the wisdom of trading for players who have been in trouble with the law popped up on Twitter on Sunday morning. Some pointed out that not all players are honor roll boy scouts and that the Redskins locker room is strong enough to handle a talented but troubled player like Talib. My opinion is that if only two or three percent of NFL players get into trouble so why not limit your pool of players to the 97 to 97 percent who are solid citizens. In addition, some of your home-grown players are going to find trouble as Fred Davis and Trent Williams did last year. Why import trouble when the chances are its going to find you anyway?3. I wonder if Jim Haslett will spend some time this year looking over his shoulder at Raheem Morris. Although Morris may not be cut out to be a head coach, at least not at his age (hes two years younger than London Fletcher), he is a strong defensive coordinator candidate. According to reports, the Vikings offered him their defensive coordinator position a day after he took the defensive backs position job with the Redskins. If the Redskins defense again fails to generate turnovers and is generally mediocre in 2012 it would not be a shock to see Haslett get the axe and see Morris get the job.2. Good stuff on Jarvis Jenkins by my man Ben Standig over the weekend. The Redskins didnt have a second-round pick in this years draft but Jenkins could fill the void. All indications are that he is all the way back from the torn ACL that forced him to spend his rookie season on injured reserve.1. You will note on the Days until countdown below that we have ticked under 100 days until the Redskins opener at New Orleans. Thats not right around the corner or anything but the NFL debut of Robert Griffin III is creeping closer and closer. After next weeks minicamp things will go into deep freeze until training camp starts on about July 26 (that date is unofficial, the full camp schedule should be released sometime in the next few weeks). However, that doesnt mean that the Redskins coverage here will go into hibernation. My new colleague Tarik El-Bashir will be on board by the end of this month and we will fill up this space with previews and analysis every day. Check out this site multiple times every day to stay informed.Days until: Minicamp 8; training camp 52; preseason opener @ Bills 66; Redskins @ Saints 97; home opener vs. Bengals 111Rich Tandler blogs about the Redskins at www.RealRedskins.com. You can reach him by email at RTandlerCSN@comcast.net and follow him on Twitter @Rich_Tandler.
Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, February 23, 14 days before the March 9 start of NFL free agency.
—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.
Tandler on Twitter
The first Sunday of the 2017 NFL season gets underway 200 days from right now. pic.twitter.com/0ZPanyAq8S— Rich Tandler (@Rich_TandlerCSN) February 22, 2017
In case you missed it
- Redskins' 2017 cap is top heavy—is that a problem?
- Will the Redskins stick with Lauvao at left guard?
- Why can't the Redskins sign Garcon and Jackson?
- If Redskins trade Cousins to 49ers, 5 prospects to consider
- Cousins trade to 49ers could happen at combine, per NFL analyst
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.
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.
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