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RT's 5: A muddled picture at cornerback

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RT's 5: A muddled picture at cornerback

Rich Tandlers five things possibly related to the Washington Redskins and other matters.5. The decision to make Robert Griffin III the starter at quarterback without a competition taking place was sound if only for one reasonpractice reps are limited and Griffin needs all them he can get with the first team. Was there some PR value in the move? Possibly there was some desire to nip any talk of a competition with fourth-round draft pick Kirk Cousins. But naming RG3 the starter just makes sense when it comes to the on-field aspects of it and any public relations value is peripheral.4. It would not be surprising at all to see Josh LeRibeus get a lot of work at center during the offseason and in training camp. A look at the Redskins depth chart there shows starter Will Montgomery, 2010 draft pick Erik Cook, and rookie free agent Grant Garner. Cook did not play well when he was pressed into action at center last year and at 6-6 he may be too tall to succeed there in any case. Garner is likely a practice squad guy at best for the time being. They need depth in the middle and LeRibeus, who practiced as the backup center at SMU and played there during the rookie camp, could be the guy to bring it.3. It will be interesting to see how things play out at cornerback. There are eight on the roster and none of them appears to be training camp fodder. DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson are the starters but everything is muddled behind that. Holdovers Kevin Barnes and Brandyn Thompson will compete with free agent signees Cedric Griffin and Leigh Torrence, seventh-round draft pick Richard Crawford and undrafted free agent Chase Minnifield. It would not shock me if any of them ended up playing a key role and it would not be surprising if any of them was cut.2. The situation is not so complicated at outside linebacker. There are six of them currently on the roster and five are likely to stick around for the season. Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan will be backed up by Rob Jackson, Markus White and Chris Wilson. Rookie free agent Monte Lewis will be the odd man out.1. OK, thats enough of the peripheral, on-field stuff and on to whats really important. I like the throwback uniforms a lot because, well, they actually are throwbacks. Sure, some modern touches were added to the uniform worn by Sammy Baugh but not so much that they lost their essential character. The best part is the simulated leather helmet, although I have to say that it comes off much better when actually looking at it rather than looking at pictures. Its hard to capture the look in two dimensions.Days until: OTAs start 7; Minicamp 29; Preseason opener 87; Redskins @ Saints 118Rich 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.

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With receiver group in flux, might Redskins make run at Alshon Jeffery?

With receiver group in flux, might Redskins make run at Alshon Jeffery?

It seems likely the Redskins stand to lose one or both of receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon in free agency. That could mean more than 2,000 yards receiving exiting the offense, a significant blow.

Could Bears wideout Alshon Jeffery come to Washington and cushion the blow?

Multiple reports say that Chicago will not put the franchise tag on Jeffery, which means the 6-foot-4 receiver will hit the open market when free agency opens in a little more than a week. Coming off consectuive injury-marred seasons, still expect the market to be ripe for the former South Carolina star.

RELATED: Could FA Dontari Poe fix the Redskins nose tackle issue?

A five-year veteran that will turn 28 in August, Jeffery posted more than 2,500 receiving yards in the 2013 and 2014 seasons to go with 17 touchdowns. An extremely gifted red zone receiver, Jeffery is one of the best in the league at high-pointing the football and coming down with circus catches. His last two seasons, however, the Bears wideout only played in 21 of 32 games and his numbers dipped dramatically: just over 1,600 yards and six TDs combined.

Though Washington will likely lose at least one of Garçon or Jackson, and very possibly both, that does not necessarily make Jeffery a prime target. 

Expect cost to be a major factor as the Chicago receiver will likely command the top free agent payout at the position. And his recent injury history could be a factor as well. 

Further, the Redskins must believe they have a No. 1 receiver already in house in Josh Doctson. The No. 22 overall pick in 2016, Doctson hardly played as a rookie due to an Achilles injury but appears to be progressing well in his rehab. At 6-foot-2 and extremely athletic, Doctson was drafted to be a prime red zone target with the ability to go up and get TDs.

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Could likely free agent Dontari Poe be the Redskins' answer at nose tackle?

Could likely free agent Dontari Poe be the Redskins' answer at nose tackle?

Many Redskins fans have been keeping a close eye on the Chiefs all offseason. Kansas City has two pending free agents in positions that are of great need to Washington. Fans have been watching since January to see what the Chiefs would do with safety Eric Berry and defensive lineman Dontari Poe. They may have their answer.

The organization’s hope was that they could sign one and use the franchise tag on the other. But with the deadline for the tag two days from now and with free agency starting in 10 days, it appears that plan is not going to happen. They are forced to decide and per Ed Werder of ESPN they are going to tag Berry and let Poe test free agency.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 4.0

Poe is a load at 6-3, 348. His impact is hard to measure in numbers; he has just 13 sacks in his five NFL seasons including two in the last two years. The Chiefs first-round pick out of Memphis in the 2012 draft has forced two fumbles and recovered one. But he is exactly what a defense like the Redskins’ 4-3 scheme needs in the middle to eat up double teams and keep blockers off the linebackers. They would go from having had no credible nose tackle in the seven seasons they have been in the 3-4 base defense to having one who at age 26 is of the very best in the league.

The problem with acquiring the best in the business is that you must pay top dollar. The contracts signed by Marcell Dareus of the Bills, a six-year deal with an average annual value of $15.8 million and Fletcher Cox of the Eagles, who signed a six-year extension with an AAV of $17.1, will be used as guidelines for a Poe free agent deal.

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The Redskins possibly could make that work but it would be a stretch. They already have a top-heavy salary structure with their top three players taking up 35 percent of the salary cap. Another cap hit in the $15 million range would put them in a precarious spot.

It seems unlikely that the Redskins will be real players in the Poe sweepstakes but given that he would be a perfect solution to a long-standing problem area it’s worth keeping an eye on the situation.

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.