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Way too early 2014 Redskins 53-man roster projection

Way too early 2014 Redskins 53-man roster projection

Here in what will become an annual Monday after the draft tradition (unless everyone hates it, in which case I won’t do it again) here is my way too early projection of the Redskins’ final 53-man roster.

Starters in bold

Offense

Quarterback (2): Robert Griffin III, Kirk Cousins

—I wouldn’t rule out a training camp trade of Cousins to a team that suffers an injury to its QB but in any case it will be either Cousins or Colt McCoy on the roster, not both.

Offensive line (9): Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Kory Lichtensteiger, Chris Chester, Morgan Moses, Tom Compton, Mike McGlynn, Adam Gettis, Spencer Long

—Moses may not be able to beat out Tyler Polumbus by the time the season starts; if he can’t, Compton is probably gone.

Wide receiver (6): Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts, Santana Moss, Leonard Hankerson, Ryan Grant

—Hankerson’s status is iffy due to his ACL injury; starting out the year on the PUP list is not out of the question for the fourth-year receiver. That could open the door for Aldrick Robinson to make the 53 or perhaps, if he has a strong offseason and training camp, David Gettis.

Tight end (3): Jordan Reed, Logan Paulsen, Niles Paul

—Seventh-round pick Ted Bolser has a shot but he’s going to have to be very, very good on special teams to justify a fourth tight end.

Running back (4): Alfred Morris, Darrel Young, Roy Helu, Lache Seastrunk

—Chris Thompson will have to make a very strong case and stay healthy if he’s going to make a run at a roster spot.

Defense

Defensive line (7): Jason Hatcher, Chris Baker, Barry Cofield, Jarvis Jenkins, Stephen Bowen, Kedric Golston, Clifton Geathers

—The Redskins didn’t add anyone in the draft so the status quo reigns here. With Baker and Geathers both able to back up Cofield at nose tackle it doesn’t look like there’s a spot for Chris Neild.

Outside linebacker (4): Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan, Trent Murphy, Rob Jackson

—Last year they were saying that fifth-round pick Brandon Jenkins would have been a first-round pick if he was healthy for his senior year but he could barely get on the field last year even on special teams. He could fall victim to being one of “their” draft picks.

Inside linebacker (5): Perry Riley, Keenan Robinson, Akeem Jordan, Adam Hayward, Darryl Sharpton

—The team would very much like to have Robinson take over London Fletcher’s job in the middle. It might end up being handled by committee and that and special teams are why five inside linebackers should stick.

Cornerback (5): DeAngelo Hall, David Amerson, Tracy Porter, Richard Crawford, Bashaud Breeland

—This would push E. J. Biggers and Chase Minnifield off of the 53. This is dependent on Crawford being healthy and being designated as the punt returner.

Safety (4): Ryan Clark, Phillip Thomas, Brandon Meriweather, Jose Gumbs

—It may be too early to move Thomas into the starting role but if it doesn’t happen by the time the Sept. 7 opener rolls by it should happen at some point during the season. Rambo gets caught in a numbers game with Gumbs staying around because he’ll play special teams.

Specialists (4): LS Nick Sundberg, P Robert Malone, PK Kai Forbath, KO Zach Hocker

—I’m not sure if the punter is on the roster yet but Malone has it by default for now. I think that Hocker sticks around as a kickoff specialist at the outset of the seasons assuming that the team is mostly healthy. If injuries squeeze the 53-man roster as the season goes on they may have to choose between the two.

Counts:

  • Offense—24
  • Defense—25
  • Specialists—4

New to organization since last year: 19 (8 offense, 9 defense, 2 specialists) (7 draft picks, 12 free agents)

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Cousins believes "a lot rides" on the coming Redskins season

Cousins believes "a lot rides" on the coming Redskins season

RICHMOND—While Kirk Cousins has had a lot of success in his first two seasons as the Redskins’ starting quarterback, he and the team didn’t finish last season the way they wanted to. They lost four of their last six games to finish out of a playoff spot. With the game on the line in the season finale against the Giants, Cousins threw an interception as the team was driving for a late score to win or tie the game. The loss was the final blow to their playoff hopes.

As with any disappointing situation, Cousins and the team must walk a line between learning from the mistakes that were made—and there were many beyond the Cousins interception—and dwelling on the past. Cousins said today that the failure to make the playoffs will help drive the team this year.

RELATED: Reed one of four to start camp on PUP

“I think what it does is it gives us an edge, because we stay humble and hungry because we left the season realizing we do have a long ways to go,” Cousins said of the late-season woes. “We do need to improve if we want to go in the direction that we all believe we can. In that sense we’ll take the silver lining that nobody is content, nobody is entitled, nobody feels like we can rest on what we’ve done in the past.”

While they can focus on the silver lining for now, Cousins says that they realize that coming close to the playoffs but missing out year after year won’t cut it. That’s what gets coaches fired and leads to players losing their jobs.

MORE REDSKINS: Ranking the Redskins roster, the final update

“We do feel like a lot rides on this season up ahead,” he said. “Hopefully, that gives us a sense of urgency all through training camp to be really focused, and as a result gets the best out of every one of us so that our team can play as well as we possibly can.”

Cousins is playing on the one-year franchise tag. He has been quick to point out that many of his teammates are either on one-year deals or in the final season of a multi-year deal. Cousins is one of over a dozen starters or key contributors who will become free agents in 2018. If they are going to stay around they can’t go 2-4 down the stretch like they did last year.

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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Redskins' Cousins says he bets on the system, not on himself

Redskins' Cousins says he bets on the system, not on himself

RICHMOND—As Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins goes into playing under the franchise tag for the second straight season, the phrase commonly used about him is that he is betting on himself, eschewing the long-term security of a multiyear deal in favor hoping to improve his leverage by playing on the tags.

However, Cousins said that is a misconception.

“I don’t know that I ever bet on myself, I bet on the system, he said. “It has nothing to do with myself. I’m just going out and playing and there’s never been anything but positive feelings. I’m excited to get to work here. As I’ve said, my wife and I love it here and we’re in a good place.”

RELATED: Reed one of four to start camp on PUP

Ever since the deadline for him to sign a long-term contract this year came and went without a new deal, Cousins has been trying to debunk the notion that he has a desire to leave the Redskins as soon as he can. Appearing on 106.7 The Fan last week, Cousins said that the Redskins are his “first choice” to be his team going forward. He talked positively about his future in Washington again today after the Redskins first training camp walkthrough.

Although there was talk that the contract negotiations took a sour turn at the end after team president Bruce Allen revealed some of the details of the team’s final offer to Cousins, Cousins indicated today that everything is fine.

“W e’ve done a good job communicating between me and the team,” he said. “We’re on the same page and we’ve done everything we can possibly do to get that settled and move forward. I think we’re all in a good place right now and we’ve got enough to worry about getting our offense playing at the level we need to have a great season so I can be back in future years.”

MORE REDSKINS: Ranking the Redskins roster, the final update

What it really comes down to, what Cousins believes will make things good in the future for him and the Redskins, is success on the field.

“If you win football games, everything else takes care of itself,” he said.

“In the offseason, the ball’s in the team’s court. But from Week 1 to Week 17, the ball’s in my court and I’ve got to go play football well. That’s where my focus is.”

There likely will be more talk of Cousins future beyond the 2017 seas in the coming weeks and months. It appears that for right now that is the furthest thing from Cousins’ mind.

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.