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Way too early Redskins 53-man roster projection--Offense

Way too early Redskins 53-man roster projection--Offense

The Redskins will hold their first major on-field activity of their preseason program tomorrow when they start their rookie camp in Ashburn. That’s too early to predict who will make the 53-man roster when all of the preseason activity is done and the final cuts are made on September 5. But that won’t stop me. Here is who I think ends up making the offensive portion of the final 53; looking at the defense tomorrow.

Starters in bold

Offense (25)

Quarterback (3): Robert Griffin III, Colt McCoy, Connor Halliday

This scenario may be overly optimistic on Halliday’s potential. He is a pure project, coming out of a no-huddle, spread shotgun offensive at Washington State. If he shows enough the Redskins may want to keep him on the 53 and not risk losing him while trying to slip him onto the practice squad. They could dangle Kirk Cousins as trade bait to a team that lost a QB to a preseason injury. If Halliday goes to the practice squad or doesn’t make it Cousins is likely to be back.

Offensive line (9): Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Kory Lichtensteiger, Spencer Long, Brandon Scherff, Tom Compton, Morgan Moses, Arie Kouandjio, Chris Chester

Looking at the last player in that list first, I think that Long is able to win the starting job at right guard but Chester stays with a contract that cuts his $4.8 million down to the $1.5-$2 million range. They would rather keep the veteran Chester as a backup who has some flexibility rather than Josh LeRibeus, who can’t play anything other than left guard.

Wide receiver (6): Pierre Garçon, DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts, Ryan Grant, Jamison Crowder, Evan Spencer.

This seems to be cut and dried as far as the six players on the roster. What remains to be seen is how much rookies Crowder and Spencer push for playing time over Grant and Roberts. Gruden seems to be high on the two draft picks and Roberts in particular was a disappointment last year.

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

This is the status quo from last year. Although the team might have liked to add a tight end in the draft there were very few to be found. I don’t think you can rule out another blocking tight end making it but four tight ends would create a squeeze at another position.

Running back (4): Alfred Morris, Darrel Young, Matt Jones, Silas Redd

There is a numbers crunch here that could lead to some very tough decisions. If Chris Thompson can stay healthy, they might want to keep him around as a third-down back. And there is some buzz about rookie Trey Williams, who could have some playmaking ability that the team is lacking. Redd will need to be on top of his game to hold on to that fourth spot.

--25 offensive players, six new to the Redskins organization in 2015.

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Peter King, Ian Rapoport say Redskins can't afford to let Kirk Cousins get away

Peter King, Ian Rapoport say Redskins can't afford to let Kirk Cousins get away

After he signed the franchise tag a couple of weeks ago, the speculation, rumors and, for some fans, panic around Kirk Cousins has largely quieted down.

The Redskins can ink their quarterback to a long-term deal any time between now and July 15, but talks may not pick up until summer rolls around. A trade can also occur, but no recent reports have indicated that one is in the works.

Therefore, it currently looks like Cousins and the franchise that drafted him back in 2012 will be together for at least one more season. And according to Sports Illustrated's Peter King, that's a wise choice by the Burgundy and Gold.

"I think they did the absolute right thing in making sure Kirk Cousins is gonna be their quarterback this year," King told CSN Redskins Insider JP Finlay at the NFL owner's meetings in Phoenix. "I absolutely, unequivocally would not trade him. That's a white flag." 

As for why King wouldn't move on from No. 8, his explanation was very simple.

"You don't get rid of a guy who's got the second-most passing yards in football over the last two years," he said.

MORE REDSKINS: WILL JAY GRUDEN'S ROLE IN DECISION-MAKING EXPAND THIS YEAR?

Finlay also gathered input on the Redskins' and Cousins' relationship from the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, who's another major voice in the league's media. Rapoport first stated that he would be "beyond stunned" if the 28-year-old was not in D.C. for the 2017 campaign and then laid out how he envisions the year unfolding.

"I do not believe he will sign the extension before the season," he said. "So, he's going to go out there, play on another one-year deal, bet on himself like he did last year. You hope it's the same thing. And then we'll see, because I know there's some talk about him not signing an extension — I'm not so sure about that. Everyone has a price, right?"

"If they offer him $25 [million] a year, Andrew Luck's deal, I would imagine plans would change pretty quickly, right?" Rapoport continued. "So you get to the end of the season, assess where you are, assess the value and see if you can make a business deal. It's terrible to have to pay so much money to your quarterback. The only worse thing is not being able to pay so much money to your quarterback." 

King and Rapoport are clearly both in agreement that losing their rising signal caller would be a huge blow to the Redskins. But while King says Washington should keep Cousins because of his production, Rapoport took a different route when concluding how the negotiations will end up.

"Really good quarterbacks never leave their team. It just never happens," he said. "So I would think there's a way to work this out."

RELATED: PRESTON SMITH ENTERING VITAL YEAR

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Josh Doctson's short tweet delivers good news for Redskins

Josh Doctson's short tweet delivers good news for Redskins

Josh Doctson’s tweet left 136 characters on the table but he didn’t need any more to deliver some good news to Redskins fans.

The wide receiver was the Redskins’ top pick in the 2016 draft. At 6-2 and an ability to high point the ball he repeatedly demonstrated at TCU, it was hoped he would add a different dimension to the Redskins’ fast but relatively short receiving corps.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 6.0

But it didn’t happen. An Achilles tendon injury flared up during preseason activities and he was very limited in OTAs. He was on the PUP list during training camp and the preseason games. Doctson was on the 53-man roster to start the season but after 31 snaps and one reception in two games he was shut down for the season.

Jay Gruden was apparently frustrated by the injury and throughout the season he wasn’t sure when Doctson would be ready.

MORE REDSKINS: 3 takeaways from talking to Allen

But last month via social media Docston sent out some pictures of him doing some strenuous work at Redskins Park. It appears that he was in Tampa today working with Jon Gruden and some other Redskins. The tweet from Doctson came a short time after this picture from one of Terrelle Pryor’s social media accounts was posted.

It should be noted that doing work in shorts a T-shirts does not equal being effective in an NFL regular season game. But it’s a good first step and considering Doctson barely took any steps last year that’s a good development.

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.