Free agency and the NFL Draft wiill dominate the next two months of coverage. The Washington Redskins are in the process of sorting out their own players, targets around the league and incomng prospects. Part of the calculus involves those already on the roster. Here's a look at the Redskins projected offensive depth chart, showing the current players, those likely back and missing pieces. The number of projected players for each position shown in parenthesis. Click here for the defense and special teams.
Locks; Kirk Cousins (free agent - franchise tag)
In the mix: Colt McCoy (free agent), mid-to late round draft pick
Cousins will be wearing Burgundy and Gold in 2016 after he signed his $19.953 million franchise tag, although a long-term contract can be negotiated before July 15. McCoy is also a free agent. Good chance the veteran returns seeing as McCoy knows coach Jay Gruden’s system, but he also wants a shot at competiting for a starting role if offered. It's not a lock the Redskins go with three quarterbacks after doing so in recent seasons, but general manager Scot McCloughan will probably draft a quarterback that can sit back and develop. That player would replace Robert Griffin III on the roster.
Running backs (4)
In the mix: Pierre Thomas, free agent, Darrel Young (free agent)
On the outside: Alfred Morris (free agent)
With the "unknown getting closer" for Morris, Jones likely becomes the lead option, for now. There's a good bet the Redskins add a veteran they can lean on in case Jones can't stop the fumbles or injuries. Thompson has accepted the one-year deal tendered and Washington will probably want to have an experienced back to complement their relatively young backfield. Although Young saw limited playing time in Bill Callahan’s power run game that features two tight ends, the fullback could return because of his role on special teams.
Wide receivers (6)
Locks: Jamison Crowder,
On the outside: Andre Roberts
A lot has been made about the money that could be saved by cutting the likes of Jackson or Garcon. McCloughan does not need extravagant amounts of money to begin with so what is the point in losing an elite deep threat and gritty receiver willing to go across the middle on third down? Roberts doesn't seem like there's a fit for him on the roster, which is why he's a possible if not likely cut. There is a clear need for more size within this unit so the Redskins could add a big receiver in the draft. Ross, a valuable kick returner next season, looks good for 2016, but could be a surprise cut in August if the roster spot is needed elsewhere.
Tight ends (3)
Locks: Jordan Reed
Reed is not a free agent until next summer so clearly the breakout threat is staying put. Paul was praised by Gruden and the rest of the coaching staff before his ankle injury cost him the 2015 season. Carrier, acquired for a fifth-round pick before the start of the 2015 season, is another good bet for 2016. This scenario would leave free agents Paulsen and Smith as the odd men out.
[ RELATED - Ranking the Redskins free agents. All of them.]
Moses went from training camp question mark to cementing his starting role at right tackle with Willams on the blindside. Compton, coming at little cost, can be used as a blocking tight end and as an extra offensive line in short distance sets. Nsehke easily beat out Willie Smith last year but could have to fight for his job again against an UDFA.
On the outside: Josh LeRibeus
Scherff, Long and probably Kouandjio are roster locks because of their youth and how much McCloughan believes in building from the draft. The GM won't hesistate to add an aggressive lineman in this year's draft, which bring us to a pair of veterans. Lichtensteiger, 30, might be wearing down. Until further notice, he retains the starting center position unless Long shift from left guard or competition comes via free agency or the draft. Like Lichtensteiger, Lauvao has two more years left on his deal. He was fairly effective in the beginning of the year before a season ending ankle injury. With the continued development of Long and Kouandjio, the Redskins might part way with the former Cleveland Brown in order to save $8 million over the next two years. Free agent G/C Josh LeRibeus is unlikely back for 2016.
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