Free agency and the NFL Draft will 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 incoming 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.
In the mix: 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 was inked to a long-term contract before the beginning of a short supply of quarterbacks free agency. It's not a lock the Redskins go with three quarterbacks after doing so in recent seasons, but general manager Scot McCloughan might draft a quarterback that can sit back and develop. That player would replace Robert Griffin III, who was cut on Monday two days before the March 9 deadline, on the roster.
Running backs (3)
In the mix: Pierre Thomas (free agent)
With Morris signing with archrival Dallas, 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. Young saw limited playing time in Bill Callahan’s power run game that features two tight ends and as a result is unlikely to return.
Wide receivers (6)
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 cut once recovering from knee surgery late in the year. 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)
In the mix: Derek Carrier
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. With the fullback position likely being eliminated and Carrier (ACL) likely starting the season on the PUP list, Paulsen was re-signed and Davis was brought in to round out a fourth tight rotation. The details of Davis' contract makes it likely that he will be the second biggest tight end target after Reed.
On the outside: Tom Compton (exclusive restricted free agent)
Moses went from training camp question mark to cementing his starting role at right tackle with Willams on the blindside. Compton could have come at little cost but is moving on after not being offered an official tender from the team according to CSN Mid-Atlantic. This makes Nsekhe, a mere $600,000 cap hit, a lock to return to back up either ends of the offensive line. It is common place to have four tackles on the active roster so Scot McCloughan could either select a tackle in the 2016 draft or find someone, like Nsekhe, as an undrafted free agent. Washington recently signed Booth and still have last year's UDFA Cofield on the team.
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. Although LeRibeus was ineffective at center last year, the Redskins re-signed the interior lineman to bring him back for 2016.
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