McCloughan, Redskins have another chance to show waiting game works by spending new cap space on OL

There's one area the Redskins haven't addressed this offseason. They now have the money and an interesting target with pass protection and leadership skills.

It's true the Redskins didn't select a defensive lineman early in the NFL Draft, but they did eventually in addition to some low-key pickups in free agency. Other need areas -- wide receiver, cornerback, safety, linebacker, tight end, running back -- were addressed either loudly (Josh Norman, Josh Doctson) or in subtle ways.

Not so with the offensive line. Despite a clear need at center dating back to last season, despite uncertainty at left guard, Washington passed on adding any big guys to help protect Kirk Cousins or open holes for Matt Jones. 

Fine, they technically added free agent Cody Booth, but he's never played in an NFL game despite entering the league in 2014. In terms of potential starting help, that's a move the Redskins didn't make, though general manager Scot McCloughan confirmed interest in Ryan Kelly. The Colts selected the Alabama center four picks before Washington took Doctson in the first round. 

Here's where things stand with the offensive line right now. Assume 9 or 10 will be on the final 53-man roster.

TackleTrent WilliamsMorgan Moses (starters); Ty NsekheTakoby CofieldCody Booth

GuardSpencer LongBrandon Scherff (starters); Shawn LauvaoArie Kouandjio

CenterKory Lichtensteiger (starter); Josh LeRibeusAustin Reiter

Injuries hampered Lauvao, who got off to a solid start, and Lichtensteiger, who didn't. If the Redskins feel both are on the mend, then perhaps that's enough. If they feel like Long can handle center, maybe he moves over after showing good form at left guard late last season. If they hope youngsters like Kouandijo, Reiter and Cofield are ready to take on more, then perhaps it didn't make sense to draft another OL project.

Yes, that's a lot of ifs. 

The reality is it's not reasonable for a team with as many immediate needs as the Redskins had this offseason to fill them all adequately in a salary cap world. However, speaking of the salary cap, Washington just freed up some $8 million this week by releasing cornerback Chris Culliver. That puts the free agent market back in play, or at least it does next month. Per the NFL's official transaction report, the Redskins released the veteran with a post-June 1 designation. 

Jahri Evans, a six-time Pro Bowl guard, was released by the Saints after refusing to take a pay cut. Louis Vasquez didn't have a strong 2015 season, but the 335-pounder started at guard for the Super Bowl-winning Broncos. Former Redskin Will Montgomery is among the available centers. 

Perhaps the most interesting option of all is a new one. Chicago released starting guard Matt Slauson following the draft.'s Bears site called the release a "head-scratching move." He's been largely healthy and productive, outperforming teammate and Pro Bowl guard Kyle Long at times. Last season, Slauson allowed one sack and zero QB hits. When needed, he filled in nicely at center despite no previous experience. According to Bear Report, he's "revered in Chicago's locker room." The Bears did spend a second-round pick on guard Cody Whitehair.

It isn't totally clear why Chicago was looking to replace the 30-year-old due $3.4 million next season, but they did. 

It also isn't totally clear if the Redskins think they need more help on the offensive line, but they probably do. Now they have some extra money to make a move. If the goal is about maxing out in 2016, it's a move they look to make. If the goal is maintaining flexibility for the big picture, including contract extensions, they probably don't.

Ben Standig is the Publisher of Breaking Burgundy and the Huddle Report's 2012 NFL Mock Draft champion. You can find him on Twitter @benstandig and on Google+

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