The Washington Redskins are in the process of cutting their roster from 90 to 75 and then eventually the final 53 men for Week 1. 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.
Projected starter: Kirk Cousins
Backup: Colt McCoy
In the mix for roster spot: Nate Sudfeld
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. Although the Redskins might have been able to get away with two quarterbacks throughout the season, McCloughan drafted Sudfeld in the sixth round. With roster spots likely being needed elsewhere and having already gotten away with using just two quarterbacks all of last season, it is a possibility that Sudfeld will be demoted to the practice squad.
Running backs (3)
Projected starter: Matt Jones
Backup: Chris Thompson
In the mix for roster spot: Keith Marshall, Robert Kelley, Mack Brown, Kelsey Young
With Alfred Morris signing with archrival Dallas, Jones becomes the lead option. Thompson has accepted the one-year deal tendered and despite a relatively young backfield, it does not look like a veteran back like Pierre Thomas will be added to the roster. Although the Redskins spent a 7th round pick on the lightning quick Marshall, he was limited in OTAs with a hamstring injury that has kept the door open for others to possibly steal away his third back spot. Assuming Marshall gets healthy for camp and is able to blow away coaches with his legs, there should be no contest in this position battle.
Wide receivers (6)
Projected starters: DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon
Backups: Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson
In the mix for roster spot: Ryan Grant, Rashad Ross, Maurice Harris
On the outside: Reggie Diggs, Valdez Showers, Jarvis Turner
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? Doctson was drafted in the first round likely as insurance for next year, but can also contribute right away. Andre Roberts was finally cut after Crowder continued to impress coaches out of the slot. Should positions be added elsewhere, Grant, Ross, and Harris could be fighting for one spot instead of two. Grant has been commended for his route running, while Ross is the leading contender as kick returner but do not sleep on Maurice Harris who Jay Gruden said was doing a "nice job."
Tight ends (4)
Projected starters: Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis
Backups: Niles Paul, Logan Paulsen
In the mix for roster spot: Derek Carrier
On the outside: Marcel Jensen
Reed is not a free agent until next summer so clearly the breakout threat is staying put. Davis was seemingly brought in to round out a four tight end rotation, but the details of Davis' contract makes it likely that he will be the second biggest tight end target after Reed. Paul and Paulsen are being talked up incredibly after both missed the 2015 season because of their usefulness in the running game. Carrier is a question mark for 2016 because of his ACL injury in December that could force him to start the year on PUP, but it would be hard to justify a fifth roster spot for a tight end when he does become healthy.
Projected starters: Trent Williams, Morgan Moses
Backup: Ty Nsekhe
In the mix for roster spot: Cody Booth, Takoby Coefield
On the outside: Al Bond, Kevin Bowen
Moses went from training camp question mark to cementing his starting role at right tackle with Willams on the blindside. Tom 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 there is a good shot at offseason signee Booth or last year's UDFA Cofield making the team.
Projected starters: Brandon Scherff, Kory Lichtensteiger, Spencer Long
Backup: Arie Kouandjio
In the mix for roster spot: Josh LeRibeus, Shawn Lauvao
On the outside: Austin Reiter, Nila Kasitati
Scherff is the only true lock, though it's possible the first six make the final cut seeing as Washington didn't add a free agent or spend a draft pick. The center spot is where change is most likely to happen as Lichtensteiger, 30, might be wearing down. Until further notice, he retains the starting center position unless Long can competently shift in from left guard. Although LeRibeus was ineffective at center last year, the Redskins re-signed the interior lineman to provide an experienced backup at center (but do not rule out his release if Long can prove to be at least a viable backup center). Like Lichtensteiger, guard Lauvao has two more years left on his deal and was fairly effective in the beginning of the year before a season ending ankle injury. With the continued development of Long and Kouandjio as well as the uncertainty of his healthy following five offseason surgeries between both legs, the Redskins might part way with the former Cleveland Brown in order to save $8 million over the next two years.
Follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.
To get instant Redskins notifications, download the NEW Scout mobile app for iOS HERE!
Be sure to check out the ever-growing benefit package of being a Breaking Burgundy Insider! Check it out HERE.