End of the year on the High School level means handing out superlatives. With the Redskins putting a pin with their offseason activities, we're giving out various Burgundy and Gold superlatives based on the team reconvening in Richmond for the start of training camp on July 28.
Category: Biggest names in roster bubble trouble
Offense: Shawn Lauvao. The Redskins running game went south after their starting left guard suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 3. Lauvao isn't Russ Grimm, but he was better than the backup options. That might be the case again in 2016. We just need Lauvao on the field to find out. That didn't happen during OTA's and minicamp as the coaching staff took long looks with Spencer Long and Arie Kouandjio running with the starters. Redskins coach Jay Gruden:
“Well, Shawn Lauvao is going to be healthy here shortly I hope and I think that will be a great competition. You know, Shawn was playing at a very high level before he got injured, so I’m not going to pencil in anybody as a starter right now. I want to make sure Shawn gets healthy first. I really like his ability but I love the way Spencer came on at the end of the year. It’s good to have two good guys at that position.”
Depth is important, but so is the salary cap. Lauvao counts for $5 million this season and in 2017. Washington could save $3 million in 2016 and $4 million in 2017 by cutting ties. If Lauvao is back in action for the start of training camp and taking names on the field, then good bet he sticks. But if not -- and he certainly didn't appear close from afar while on the side during recent practices -- then the Redskins will continue taking a long, long look at their younger less expensive interior options like Long, Kouandijo, Takoby Cofield, Josh LeRibeus and Austin Reiter
Defense: Perry Riley. Maybe the veteran inside linebacker returns from his foot injury at training camp and steps past Mason Foster for the starting job, a job he's held previously, next to Will Compton. Or, perhaps Riley slots in with the second unit, at which point the Redskins must ponder whether they're down with a $5 million cap hit for a reserve. Then again, the defensive coaches might feel the six-year player is the lone option they feel confident could step into the lineup as needed. However, the special teams staff might get out the bullhorn for Martrell Spaight, Terence Garvin or perhaps Adam Hayward. The front office could suggest keeping draftee Steven Daniels is the right move. There isn't room for all of these linebackers and Riley easily comes with the largest price tag.
(Non-injury notable in potential roster bubble trouble: Does Greg Toler count? There's room for the 31-year-old, in theory, but perhaps not if Dashaun Phillips and undrafted rookie Lloyd Carrington end up as the fifth or sixth corners. That safety Will Blackmon has oodles of corner experience could also lead to Washington choosing younger options over Toler.)
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