Getting down to the 53-man roster isn't just about keeping the "best" players, but maximizing options.
Manny Benton often tweets random thoughts regarding the Washington Redskins at random times of the day that typically bring interesting dialog. Now, from Monday through Thursday at around 9 a.m., you can find those Twitter-sized thoughts in "Morning Manny." Complete with explanations!
The Redskins should try to trade WR Ryan Grant and keep Maurice Harris:
Head coach Jay Gruden recently hinted that roster battles remain at receiver. That's perhaps surprising, but it also makes sense. Washington is deep at receiver.
With that in mind, the Redskins should shop Grant to address a need at running back or nose tackle. Even if the deal garners just a draft pick in return, the team should consider moving the third-year receiver.
Grant has played well in the preseason, as he's done the past two years. However, it's doubtful he'll get much play during the season. Not to mention, he has not done much with his regular season opportunities in the past. At this point, Washington is just wasting a spot on a player who does nothing for you on special teams and won't help you on offense.
Instead, Washington should consider keeping the rookie Harris on the roster. Considering that Rashad Ross
will be the team's kickoff returner and an option on punt returns, it's unlikely the team will cut him. It's also unlikely the team keeps seven receivers unless Josh Doctson
doesn't make progress prior to Week 1. Therefore, Harris needs an opening to stick as No. 6. That means moving Grant.
Harris brings size (6-foot-3, 205 pounds) that the team otherwise lacks without Doctson. His route running during the preseason has impressed me, especially on slants and out routes. For his size, it's impressive to see him play both slot and outside receiver. Plus, he's a willing blocker. The Redskins could also use Harris on special teams, which is something he took pride in while playing at Cal.
If I'm Washington, I'd find a way to keep Harris. The way to do that could very well be removing Grant from the mix.
UPDATE (9:10 a.m.): Actually, no, he's not.
That's some timing; the Stork failed-physical news broke just as this post went live. That he now won't be joining the Redskins (we think) doesn't change the fact that the Redskins are looking for a center. Don't forget they that reportedly wanted center Ryan Kelly in the first round of April's draft, but he came off the board a few picks before the Redskins were on the clock.
My take is Lichtensteiger needs to be replaced. The eighth-year pro is a liability. He has not looked good this preseason and, ideally, it's time to part ways.
Cutting Lichtensteiger would save the Redskins slightly less than $3 million. But cutting him now may not be in their best interest since the Stork plan bombed (we think). Who knows with this guy.
If the team is uncomfortable, Spencer Long
can fill the void. There seems to be some slight concerns about Long at center regarding whether or not he can make the line calls. However, he's been more competent at the position this preseason than Lichtensteiger.
"Spencer is a great player. He's a very smart player too. He knows what he's doing," guard Brandon Scherff recently told Breaking Burgundy's Ben Standig. "He just needs to trust himself and make the right call. We're going to go off his call and do what we can."
The combination of Long at center with Shawn Lauvao
looked like their best power combo in camp. In my opinion, you take the guys who are playing better. Washington can assist whomever would replace Lichtensteiger at center by simplifying the line calls and leaning harder on the QB.
You can find Emmanual on Twitter @manny_benton.
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