Updated February 11
With so much talk about the offseason, from the changes on the coaching staff to whether unrestricted like Kirk Cousins and Pierre Garcon return, one 2017 topic gets a bit overlooked: Who is actually on the Washington Redskins roster.
Therefore, I present the current members of the Redskins roster. Players in bold were starters by year's end. Names in italics were at least on the 53-man squad for a decent stretch of the season. The order is primarily off of how the salary cap site Over The Cap listed the players by 2017 salary.
Quarterback: Colt McCoy, Nate Sudfeld
Running back: Matt Jones, Mack Brown, Robert Kelley, Keith Marshall
Wide receiver: Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder, Ryan Grant, Maurice Harris, Matt Hazel, Reggie Diggs, Kendall Thompson
Tight end: Jordan Reed, Niles Paul Derek Carrier, Wes Sexton
Center: Spencer Long
Guard: Brandon Scherff, Shawn Lauvao, Arie Kouandjio
Tackle: Trent Williams, Morgan Moses, Kevin Bowen, Ronald Patrick, Isaiah Williams
Defensive line: Ricky Jean Francois, A.J. Francis, Phil Taylor, Matt Ioannidis, Anthony Lanier, Joey Mbu
Outside linebacker: Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, Trent Murphy, Houston Bates, Rufus Johnson, Khairi Fortt, Lynden Trail, Pete Robertson
Inside linebacker: Mason Foster, Martell Spaight, Zach Vigil, Steven Daniels
Cornerback: Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Kendall Fuller, Quinton Dunbar, Dashaun Phillips, Shak Randolph
Safety: DeAngelo Hall, Will Blackmon, Su'a Cravens, Josh Evans, Deshazor Everett, Earl Wolff
Special Teams: Tress Way, Dustin Hopkins, Nick Sundberg
* Outside linebacker and cornerback are essentially intact from 2016. If new defensive coordinator Greg Manusky can help Smith produce before the month of December, turn Breeland into a true force opposite Norman and up Fuller's level after a bumpy rookie season, the back-7 will have some true strength.
* The offensive line is poised for a similar look, though it's possible backup center Lichtensteiger, who has the eighth highest 2017 salary cap number, doesn't last. How the Redskins evaluate the work of Long's first-year as the starting center and Lauvao's play at left guard could dictate moves this offseason. Washington's running game bogged down against top defenses and backs constantly dealt with would-be tacklers in the backfield. Expect restricted free agent tackle Ty Nsekhe back.
[UPDATE: Lichtensteiger announced his retirement]
* On the other side, defensive line looks like a total overhaul even if free agent Chris Baker returns. Francois is the lone proven option under contract and he's largely a role player. Lanier is a potential find while Ioannidis and Mbu are interesting, but that's about it for now. Spending a first round pick for a pocket-collapsing nose tackle makes way too much sense, but that alone won't come close to dramatically upgrading this unit.
* Doctson is the true mystery man. Sure, Gruden has hinted at positive improvement, but do we really know whether the 2016 first round pick will be good to go after an Achilles injury essentially wiped out the wide receiver's rookie season. More importantly, do the Redskins? With free agent Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson uncertain to return, they better. Harris should have a larger role either way in 2017.
* Tight end and running back could look awfully similar to 2016 assuming Vernon Davis (UFA) and Chris Thompson (RFA). Then again, don't assume Jones is a roster lock after the Redskins put the back with fumble woes and no special teams role on ice for the second half of the season. Blocking concerns include the TE spot. Paul helps there, but not if he's always injured, which has been the case the last two seasons.
* As for the quarterback, if you want to take recent comments from team officials about the desire to keep Kirk Cousins as fact, rock on. I'm not there yet until we here about substantive discussions over a long-term deal. Otherwise, we're looking at a franchise tag, again. Call me skeptical over whether it makes much sense for team few outside of Ashburn will view as a true Super Bowl contender in 2017 to give Cousins $24 million for one year when he likely walks in 2018. No doubt, Gruden is down for keeping his guy. We'll soon see if the others at Redskins Park agree. If not, the above depth chart might turn into reality with rookie joining the fray.