Projected Lineups: Washington Redskins
Continuing our dive into how the NFL rosters currently look, we’re turning our attention to the team with the second-worst record in the NFL, the Washington Redskins.
As is the norm, we’re only looking at players who are either currently under contract or are exclusive rights/ restricted free agents, so if you’re team’s lineup is missing your favorite player, you’ll know why. We’re also adding some spiel to look at the cap situation, some possible help from within, and more to go with our graphical representation of the strengths of each team.
For Washington and their new Head Coach Jay Gruden, they’ve got something approaching a blank canvas to work with. With a whole slew of free agents it’s clear they’ll have to make many moves to replenish a depleted roster that was already very weak in certain areas.
– Player markers are colored per class on a six-step ‘Poor’ to ‘High Quality’ scale based on their overall performance and the league’s elite are marked separately in blue.
– Colored outlines suggest a potential change in class.
– Underlined players will be 30+ years old for the 2014 season.
– Red player names suggest injury risks.
– Click on the image to enlarge.
– There aren’t many teams that feature as much “grey” on their graphic as the Redskins. That speaks volumes to the situation they find themselves in, but also sees them a prime candidate to go big on re-signing some players before they hit the open market. We’re looking chiefly at Brian Orakpo and DeAngelo Hall in that regard.
– It may surprise some to see Ryan Kerrigan earning the ‘average’ marker given his sack production since entering the league. But while he has at times flashed the big play, he too often fails to turn enough of his significant number of snaps into pressure. He’s coming off a year where he was only 18th out of 41 3-4 outside linebackers in terms of Pass Rushing Productivity.
– A more interesting player is Barry Cofield. He earned the ‘solid starter’ marker but that owed much to his subpar work against the run. He’s not your prototypical 2-gap nose tackle, but that doesn’t excuse his lack of impact there as an every down player. That is in stark contrast to the terror he creates rushing the passer. He finished fifth in 2013 and ninth in 2012 of all defensive tackles with his grading there.
– Much like you, we remain in the dark as to the plans of Gruden when it comes to the offensive line. What we do know is they have a stud left tackle in Trent Williams who should flourish anywhere, whereas every other member of the line will take something of a hit if they move away from the zone-based rushing attack Team Shanahan preferred.
2014 Cap Situation
After two years of cap penalties the team find themselves in excellent condition with close to $30m in cap room and a number of big contracts off the books. They were forced to sit on their hands somewhat in last years free agency and this year look set to make a splash while needing to fill a number of holes.
They’re not really in a position to be saying goodbye to many more veterans with so many already hitting the road, but if they do decide the smaller more agile linemen aren’t fit for purpose, they could save $8.5m in cap money by releasing all of their starting linemen bar Trent Williams. An unlikely scenario, but Chris Chester ($2.7m cap hit per www.overthecap.com) is a prime contender. They might also say goodbye to a defensive end especially with reports suggesting they are prioritizing the signing of Chris Baker due to his positional versatility. Then it’s a straight fight between the perennially-injured Adam Carriker (who would save about £3M), or free agent disappointment Stephen Bowen (whose release would save £2M).
Opportunities from the Roster
A lot depends on who the team is able to bring back. Your gut tells you to expect DeAngelo Hall, Brian Orakpo and possibly Perry Riley to return on the defense which still leaves a boatload of places in the secondary, and a starting spot at inside linebacker to play for. As you can tell from the guys we’ve put in as currently atop the depth chart, nothing is set in stone. Perhaps one of the more interesting things to watch will be if Jarvis Jenkins can take a leap forward and challenge for a starting spot after a quiet sophomore season, or if 2012 fifth round selection Adam Gettis (+1.8 grade in preseason) might make a linemen expendable.
* If you see anything wrong with the lineup as currently listed, please send feedback to @PFF on Twitter. We won’t promise to change it, but we will have a look.
Projected lineups by team:
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