With the release of both Chris Chester and Tracy Porter, Redskins General Manager Scot McCloughan continues to flex his influence and put his stamp on the roster, as the list rebuild moves forward.
Overhauling the roster of a team that has a 7 and 25 record over the past two seasons is no small task, and it’s not one that happens quickly either. At the culmination of the 2014 NFL season, the Redskins roster had so many holes on it that it was akin to Swiss cheese. However since McCloughan has been in the General Manager’s office, the Redskins roster has undertaken some significant changes.
The addition of free agents Terrance Knighton, Ricky Jean-Francois, Chris Culliver, Jeron Johnson and Dashon Goldson, all on the defensive side of the field, and the lack of any big name offensive free agent signings, was a clear and palpable indicator that McCloughan was implementing a system of roster development that had worked so well for him during his previous stints with both Seattle and San Francisco.
Via the NFL Draft, McCloughan made good on his commitment to quarterback Robert Griffin III to surround him with talent, taking offensive lineman Brandon Scherff with the fifth overall pick, and also picking up running back Matt Jones, and receivers Jamison Crowder and Evan Spencer in later rounds.
McCloughan may or may not be done making moves, and with that in mind, we take a look at the three most plausible scenarios for the Redskins roster management in the coming weeks:
Three Possible Roster Moves
1) The Redskins do not make any major moves
At current projections, the Redskins are entering the 2015 season with around $8.75 million in cap space. If they do not sign any other free agents, that cap space will carryover to the 2016 season; a year in which they’ll need as much cap space as they can get.
Star players Ryan Kerrigan and Trent Williams are both already in the process of negotiating extensions which will see them remain with the Redskins for the foreseeable future, and their contracts are expected to be sizeable. Add to that mix Alfred Morris, who is also slated to be a free agent in 2016, and if he performs well in the new Bill Callahan ‘power run’ system this year, will earn himself a new contract and a pay rise, too.
Not including new contracts for those three aforementioned players, the Redskins would go into 2016 with approximately $38 million in cap space if they opt to carryover the current cap space into next season.
The 2016 free agent class is also loaded with talent, and names like Bobby Wagner, Aldon Smith, Alshon Jeffery, Sean Smith, and Alex Boone are all players that would seem to fit with McCloughan’s strategy.
Cap space is always a premium asset to have, and the Redskins could have a nice little war chest to play with in 2016 if they opt to carryover the current figure.
2) The Redskins cut Logan Paulsen and add Jermaine Gresham
The Redskins Tight End position probably doesn’t seem like a high priority for most fans, but consider the following;
- Jordan Reed is injured. Again.
- Niles Paul only has 53 receptions in his entire career, and 2 career touchdowns
- Logan Paulsen tries hard, but realistically isn’t a starting calibre NFL Tight End
Furthermore, none of those three Tight Ends are reliable in the pass block or run block games. Essentially, the Redskins enter the 2015 season with 1 talented but injury prone TE, 1 undersized backup, and 1 journeyman.
Jermaine Gresham is still available in free agency, and already has familiarity with the Jay Gruden offense. The 2 time Pro Bowler is also a talented blocker, and in 2014 gave up 0 sacks and only 1 QB hurry in exactly 100 pass block snaps played. At only 26 years of age, Gresham still has youth on his side to recover from offseason spinal surgery to repair a herniated disc, and from all reports he will be fit and healthy come the start of training camp season. Crucially, at 6’5 and 260lbs, he has the size and frame that McCloughan covets, and would compliment the Callahan blocking system very well.
Cutting Paulsen would free up approximately $1.4 million in cap space.
3) Trade one of Kirk Cousins or Colt McCoy, sign a 3rd string QB
As we discussed in an article earlier this week, there really isn’t any value carrying backup quarterbacks who are better than some projected 2015 starting quarterbacks. Both Colt McCoy and Kirk Cousins would have at least some value on the trade market, and both are entering the final year of their Redskins contracts. Given his age and potential, Cousins would seemingly attract a higher asking price than McCoy, and if the Redskins can get a 4th, 5th, or even 6th round pick for him, they should pull the trigger.
Trading Cousins would only free up about $500,000, but the added benefit of receiving an additional draft pick would be an attractive option to McCloughan.
If the Redskins were to make such a move, then they would need to sign a 3rd string quarterback who is at least somewhat viable, so someone like Ryan Lindley or Matt Flynn could be possible options.
Which out of these three options do you think is most likely? Or, perhaps you have some suggestions of your own for additional roster moves that McCloughan is yet to make? Let us know on Twitter and join in the interaction!
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