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Woz

Looking beyond 2019

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Okay, so the draft is over and the 2019 season hasn't begun ... but this is Football's Future, so what might the franchise look like beyond this coming season.

First off, it will look young. List of players currently over the age of 27 on the roster (age and last season under contract in parentheses, position per redskins.com right now):

  1. TE Vernon Davis (35, 2019)
  2. QB Alex Smith (34, 2022 (realistically 2020, since I doubt he'll ever take a snap again))
  3. RB Adrian Peterson (34, 2020 (though Washington has a club option for that year, and it is an open question whether they exercise it))
  4. CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (33, 2019)
  5. QB Colt McCoy (32, 2019)
  6. OL Tony Bergstrom (32, 2019)
  7. LS Nick Sundberg (31, 2020)
  8. CB Josh Norman (31, 2020)
  9. QB Case Keenum (31, 2019)
  10. T Trent Williams (30, 2020)
  11. LB Ryan Kerrigan (30, 2020)
  12. LB Mason Foster (30, 2019)
  13. P Tress Way (29, 2020)
  14. WR Brian Quick (29, 2019)
  15. RB Chris Thompson (28, 2019)
  16. TE Jordan Reed (28, 2021)
  17. T Morgan Moses (28, 2022)
  18. K Dustin Hopkins (28, 2020)
  19. LB Marcus Smith (27, 2019)
  20. G Brandon Scherff (27, 2019)
  21. WR Paul Richardson (27, 2022)
  22. OG Zac Kerin (27, 2019)
  23. TE Manasseh Garner (27, 2019 (ERFA))
  24. LB Marquis Flowers (27, 2019)
  25. S Deshazor Everett (27, 2019)
  26. LS Andrew East (27, 2019 (ERFA))

Of all of the 27+ year old guys right now, only Alex Smith, Peterson, Sundberg, Norman, Trent Williams, Kerrigan, Way, Reed, Moses, Hopkins, and Richardson are signed beyond this season, and one of those (Peterson) is an open question since the team has an option on that one.

Keep in mind that these 26 guys comprise slightly less than 30% of the current 90 man roster (technically, it's 88 right now). For a team that used to be the graybeards, that's a good thing.

However, there's a few problems/concerns:

  • You have three major contributors (both in terms of starts and salary cap) whose contracts expire in 2020: Trent Williams, Ryan Kerrigan, and Josh Norman. Likely, they'll let Norman walk, but Williams and Kerrigan are going to be harder decisions. Evaluating talent at these two positions for the coming year (both in terms of free agency (I haven't looked, but I'm quite sure there will be no value there) and college for both the 2020 and 2021 drafts) are probably priorities 1 and 1A for the front office.
    • Part of that evaluation will include the PR/sales hit as well. Unfortunately.
  • With Davis likely walking (perhaps retiring?) in 2019, Reed being fragile, and Sprinkle coming to the end of his rookie deal in 2020, looking at pass catching tight ends is probably priority 2.
  • All of the specialists are free agents in 2020. While they shouldn't be expensive to re-sign, locking them up or investigating younger options should be a medium priority for the franchise the 2019 off-season, with a close look at the relative performance for all of them. This one is below the others but it is still something to consider.

 

However, it's not just the "old" guys who will be rotating out. By position, last years under contract for all players on the roster (obviously, a bunch of these guys will be gone before September):

  • QB
    • 2019
      • Case Keenum (31)
      • Colt McCoy (32)
      • Josh Woodrum (26, ERFA)
    • 2020
      • Alex Smith (34 ... effectively, this is his last season (his contract extends another two years))
    • 2022
      • Dwayne Haskins (21, will have 5th year option for 2023)

Thoughts: By average, this is the oldest position group, which is a good and a bad thing. They have their QB of the future in Haskins, and QB of the right now in Keenum (I don't think McCoy makes the roster due to his injuries). Keenum probably won't hang around to be the backup unless he has no other options, so they might be in the market for a clipboard holder next offseason.

Woodrum has an opportunity here to maybe win that clipboard job, but right now, you have to think he's a camp arm with possibility of making the practice squad.
 

  • RB
    • 2019
      • Russell Hansbrough (25, ERFA)
      • Chris Thompson (28)
    • 2020
      • Samaje Perine (23)
      • Adrian Peterson (34) ... if option is executed
      • Elijah Wellman (24, ERFA; listed as FB)
    • 2021
      • Derrius Guice (21)
    • 2022
      • Bryce Love (21)

Thoughts: They're almost assuredly letting Thompson walk and right now, I would bet against them executing Peterson's option. That would mean that Perine would have a pathway to survival ... if he makes the roster this year. That's another thing that I would bet against. There's almost zero chance Wellman makes the roster as the FB tag is the kiss of death from Gruden. Maybe he makes the practice squad.

Regardless, it looks like the Bryce and Guice show going forward. Young, cheap, good talent? That's all to the positive.
 

  • WR
    • 2019
      • Jehu Chesson (25, RFA)
      • Robert Davis (24, ERFA)
      • Josh Doctson (26)
      • Darvin Kidsy (24, ERFA)
      • Brian Quick (29)
    • 2020
      • Cam Sims (23, RFA)
    • 2021
      • Trey Quinn (23)
      • T.J. Rahming (22, RFA)
      • Steven Sims (??, RFA ... it's weird, I cannot find a birthday for this guy)
    • 2022
      • Kelvin Harmon (22)
      • Terry McLaurin (23)
      • Paul Richardson (27)

Thoughts: Bet you didn't know that Josh Doctson is the 3rd oldest receiver on the roster? I didn't. Now, the downside of this crew is that they haven't really performed. The upside is they're incredibly young (Quick notwithstanding ... and I don't think he's here in September). There's a lot of chances to develop in this squad, but arguably this is one of the biggest needs of the team going forward. Yes, @turtle28, if one or more of these guys can showcase something this season, that need will drop substantially. (I know how you like us to focus on the guys we have before looking to replace them :D ). Right now, though, this position group is a bunch of question marks. Who actually makes the roster will be interesting? Have to think that Doctson, Richardson, and Quinn are safe ... and Harmon and McLaurin have a good shot (it's a rare draft pick under Allen who doesn't make it to the final roster in their rookie season (off the top of my head, only Robert Davis comes to mind)). Beyond that, it's open and even the "safe" picks shouldn't be breathing all that easy (well, Richardson can, due to his contract).
 

  • TE
    • 2019
      • Vernon Davis (35)
      • Matt Flanagan (24, ERFA)
      • Manasseh Garner (27, ERFA)
      • J.P. Holtz (25, ERFA)
    • 2020
      • Jeremy Sprinkle (24)
    • 2021
      • Jordan Reed (28)
      • Kano Dillon (??, RFA ... again, cannot find a birthday)

Thoughts: The other pass catching position. Barring injury (which, with Reed, you cannot count out), it's going to be Reed, Davis, and Sprinkle heading into the season yet again. That's not so great since you have one guy who is likely done after this season, another who you cannot count on due to health, and the third you cannot count on to do more than block for you. The rest of the crowd are practice squad/camp bodies. While there was some thought to addressing this group this season, they didn't. They're going to have to do it sooner rather than later, though.
 

  • OT
    • 2019
      • Ereck Flowers (25)
      • Timon Parris (23, ERFA)
    • 2020
      • Roubbens Joseph (24, ERFA)
      • Trent Williams (30)
    • 2021
      • Juwann Bushell-Beatty (22, RFA)
      • Geron Christian (22)
      • Chidi Okeke (22, RFA)
    • 2022
      • Morgan Moses (28)
  • OG
    • 2019
      • Tyler Catalina (26, RFA)
      • Zac Kerin (27)
      • Brandon Scherff (27)
    • 2020
    • 2021
    • 2022
      • Wes Martin (22)
  • OC
    • 2019
    • 2020
      • Casey Dunn (24, RFA)
      • Chase Roullier (25)
    • 2021
    • 2022
      • Ross Pierschbacher (23)
  • OL
    • 2019
      • Tony Bergstrom (32)

Thoughts: So, they heard my plaintive wails and addressed the interior of the line! That's good! Getting Scherff signed to a long term deal is probably their main priority between now and training camp, but as I said up above, they need to start thinking about how they want to handle the left tackle position. Do they extend Williams? Even though the injuries pile up, he's still pretty good at the job.

Some combination of Kerin, Pierschbacher, and Martin will likely handle the left guard spot. Provided they don't get ravaged by injuries again, the group is actually solid.

At the same time, any snap investment they make in either Tony Bergstrom or Ereck Flowers is a wasted investment.

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Posted (edited)

So, what's it look like on the defensive side of the ball? For the record, I'm using the position as it is assigned by redskins.com. So, if you have complaints, take it up with them.

  • Defensive linemen
    • 2019
      • Caleb Brantley (24, RFA; listed as a DT (only defensive lineman with something other than "DL"))
    • 2020
      • Jonathan Allen (24, has 5th year option for 2021)
      • JoJo Wicker (22, ERFA)
    • 2021
      • Ryan Bee (??, RFA)
      • Daron Payne (21, has 5th year option for 2022)
      • Tim Settle (21)
    • 2022
      • Matt Ioannidis (25)

Thoughts: So, projecting the starting lineup for the defensive linemen is tough. Oh wait, no it isn't. Realistically, the other four guys beyond Allen, Payne and Ioannidis are fighting for backup spots, with Settle (as a former draft pick) having an inside edge.

However, do notice that Ioannidis is the "old" man of the group at 25. They've invested heavily in this position group and it is shows. It's also likely to be a strength for years to come.
 

  • Linebackers
    • 2019
      • Mason Foster (30)
      • Marquis Flowers (27)
      • Cassanova McKinzy (26, ERFA)
      • Marcus Smith (27)
    • 2020
      • Ryan Anderson (24)
      • Reuben Foster (25, 5th year option for 2021)
      • Josh Harvey-Clemons (25)
      • Ryan Kerrigan (30)
    • 2021
      • Andrew Ankrah (??, RFA)
      • BJ Blunt (24, RFA)
      • DeMarquis Gates (23, RFA)
      • Shaun Dion Hamilton (23)
    • 2022
      • Jordan Brailford (23; redskins.com has no position listed for him, but at 252 he's going to be a linebacker in their system)
      • Cole Holcomb (22)
      • Montez Sweat (22, 5th year option for 2023)

Thoughts: Only four guys 27 or older, and only two that have a reasonably easy path to making the final roster (the other two are going to have scratch and claw for a spot). That's good. The corps as a whole is somewhat thin and questionable at talent outside of Kerrigan and (hopefully) Sweat. No, I don't put all that much stock in the Fosters. Yes, I realize they'll make the roster and most likely start. No, I'm not happy about that.

Outside of the pass catchers, this would be the other group that I think they'd have to address next season. They can get by with what they have, but an injury or two and they'll be hurting. Badly.
 

  • Corners
    • 2019
      • Quinton Dunbar (26)
      • Joshua Holsey (24, ERFA)
      • Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (33)
    • 2020
      • Danny Johnson (23, RFA)
      • Fabian Moreau (25)
      • Josh Norman (31)
    • 2021
      • Adonis Alexander (22)
      • Greg Stroman (23)
    • 2022
      • Jimmy Moreland (??, redskins.com lists him as a DB (spotrac (and @Thaiphoon) list him as a corner, so he goes here)
  • Safeties
    • 2019
      • Deshazor Everett (27)
      • Jeremy Reaves (22, redskins.com lists him as a DB (spotrac lists him as a safety, so I put him here))
    • 2020
      • Montae Nicholson (23)
    • 2021
      • Troy Apke (24)
      • JoJo McIntosh (??, RFA)
    • 2022
    • 2023
      • Landon Collins (25)

Thoughts: With the last two position groups, we come to arguably the two guys who will be the hardest calls to deal with when free agency rolls around: Dunbar and Everett(*). On one hand, they'd probably like to keep both guys; on the other, the cost to keep them might not be worth it. If I had to guess right now, they'll keep Everett and let Dunbar walk.

Otherwise, they've got a decent talent pool and one that doesn't create massive holes as the seasons roll over. The Fabian Moreau question will be interesting in the 2020-2021 offseason, unless one of the younger guys take over (I know who Thai is rooting for).

 

Overall, the defense is in pretty decent shape in the front and the back. A true center field safety would be nice, but those are tough to come by. It's the middle that has me concerned. Admittedly, it's less concerned than it was before the draft, but that would be the one weakness of this unit.

 

 

 

(*) I assume they'll get Scherff a new deal in this offseason. If not, then he shoots to the top of the list in terms of go/no-go decisions. Nominally, they could slide Pierschbacher to replace him if he were to walk, but that might not be the ideal situation.

Edited by Woz

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So, looking at what is coming down the pipeline, what would you want them to address? Are there position groups you are more confident than me? Less confident?

As much as it pains me, I have to say that the roster is starting to actually come together and look like it was professionally assembled.

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How hard would it be to cut the whole team, implode the stadium, and start fresh?

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39 minutes ago, Jeezy Fanatic said:

How hard would it be to cut the whole team, implode the stadium, and start fresh?

I mean essentially the Raiders are doing this.  

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4 hours ago, Woz said:

Thoughts: They're almost assuredly letting Thompson walk and right now, I would bet against them executing Peterson's option. That would mean that Perine would have a pathway to survival ... if he makes the roster this year. That's another thing that I would bet against. There's almost zero chance Wellman makes the roster as the FB tag is the kiss of death from Gruden. Maybe he makes the practice squad.

Regardless, it looks like the Bryce and Guice show going forward. Young, cheap, good talent? That's all to the positive.

I agree, Guice and Love will probably be the one two punch next year.  Interesting tibit, if player's you cut get signed by someone else you don't get a comp pick.  However, player's that are released by declining a team option DO count towards comp picks.  New England discovered this loophole and other teams have been copying them.  

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Apke is already 27? He’s only played 1 year (well been in the league.....) just another reason why I’m not high on him. So basically if he ended up actually developing which I have no faith that he does he would be 30 looking for a new contract...... once again, that 4th rounder we spent on him could of been more valuable on someone else.

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7 minutes ago, LoganF89 said:

Apke is already 27? He’s only played 1 year (well been in the league.....) just another reason why I’m not high on him. So basically if he ended up actually developing which I have no faith that he does he would be 30 looking for a new contract...... once again, that 4th rounder we spent on him could of been more valuable on someone else.

That's a typo, he just turned 24

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My biggest concern is how old our current best players are:

  • Trent
  • Kerrigan
  • Reed (if healthy)
  • AP

Moses and Scherff are both getting close to 30 as well.  

We need some of these younger guys to step up or we're going to be forced to spend heavily in free agency these next couple of years.  The problem is, with Smith's contract, we can't enjoy the full benefits of having a talented young QB on the rookie wage scale.  It'll be at least two years before we can look forward to the cap relief that comes from having a young QB.  That's why we badly need to keep hitting in the draft (similar to Dallas these last few years, who had Romo's terrible contract hanging over their heads but have remained competitive because they've drafted so well). 

I love how young our best position group is though... and truthfully, it's one of the best DL groups in the league, regardless of age.  We also definitely have some young talent on this team outside of DL that I expect to make an impact, we just need consistency out of them, whether that be staying healthy or staying out of trouble.

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Great post Woz. Really puts into light the difficult decisions these teams have to make year in year out. 

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Can we cut Alex Smith after next year? I remember hearing something about an insurance policy or something on him worth 10-15 mil. I know there would still be some dead cap but I’m sure it would be some savings in there. I rather just cut our losses with him after the season if what I hear about the insurance policy is true

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13 hours ago, MosEisley said:

My concerns are a high caliber CB, future LT, and TE.

I agree with this. We're going to need to draft a LT and CB with a high pick in the next year or two. Enough has been invested on the interior on both sides of the ball and I like the edge. QB and RB have young, capable players there and we'll see if they pan out. TE will need to be addressed too. But it isn't as high priority as LT and CB IMO.

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For me, I want to see them be bad enough to get Jeudy but with Haskins playing well lol. Maybe we lose a bunch of close games by last second field goals but the team clearly shows vast improvement. 

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With the major draft investments at QB and ROLB, I think any need outside of WR is sorta playing for second place on the priority list at this point. 

Yes, there are current holes at some positions — ILB, FS, and probably still LG being chief among them. But those are positions of far lesser importance than WR1, and we actually have some possibilities at each of those positions on the roster.

And yes, there are speculative future holes at some major positions that we can reasonably project needed replacements down the road — including OT, CB, LOLB, and TE (obvious lesser importance). But we have quality starters at those positions, out of whom we can hopefully squeeze a couple more seasons. Perhaps Norman will he gone, but I feel okay about the young depth and think we can hope at least one of these youngsters emerges into a viable starter (in the slot, at the very least). 

WR1 is the only position where we have a gaping hole currently and no reasonable hope on the roster to fill it. And it is a high premium position in today’s NFL, in my opinion, especially when you’re hoping to develop a young QB.

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