QB – RG3, Cousins
Surprise cut – Rex Grossman
Rationale – though with a recovering QB you should have 3 QBs, no team is rushing to take Grossman. You can cut him and leave him off the roster and very likely get him back when needed. Also – Jordan Reed has college QB experience. Maybe they can sneak Pat White onto the Practice Squad – not sure if he is eligible again.
RBs - Morris, Thompson, Jamison (and Darrell Young FB)
Surprise cut – Roy Helu
Rationale - I believe Helu gets cut as he'll likely show injury after they pound him with carries during the preseason. The Redskins are far weaker at Wide Receiver and the secondary than at RB. Royster is already outside looking in.
Starting Offensive Line – Williams, Lichtensteiger, Montgomery, Chester, Pashos
Backups - Compton, Gettis, LaRibeus, Polumbus.
Surprise cut – Tyler Polumbus gets cut from the starting Right Tackle position. I also see him on the edge of getting cut from the team.
Rationale – Polumbus is a liability during pass protection. It's hard to justify 9 O-Lineman. At the same time, it's not Coach Shanny's style to cut a starter and they appreciate the continuity on the line.
I also see Gettis making a push against Chester later this year. If Pashos can fend off 'Rak attacks during training camp, he wins over Compton to start the year. The more likely Cousins starts or RG3 starts pocket passing, the more they need Pashos over Polumbus and Compton.
LaRibeus took a step back after his numerous 7 course meals during the offseason (a six pack and a mega-burger).
TE - Davis, Paulsen, Paul, Reed.
Rationale - Patriots offense here we dabble. Niles Paul will have a breakout year. He is one of the most underrated Redskins on the team. I'm growing to like the Reed pick more and more as I see how the WR's were totally manhandled by Seattle.
WR - Garcon, Morgan, Hankerson, Moss, Robinson, and a 6th receiver to be determined.
Rationale – Even though Niles Paul and Jordan Reed are TE's that are really WR's as well, I think the Redskins still try to keep 6 WRs. The reason is we all remember how horrible they looked for 3 quarters against the Seahawks in the playoffs and how awful they all were against the Steelers. A strong healthy showing from Helu will kill the 6th WR position.
All the existing wide receivers will look better this year either due to health (Morgan, Garcon), improvement at the game (Hankerson, Robinson), QB play improvement (Moss – he was open SO MANY times and RG3 rarely got to that read – that changes this year) and due to the entire offense gelling better their second year together.
I think Robinson needs yet another year to really break out, but he will be much better and hopefully the Shanahan's use him more this year. I get the suspicion that Robinson is like the dumb blonde of the bunch – the most beautiful to watch but dumb as a doornail (I hate to say it, he's one of my favorite players and I hope it isn't true). If that's true, he'll need yet another year to really know the playbook and routes and learn a few juke moves. Nonetheless, people forget how incredibly strong he is – there is no reason he can't block and be on the field and targeted much more this year. But don't expect him to chew gum, be a WR and learn to be a kickoff returner at the same time.
Whoever the 6th receiver is, he will be one of the inconsistent leftovers who will not drop a pass during training camp or the preseason games. Again, the 6th receiver is competing directly against Helu for a roster spot. New Special Teams Coach Burns will also have a big say – if the 6th receiver is a special teams return beast, he's in.
The offensive roster needs to be relatively trim to make room for Chase Minnifield and a possible return from Tanard Jackson. Special teams is also a wildcard here if Potter is added for kickoffs and/or a return specialist is added.
Total: 23 – 25 Roster Players.
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