The Redskins have one week to figure out what players they should let go to make room for OLB Rob Jackson and DE Jarvis Jenkins, but they could look to make the decisions sooner. Here are the guys on the chopping block so to speak with my predictions and some alternative options thrown out there:
-Potter is basically a lock to be cut as soon as Kai Forbath is definitively healthy. Had the Redskins already needed to make the moves , it is likely Potter wouldn’t have been cut, but given that they have a week he is likely to be one of these cuts. But with the team possibly looking to make other moves, the team could still make two additional moves.
-The team is carrying 4 safeties and only keeping 3 or 4 active on game days. Gumbs has not been active once and with the team even preferring to play a corner at safety over him, it is likely that Gumbs will be making his way on to the practice squad. The team though could be looking at additional safeties so he could be cut, but maybe not as one of the spots for Jackson/Jenkins.
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-Given that the Redskins have typically kept 6 defensive linemen, and Jenkins coming back would give them 7, it is very possible that one of the current back-ups find themselves without a job. Chris Neild has been inactive twice, but he’s probably played the best of this group. He did suffer a minor leg issue, so if that is more serious the team could opt to cut him (or even put him on IR), but it doesn’t appear that it is serious. Baker has struggled some (they all have really), but he’s got more versatility than Merling. Also Baker’s contract is now guaranteed so it would mean far more in dead money than cutting Merling or Neild. I think Merling is the one to likely get the axe here.
-This is a bit more out there, but with the safety position unsettled, Forbath’s injury status more of a mystery and the defensive line a mess, the Redskins could opt to keep more depth at a couple of those positions. Chris Thompson has already lost his kick return duties and his punt return duties probably shouldn’t be far behind. The Redskins would then be keeping him essentially as a lotto ticket for next year. One interesting thing could be Alfred Morris‘s injury status. Perhaps if Morris is more of a question mark that would save him, but since he’s not been viewed as a running back yet, it likely won’t have much of an impact.
-Roughly about half the teams have two quarterbacks in the league and half have more than 2. The Redskins could opt to ut Grossman and roll with Griffin and Cousins, but that seems really unlikely. The Redskins seem to like Grossman’s veteran leadership and like it or not there is still an injury risk with RGIII. With so many other viable options this just doesn’t make sense.
-Jenkins had a lot of flash and potential in camp, but he’s yet to do much during the season and is now dealing with an injury. The Redskins could try to sneak him through waivers, which would probably work so as to not carry 9 linebackers for the rest of the season. This is unlikely to occur as the Redskins don’t want to risk losing Jenkins with Orakpo, Tapp and Jackson free agents after next season. Jackson coming back though will likely mean Jenkins is inactive most weeks though.
-There is a chance that Paulsen could actually need to go on IR for the year depending on his MRI, but using that or the short term IR for him or Davis, could be a way to push back the decisions on one of the players above. It would mean being without either Davis or Paulsen for at least 6 weeks, but that could be a good thing. Even if the news isn’t too bad for Paulsen it could mean the Redskins will be without him for a couple of weeks and Davis has been a shell of his former self even before the ankle injury. Now the Players Union or the League maybe wouldn’t typically allow an ankle sprain go on the short term IR, but with Davis still recovering from his Achilles injury they should be covered there. Obviously if Paulsen is going to need to miss some time he’d be the option and the Redskins would need Davis to tough it out, but using short term IR on one of the two could be a viable option.
I think we will see Potter and Gumbs as the first two guys cut, but I also think at least one other roster move will be made and it will likely be a defensive lineman with Merling as the top option. The Redskins could look to bring in an extra safety or corner with the additional spot.