5 Returning Redskins Fighting For a Job on Offense
May 28, 2014 in Redskins Personnel
With a shake-up in the front office and a new head coach the Redskins are bound to see plenty of turnover this offseason on their roster. Most of it is obvious and has already happened as players have been let go or allowed to leave and free agents or draft picks have been brought in to replace them. Here is a look at 5 returning Redskins who might not have a job when the season opens. Now obviously there are a number of people that could be applied to, but this list is for players who were either higher draft picks or have played a moderate amount in the past.
1. Santana Moss-
-Moss still had a pretty good chance of making the roster even after the first part of free agency when the team brought in WR Andre Roberts. But now after the signing of DeSean Jackson and the drafting of Ryan Grant, Moss's chances of making the roster have greatly decreased. Pierre Gacon, Jackson and Roberts lock up three out of the 5 or 6 spots. Ryan Grant isn't a lock, but it's rare a 5th rounder gets cut as a rookie, even if Grant struggles in camp/preseason they will probably want to give him at least one year after taking him in the high 5th round. That leaves just one or two spots, and Moss is unfortunately a similar receiver to the guys already locked into roster spots. The Redskins could favor using their final spot or two on bigger receivers. Though the odds aren't in his favor, Moss shouldn't be counted out just yet. Two years ago he was extremely effective and a big weapon for the then rookie RGIII, he could still find a way to force himself onto this roster.
-One big factor in Moss's chances of making this roster is the status of 4th year receiver Leonard Hankerson. Hankerson is coming off an ACL injury and his status for this season is very much up in the air. If Hankerson comes back from the injury and is healthy enough for the start of the season without any major drop-off in his skill set, he's pretty much got a roster spot. If Hankerson needs to go on the PUP list to start the year or even IR, then it helps open up a spot for Moss. Another thing that could occur though is probably a bit less likely, is that Hankerson is medically cleared, but due to the injury he's so ineffective that the Redskins cut him and put him on Waivers. The Redskins want Hankerson back so releasing him is unlikely, but they may feel they don't have the room for him given their improved receiving corps.
3. Chris Chester-
-Right now Chris Chester is penciled in as a starter, but after the season he had last year his roster spot could be in jeopardy. Chester was a major liability last year and given his contract the Redskins can't have that level of play on their starting line again. Given Chester's contract, if he's not starting and playing at a decent level, than it doesn't make sense to keep him at all. The Redskins brought in veteran interior lineman Mike McGlynn, who played for Jay Gruden in Cincinnati a couple years ago, so there is a veteran option on the team. In addition to that the Redskins drafted guard Spencer Long in the 3rd round. Long might not be expected to start, but he could be given a shot and a combination of him and McGlynn could be enough to doom Chester. If that wasn't bad enough, there is still a chance that one of the 3rd year guards (Adam Gettis or Josh LeRibeus) show enough to either contend for the starting role or at least offer quality depth where the Redskins would feel comfortable starting McGlynn.
4. Josh LeRibeus-
-LeRibeus was the Redskins 3rd round pick in 2012, but since then he's barely seen the field and has thus far been considered a fairly major disappointment. This offseason/camp is going to go a long way to determining if he still has a job. The Redskins brought in Shawn Lauvao to handle one starting guard role and added McGlynn and Long to the mix for the other role (to go along with Chester who is still on the roster). LeRibeus is also competing with fellow 2012 draftee Adam Gettis for a roster spot, and Gettis was considered the better guard last season. Now if Chris Chester is cut, LeRibeus' chances improve, but that doesn't mean he won't follow Chester out the door. The Redskins are going to keep 8 or 9 offensive linemen (keeping 10 guys is pretty rare). Right now Trent Williams, Lauvao, Kory Lichtensteiger, look pretty locked in as starters and have their roster spots set. Mike McGlynn is pretty well set for a roster spot, even it he's just a back-up. Rookies Spencer Long and Morgan Moses are also set for roster spots. That brings the total to 6 spots set, leaving at most 3 available, but there won't be even that many open spots for LeRibeus. Even if Morgan Moses wins the right tackle job, at least one of those 3 additional roster spots will go to an offensive tackle (either Tyler Polumbus or Tom Compton), and it's possible that all three tackles make it (if they go with 9 OL). LeRibeus is only going to have one or two spots open for him and that is even if Chester is released.
5. Tyler Polumbus-
-Polumbus right now is penciled in as the starting right tackle, but that could change quickly if either 3rd rounder Morgan Moses or 3rd year OT Tom Compton show they are ready for a starting role. The Redskins can save $2.5 million by cutting Polumbus and that could be enticing. If both Morgan and Compton show they can handle the starting role and the back-up swing tackle role between them, Polumbus's contract works against him. Another player who could help push out Polumbus is G/T Maurice Hurt. Hurt missed all of last season due to injury, but the former 7th rounder has shown versatility and the team has been trying to make him a right tackle option for years now. He probably won't get into the mix for a starting role, but if he is healthy and shows well as a decent back-up, his versatility really makes him an attractive option for one of the back-up spots. As mentioned above, there are only a couple of roster spots open to Polumbus, and if he is beaten out for the starting role in camp he's going to be tough to keep on the roster.