Mar 8, 2014, 11:25 AM EDT
When free agency opens, many are expecting the Redskins to immediately start cleaning house along the offensive line, signing in larger linemen to match the big fellas that Jay Gruden had along his O-line in Cincinnati.
Others don’t see that happening.
John Keim of ESPN was asked how many starters would be returning on the line this year. He said he anticipates at least three of them coming back, maybe four. “I was told that there would not be wholesale changes on the line—they don’t view it the same way as, say, the fans,” he said. “And that I shouldn’t assume Gruden would automatically want bigger linemen.”
Even if there aren’t wholesale changes, there still could be a new starter or two on a line that has been set since the start of the 2013 season. Here are the possibilities:
—Promote from within: This is the ideal way for the Redskins or any NFL team to find new starters. The Redskins drafted guards Josh LeRibeus and Adam Gettis and tackle Tom Compton in 2012. None has played more than a handful of snaps and it is difficult to project any of them as a 2014 opening day starter right now. One thing to keep in mind here is that offensive line coach Chris Foerster was retained and he should know as well as anyone what kind of potential the three have.
—Free agency: The target that everyone seems to be talking about is Bengals tackle Anthony Collins. The 28-year-old has been in the league for six years and he has never started more than seven games in a season so it might be a stretch to say that they can just plug him in at right tackle and go from there. The Redskins have a familiarity advantage here, too, as Jay Gruden has worked with Collins for the last three years.
—The draft: With right tackle becoming nearly as important as left tackle in today’s NFL there is some thought that the Redskins could take a tackle early in the draft and make him the immediate starter. Perhaps Cyrus Kouankjio of Alabama could fill the bill here. Or they could bolster the guard spot with Cyril Richardson of Baylor, who could be available in the third round. There is some risk there are most of the better free agent options will be gone by the time the draft comes around so if they strike out there they could have some issues.
Follow Us On Twitter
- Comfort level the key for Redskins' Smith as he looks for a big season
- Redskins' starting defense is sharp in small preseason sample of work
- NTK: The Redskins week that was—Roster bubble ready to pop for many
- Bryan Stork clarifies next move after days of speculation with Redskins
- Redskins cut 10 players before Tuesday deadline
- Reports: News encouraging for injured Redskins LB Ryan Kerrigan after MRI
- Cowboys fans biggest fear - Major injury strikes Tony Romo in preseason
- Former Redskins safety Dashon Goldson to work out with Falcons
- Ryan Kerrigan's early exit vs Bills shows Redskins lack of depth at edge rusher
- Redskins' Cousins both lucky and unlucky vs. Bills