Apr 17, 2014, 4:58 AM EDT
Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, April 17, 21 days before the NFL draft.
The draft does not happen in a vacuum. Future plans for veteran players impact draft day decisions. Here are the top five questions about their current team the Redskins need to answer before next month’s NFL Draft:
Do they plan on signing Brian Orakpo long term? If they are, there is no need to bring in a pass rusher with one of their top picks. If they are going to let him walk after playing under the franchise tag this year they should try to maneuver into position to take Orakpo’s replacement.
How long will Ryan Clark play? I have heard him say he’d like to go for two or three more years. He is, however, under a one-year contract and he will be 35 before the Redskins’ bye week this coming season. How soon will they need to replace him?
Will Kirk Cousins play out his rookie contract in Washington? Cousins has two years left on his rookie contract. If they don’t plan on trading him this offseason or next they are set at backup quarterback until 2016. But if the talk that they aren’t interested in trading him is just some sort of smokescreen, they will need to consider taking a late-round QB to develop as a backup.
Can Tyler Polumbus start for another year? Many Redskins fans will cringe at this thought but Chris Cooley recently said that he was the second-best offensive lineman on the team last year and that it wouldn’t be a disaster if he was the starting right tackle in 2014. If the Redskins agree they can take their time in trying to replace him. If they want to try to upgrade immediately, a high draft pick is the only option at this point.
How much of his contract will DeAngelo Hall play out? Hall will be 31 by the time the season is halfway over and nobody really expects him to play out all four years of the contract he signed before free agency started. His base salary jumps from $1.25 million this year to $4 million in 2015. Will a 32-year-old corner be worth that much? They can always use depth a cornerback but how much they need this year might depend on Hall’s future status.
—It’s been 109 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 143 days until they play another one.
—Days until: First veteran minicamp 12; NFL Draft 21; Training camp starts 97
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