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Need to Know: Which players on the roster are the Redskins for life?

Mar 7, 2015, 5:49 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 7, three days before the Washington Redskins and the rest of the NFL start free agency.

Question of the day

I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.

Today’s question comes from Twitter:

I gravitated to this question right after hearing Niles Paul say that he is “a Redskin for life” after signing a three-year contract with the team on Friday.

Who are the Redskins for life who are currently on the team? Paul may be one but he would have to sign another deal (at the age of 29) to be a Redskin on March 7, 2019.

Let’s look at two groups. The certain Redskins for life have at least a 75 percent chance of being with the team four years from today. The possible group has between and 50 and 75 percent chance.

Certain—Trent Williams, Ryan Kerrigan, Keenan Robinson, Bashaud Breeland

At least one and maybe some more will join this group after the draft next month. The first-round pick will sign a four-year contract and it’s unlikely that they let him go before his rookie deal is up. At least one or two more draft picks are good bets to stick.

But at the moment that looks like a small group of players who are likely to be under contract to the Redskins in 2019. Honestly, I’m not sure how big this list would be if you looked at other teams. Four years is an eternity in the NFL. But it does seem to be a rather thin base from which the Redskins can build.

Possible—Jordan Reed, Robert Griffin III, Darrel Young, Tress Way, Niles Paul, Perry Riley, Trent Murphy

Griffin jumps out here, of course. He is a tough one to peg at the moment. To call this coming season pivotal for his future in Washington would be quite the understatement.

Whether or not Reed stays around depends on health. Young may be a bit of a stretch because of his age. He is going to be 28 next month but fullbacks frequently survive into the thirties.

I know that many will argue with the inclusion of Riley. I look at him as a survivor who may take a pay cut to stay as a reserve and special teamer even if he is displaced as the starter. And we’re talking 50/50 chances here.


—It’s been 69 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 190 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 44; 2015 NFL Draft 54; Redskins training camp starts 145

If you have any questions about what’s going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I’m always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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In case you missed it

  1. Stephfan - Mar 7, 2015 at 6:38 AM

    I agree with all of those. But do you not think amerson is a redskin for life or to early to tell… Also rich I heard a report yesterday bout us resigning out kicker Kai? Any true? I didn’t know he was a free agent

    • Rich Tandler - Mar 7, 2015 at 6:49 AM

      Forbath is a restricted free agent. Reports out there that the Redskins tendered him but we couldn’t confirm. Stay tuned on that.

      Amerson has two years left on his rookie deal. I think there’s a chance for him but it’s less than 50-50.

      > >

      • Stephfan - Mar 7, 2015 at 6:56 AM

        Thanks rich

  2. Stephfan - Mar 7, 2015 at 6:39 AM

    Just wondering

  3. sidepull - Mar 7, 2015 at 7:15 AM

    Tress Way. DY and AM would be great but. It just stinks that AM would not be on a list of Redskins for life and guy like Perry Riley would. Life is not fair nor is it going to take a step back to the od days when the Redskins could actually field a team of players and you just knew they would be back.

  4. abanig - Mar 7, 2015 at 7:35 AM

    Kerrigan, Darell Young and that’s it.

    If Griffin, TWill, Morris, Robinson, Riley, Niles Paul, Breeland, Amerson, Thomas, LeRibeus, Long, Compton and Reed stay healthy/develop even more they could be.

    Too early to tell on them right now, even on Kerrigan.

  5. Jacob - Mar 7, 2015 at 7:47 AM

    Hey rich, you don’t see Alfred Morris sticking around?

  6. shermanp79 - Mar 7, 2015 at 10:02 AM

    I think Kerrigan could be that guy. He is the “type” guy they want in this organization. I would say Williams but I think injuries are an issue and he may not agree, to take less money at some point. It doesn’t happen like it used too. The Pats just cut Wilfork, even QBs don’t stay anymore. Anyone else would have to be drafted. I’m not even convince Kerrigan can do it. I give him a chance because I could see him restructuring and us being told so many times he is their kind of guy. Gruden said “we need more Kerrigan’s” here on the team. That franchise forever guy has to be willing to give in when money cuts keep coming, most players get angered and moves on if happens more than once.

  7. murphsman - Mar 7, 2015 at 11:52 AM

    I would switch Robinson and Murphy just because of age. I realize Robinson didn’t play his first year because he got injured, but since he is older, I would think the likelihood of Murphy still being here in four years is greater

  8. murphsman - Mar 7, 2015 at 11:58 AM

    Rich-seeing how you mentioned RG3, do you not expect Kirk to come back? I know RG3 is the “face of the franchise” at the moment, but is some other reason you think Cousins has less than a 50% chance of still being here

    • charley42 - Mar 7, 2015 at 12:59 PM

      Well, it kind of goes without saying that if RG3 busts and KC does well afterward that he’ll stay. But the jury hasn’t even been picked on how good he can be.

    • Rich Tandler - Mar 7, 2015 at 1:06 PM

      I think there is a chance for Cousins to be back but it’s less than 50 percent. I think RG is the better QB, has a better than 50% chance, although not by a whole lot.

      > > >

  9. red - Mar 7, 2015 at 12:05 PM

    Good stuff rich IMO i think theres an upcoming coaching change in one to two years and we will get our coach of the future because i really believe our best move in ten years was off the field with our gm. I think we will get 3 guys that will be with us four years at least in draft. except the guys you mentioned in your certain category its really hard to see anyone four years from now.

  10. kenlinkins - Mar 7, 2015 at 12:07 PM

    Rich: Does being a Redskins for life require never having played for another team? Art Monk, Mark May, Sonny J, Billy K are just some of the names that come to mind when I think “Redskin for Life”. Your thoughts!

    • Rich Tandler - Mar 7, 2015 at 1:08 PM

      No. The guys you’re talking about are GROATS (just made that up, Greatest Redskins of All Time). Redskin for life means just what it says, from the day they entered the league until they hang them up.

      And someone like Young isn’t going to be a greatest ever; in fact, most of the guys here probably won’t. So two distinctly different lists.

      > > >

      • kenlinkins - Mar 7, 2015 at 2:42 PM

        I like it!

      • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Mar 7, 2015 at 3:21 PM


        Love it. We need more GROATS!

  11. cmehustle - Mar 7, 2015 at 12:28 PM

    Man, two years ago I had big hopes for Robert, Rak, Amerson, Riley. Times can sure change fast….

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Mar 7, 2015 at 3:22 PM

      Amerson has the physical skills, but he’s got to get his head into the game.

      Way too many embarrassing moments last season.

  12. gonavybeatarmy - Mar 7, 2015 at 2:29 PM

    Hey Rich-

    I’m a big fan of your work, but not a Twitter kind of guy.

    Could you please do some research and write a piece on McCloughan’s history with both San Francisco and Seattle on receiving compensatory picks? It may be anecdotal, but just off the top of my head it seems as if the best organizations (like SF, Sea, GB, Pit, Balto, NE) are consistent recipients of compensatory picks, and the poor organizations (Was, Dallas, TB) rarely receive such picks.



  13. goback2rfk - Mar 7, 2015 at 5:14 PM

    Redskins For Life: RG3, Trent Williams, and Ryan Kerrigan. Thats about it folks

  14. deepball1 - Mar 7, 2015 at 7:04 PM

    Why is Griffin not totally embarrassed at his performance? His EGO must be so big he is not able to recognize or read stats because he is nowhere to be found in the listing of the top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL, in fact he is not even close.

    The guy has not played a 16 game schedule in THREE years, he has never done anything special like throw 30 TD passes, and the team has won 5 games in TWO years when he has started. Yet it doesn’t seem to phase the kid.

    This is Jason Campbell delusional. Always somebody else’s fault. “WELL, YOU KNOW, WE JUST GOTTA GO BACK AND LOOK AT THE FILM” “WE DIDN’T PLAY WELL ENOUGH”. “WE NEED TO NOT MAKE MISTAKES”….etc etc etc. This is certain: THIS is the final year of uncertainty and the final year for the circus.

    • redskinsinrichmondva - Mar 7, 2015 at 9:19 PM

      How does an article about the Redskins’ roster turn into another completely random Griffin bashfest?

      Hey, so you’re not a fan of the guy. That’s fine. Hopefully he’ll be traded to another franchise, and that way you can go back to rooting for a team that was so successful in the past 20 years without him; what, with all of those division titles, playoff appearances, and Super Bowl wins? (/sarcasm)

      You *do* understand that Griffin was a QB for one of only five Redskins’ teams that made the playoffs since 1991, right? Maybe you should try rooting for him instead, because this team goes nowhere without him playing solid at QB. Unless you think that Cousins (even more of an unknown than Griffin, especially with a super sample size of five starts in Gruden’s offense) or Scot McCloughan will do anything better with a franchise so inept that previous Super Bowl winners like Gibbs and Shanahan had issues getting the Redskins’ back on track as a successful NFL franchise.

      • deepball1 - Mar 8, 2015 at 12:08 AM

        okay…you are a Griffin Cult Follower. We GET IT. He can do no wrong because he was the QB who once ran for 800 yards when the Skins won the NFC EAST. He was electric that year. We GET IT.

        Now you need to get over it. He is not the same QB. He cannot run as fast. He doesn’t want to run as fast. He is injury prone. He cannot see the field very well as a drop back passer. He panics easily. His legs are wobbly under pressure. He doesn’t take responsibility. And did I mention he hasn’t played a 16 game season despite given EVERY opportunity and did I mention he is injury prone? Did you GET IT.

        • Stephfan - Mar 8, 2015 at 5:22 AM

          And you are a plain hater.which qb on the roster is better? No one because he was named the starter. The gm sees somthing in him, heck we gave Campbell 3 and a half years. All I’m saying is at least give him time.. 5 games in one season at good enough

        • redskinsinrichmondva - Mar 8, 2015 at 12:21 PM

          “okay…you are a Griffin Cult Follower.”

          Ad hominem.

          “He can do no wrong because he was the QB who once ran for 800 yards when the Skins won the NFC EAST.”

          Straw man.

          “He is not the same QB. He cannot run as fast. He is injury prone.”

          I agree with those statements. However, saying “he is not the same QB” does not imply that he cannot become a great QB in his career, if that’s the conclusion you are making here. Griffin wasn’t a #2 overall draft pick solely because he was a great runner.

          “He doesn’t want to run as fast.”

          Interesting claim. Care to prove this one?

          “He cannot see the field very well as a drop back passer. He panics easily. His legs are wobbly under pressure.”

          Now you’re referring to his recent performance. Here are three important facts about that performance:

          1) In Gruden’s system, Griffin had more responsibilities as a traditional dropback QB than he had in college and his first two seasons in the NFL.

          2) He only played six full starts in Gruden’s system, which limited the game experience that he needs in order to become a successful traditional dropback QB. He also had to deal with an ankle injury.

          3) His performance is based on six full starts, which is not a great sample size to use in order to predict QB performance (several football websites have shown this).

          “He doesn’t take responsibility.”

          False. He has taken responsibility for his performance multiple times.

          “And did I mention he hasn’t played a 16 game season…”

          Yep. Instead, Griffin played a 15 and 13-game season before 2014. Here’s where that ranks among QBs during that timespan:

          You can also sort by games started. Griffin is in the top 18 of the 96 QBs that are on these lists. 2014 is the only season in which Griffin missed over 20% of the possible 16 games he could have played in.

    • goback2rfk - Mar 7, 2015 at 10:54 PM

      The Redskins and especially Dan Snyder will never admit defeat or mistake in drafting RG3. They will stick with him from here on out. Even with another say 6 and 10 season with RG3 next year, I do not see them parting ways with Rob.

      • deepball1 - Mar 8, 2015 at 12:11 AM

        if he is somehow successful Snyder will lavish upon him praise and a longterm contract. But somehow I don’t believe success is coming out of a 5-6 win season like the Skins will have this year. Not gonna happen. They will move on….AND Cousins is going to win the job at some point.

        • dkat44 - Mar 10, 2015 at 1:50 PM

          Cousins will win the competition if in fact there will truly be one. Kirk has his issues but to me they seem more correctable than Griffin’s. Archives

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