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Need to Know: Looking ahead–Who are the Redskins’ priority 2016 free agents?

May 20, 2015, 5:34 AM EDT

Keenan-Robinson-vs-Cowboys

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, May 20, six days before the Redskins start OTAs.

Question of the day

A few days a week 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 is from Twitter:

We have a breather for a few days between rookie camp and the start of OTAs next Tuesday so let’s squeeze in a question that looks forward to 2016. Obviously Trent Williams and Ryan Kerrigan are the top two pending free agents. The Redskins are trying to get both of them locked up before the start of this season.

But they are not the only players who will be in need of new deals if they are going to be Redskins in 2016. Counting Williams and Kerrigan they have 17 players set to be unrestricted free agents and many of them are either starters or play key roles.

Let’s look at who along with Williams and Kerrigan are high priorities to sign, who would be a medium priority and then those who are either low priority or unlikely to be resigned. This is based on the way the team and the depth chart look right now without any projections on how things might play out in 2015.

High priority: OT Williams, OLB Kerrigan, ILB Keenan Robinson, RB Alfred Morris

Williams is the cornerstone of the offensive line and Kerrigan is the team’s top pass rusher. Robinson did a solid job taking over for London Fletcher at the Mike linebacker spot; he should become a fixture there. Morris is the league’s second-leading rusher since 2012, the year he came into the league.

Moderate priority: QB Kirk Cousins, FB Darrel Young, TE Logan Paulsen, PK Kai Forbath, NT Terrance Knighton

We really need the crystal ball to figure out if Cousins will be a big priority or not. For now, we’ll leave him in the middle. Knighton could be a higher priority if he has the kind of season the team thinks he can. Young is versatile and valuable on special teams. Paulsen and Forbath are both replaceable but until a replacement is in house they need to be on the list of players who should be re-signed.

Low priority: DL Travian Robinson, DL Frank Kearse, S Trenton Robinson, OL Josh LeRibeus, DL Kedric Golston, QB Colt McCoy, CB Tracy Porter, OL Chris Chester

As noted, this is just my best guess right now; McCoy could help win a few games and become a higher priority. But the rest are likely to be replaced by younger/better/cheaper players.

Timeline

—It’s been 142 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 117 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins minicamp starts 28; Redskins training camp starts 72; Thursday night Redskins @ Giants 128

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. Carl Gray - May 20, 2015 at 6:24 AM

    We will have a good cap situation next year, so we can re-sign at least most of our good players.

    I honestly think we need to not only cut Garçon, Roberts, and Hatcher, but it addition trade Jackson. All of them are either mediocre, expensive, or aging (which would be all of them).

    Kerrigan and Williams will be locked up by then by the way it sounds, so I think we should use the franchise tag on Morris if he has a great season. Keenan Robinson and Terrance Knighton are not going to be that expensive, so we can re-sign them. If we have to choose one, then we should choose KR, because Knighton would be 29.

    Everyone else can go fly a kite for all I care because they suck.

  2. murphsman - May 20, 2015 at 9:04 AM

    How long is Hatcher signed for? I thought he was only signed for 2 years

  3. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - May 20, 2015 at 9:24 AM

    But the rest are likely to be replaced by younger/better/cheaper players.

    My lucky rabbit’s foot hasn’t worked very well the last couple years. Maybe it’s time to switch to that penny I found in the Safeway parking lot!
    ~

  4. James McFullan - May 20, 2015 at 11:23 AM

    So Carl Gray basically what your saying is that the redskins don’t need any good recievers and by mediocre do you mean the best deep threat in the nfl or the guy that is one year removed from leading the nfl in catches, the only reason they are “mediocre” is because of the qb that’s been throwing to them, and hatcher should be healthier this year and will be more productive

    • Carl Gray - May 20, 2015 at 3:06 PM

      I never said Jackson is mediocre. He’s a good deep threat WR. But I’m saying we can easily find a WR in the draft who’s as productive as him in the draft for cheaper.

      Meanwhile, Garçon and Hatcher are way too old, injury prone, and expensive (for their performance) to keep, and Roberts flat out sucks.

      I’d rather have Morris/Kerrigan/Williams/Robinson
      than Jackson/Garçon/Roberts/Hatcher for roughly the same price.

      So far Jamison Crowder has been showing good things, so we have at least one young gun for our future at WR.

      • James McFullan - May 20, 2015 at 5:46 PM

        I agree about Andre Roberts, but there is really no solid depth behind Hatcher and I’m sure that Garçon’s contract could be renegotiated with incentives for performance and I don’t care how old they are if they still put up good stats

        • Carl Gray - May 20, 2015 at 9:44 PM

          Garçon sucked last year and Hatcher was barely there.

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