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Need to Know: Will there be any Redskins roster additions before camp?

Jul 15, 2015, 5:11 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, July 15, 15 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.

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.

I’ll also take your Need to Know questions via email. Hit me up with “NTK” in the subject line. Just keep them relatively brief, please. 

Today’s question comes from the Real Redskins Facebook page:


I think Scot McCloughan and Jay Gruden are generally happy with the 90 players who are on their roster. They are not under any delusions that it’s a Super Bowl team, mind you, but they believed that they upgraded as best they could give the cap space and draft picks they had and pool of available talent.

But that doesn’t mean they won’t consider signing someone if they think he is an upgrade. I think that there are two areas on particular they might like to upgrade, tight end and free safety. But the free agency pools are not very deep and the quality of the players available is highly suspect.

At tight end, the name that jumps out at you there is Jermaine Gresham. The Bengals drafted him in the first round in 2010 and he made consecutive Pro Bowls when Jay Gruden came to Cincinnati as the offensive coordinator the following year.

Gresham to Washington would seem to be a good fit but there are some issues. He underwent surgery for a herniated disc in his back in March and there hasn’t been much interest in him by any team. At this point I think he will wait and sign with a team after training camp starts. There has been no word that Gruden was even interested in kicking the tires on Gresham but that doesn’t mean they won’t, especially if Jordan Reed ends up sidelined with another injury during training camp.

Outside of Gresham it’s pretty slim pickings when it comes to free agents at tight end. Zach Miller was cut by Seattle in a cap move but he is coming off of an ankle injury that landed him on IR last year and approaching 30 years old. We know that McCloughan has an aversion to signing free agents with a “3” at the start of their age.

The choices at free safety are similarly unattractive. The Giants, who are starving at safety, chose not to attempt to re-sign Quintin Demps, who started nine games for them last year. As of now, there don’t appear to be any free safeties on the market who would be upgrades.

In fact, the market was very slim to begin with. Otherwise, McCloughan would not have settled for trading for Dashon Goldson, who will turn 31 during Week 2 of the season. He almost had no choice but to agree to pay Goldson $4 million this year, coming off of two bad years in Tampa Bay.

They will have their eyes open, looking at the waiver wire to see if anyone who can help them lands there. But the lack of quality players at positions of need who are on the street at this time will have them them standing pat until they report to training camp two weeks from today.


—It’s been 199 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be 60 days until they play the Dolphins at FedEx Field.

Days until: Redskins training camp starts 15; Preseason opener @ Browns 29; final cuts 52

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In case you missed it

  1. troylok - Jul 15, 2015 at 6:06 AM

    I think they might look at picking up a camp arm. They’ve got a lot of receivers, tight ends, and running backs to throw to. It would work better if they had a fourth QB and I don’t think he’d be stealing reps from other QB’s on the roster.

    • Skulb - Jul 15, 2015 at 7:04 AM

      They already have Halliday remember.

      • Skulb - Jul 15, 2015 at 7:30 AM

        Wait a minute, didn`t he quit?

        • troylok - Jul 15, 2015 at 7:54 AM

          Halliday quit before he started. Hutson Mason was with them through a mini-camp or two and then they cut him loose. Maybe they are keeping the door open in case Halliday has a change of heart?

      • Anthony - Jul 15, 2015 at 7:52 AM

        Halliday didn’t sign with them because of health.

  2. colorofmyskinz - Jul 15, 2015 at 6:24 AM

    Completely agree!! When I saw the title of this post those were the first 2 positions that came to mind.

    The other option we have is trade. We have 3 QBs. If RGIII looks good in camp and another team loses a starting QB in preseason, we may have our chance for a trade on both of the positions you pointed out.

    TE would be a higher priority in my opinion. We have to assume we only have 2 at this point and one can’t catch. Hoping for RGIII to prove it, and possible misfortune of another team to create a trade.

  3. colorofmyskinz - Jul 15, 2015 at 7:05 AM

    Big question Rich:
    -what procedure did hatcher have prior to camp last year?

    He struggled with that recovery the entire year.

    Why do we belive it will be different for Reed and Kerrigan? Were these different arthroscopic procedures?

    KERRIGAN is a huge concern for me.

    Williams is a different injury and I hate the fact that it did not heal January through May.

    Reed, never thought we would get more than 2-4 games out of him regardless.

    Should we be more concerned about KERRIGAN and Williams here?

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jul 15, 2015 at 10:33 AM

      I thought Hatcher was pretty good until he got hurt in the first Eagles game.

      • abanig - Jul 15, 2015 at 12:26 PM

        He was “good”, but Redskins Nation – including media & fans – wrongfully expected Hatcher to have a JJ Watt type impact for the redskins which was NEVER going to happen.

    • Trey Gregory - Jul 15, 2015 at 4:39 PM

      I’m not a doctor, and have no special knowledge of orthopedics. However, I have worked in medicine for over a decade, most of that time in the military where ortho injuries are a plague. I can tell you with certainty that there are varying degrees of injuries that would require arthroscopic surgery. All that really means is that they used an arthroscope to do the surgery (it’s like a camera on a small cord. Kind of like the ones SWAT teams use to see under doors) to do the surgery. Which is significantly better than having to actually cut the body open to expose the joint. Sometimes arthroscopes are just used to get a better look at the joint, but that would still be called arthroscopic surgery.

      To give an example of two different types of arthroscopic surgeries. My best friend and I both had arthroscopic surgeries for torn labrums in our shoulders. Mine was a full repair, took months of rehab and affected my range of motion for life. My buddy, well once they got in they realized his wasn’t actually torn (they couldn’t tell that just by an MRI). Instead, his was just a little flayed. So they removed that flaying and there was no actual repair. He was back to full health is a couple days. No more pain, full range of motion, and no rehab process. Even though we technically had the same procedure, the results were very different.

      I don’t know what specific surgeries Hatcher and Kerrigan had. All I know is that just because they had the same procedure, doesn’t mean the results will be similar. I’m personally being cautiously optimistic about the health of Kerrigan, Williams, and even Reed because I haven’t read anything that indicates to me that these were serious repairs. More like they had some nagging injuries that maybe required a little bit of maintanece work. How they’re walking around and moving before and immediately after the surgery tells you a lot. Also, if it was really severe (like RG3’s) surgery likely would have been done as soon as possible after the injury. They would also be on bed rest and have a long rehab process after the surgery. Unless I’m mistaken, I believe these guys were on the sidelines during OTAs. That gives me reason to be optimistic about their recovery.

  4. abanig - Jul 15, 2015 at 8:02 AM

    I’d definitely sign Quinten Demps, I personally wanted to sign Demps or Stevie Brown of the Giants instead of trading and overpaying Goldson.

    I saw a possible cuts article on and if these following players are cut, the Redskins should consider signing them.


    The only name worth targeting that I see of players who could possibly be cut is Rashad Johnson, FS from Arizona. He picked off Cousins twice when we played the cardinals last year so, singing him to a contract to back up Goldson would be worth it IMO.

    Seems there’s a pretty good shot Butler is cut because the Chargers drafted Denzel Perryman & already have Manti Teo’. I’m not so sure I agree with that take because of he’s cut the Chargers will incur a lot of dead money. I think he’s always been solid at everything but not spectacular at anything. I think his contract might be voidable after this year and if that’s the case, he could be someone that McCloughan and Barry target next offseason.

    Peter Konz, C, Atlanta Falcons. He’s coming off an ACL injury and is 6’5, 317 pounds. With that size, it doesn’t seem the falcons former 2nd round pick would fit in well in the ZBS scheme, but he would fit in well with the Redskins combo scheme, if cut, he’d be a good back up for Kory L for a season and maybe could take the job from Kory if he gets back to 100%.

    Here are some guys I’d like the Skins to target from AFC teams if they’re cut.

    NT Phil Taylor, Cleveland Browns. Many of us wanted Taylor to be drafted in the 2011 draft and when we traded back from the 10th pick to the 16th pick some thought it was a possibility that Taylor could be the selection and he’d come in and man the Redskins NT position for the next decade. Fortunately for the Redskins they took Ryan Kerrigan and he’s been all we could ever hoped for out of the that pick. Now, I think it’s unlikely Taylor is cut because he can still be a rotational player behind Shelton and he can play some DE as well, but if he’s cut he’d be a great addition to our DL as the 6th or 7th DL. I’d much rather have Taylor than Golston or Kearse on the team.

    ILB Brian Cushing, Houston Texans. Cushing has been injury prone since he was drafted in 2009. Still, if he were to be cut and the Redskins signed him, it’s pretty clear we’d have starting quality depth behind him with guys like Riley & Compton. When Cushing plays he’s one the league’s toughest competitors and best ILB’s, I doubt he’ll be cut, but if he is we’d be foolish to not entertain signing him to help bolster our ILB postion.

    Jeff Allen, OG/OT, Kansas City Chiefs. Some of us wanted to sign him last offseason and while he hasn’t been great for the chiefs, I think it goes without saying that he’s proven more and been more reliable than any of the guards on the redskins roster were last year.

    Mike Mitchell, S, Pittsburgh Steelers. I really can’t see him being cut but he was only average last year despite being paid to be a pro bowler. The Steelers have some young safeties, but none of them are really reliable even to Mitchell’s level. If cut, he’d be better than what any of our safeties have shown the last several years, but I doubt he’ll be cut.

    Andy Levitre, G, Tennessee Titans. He had a down year last year in his first year in Tenn but I don’t think anyone would disagree that he’s more talented than any of the guards we have on our roster. I think he’d beat our Lauvao for sure at LG.

    Donald Butler, ILB, San Diego Chargers. Butler has been a solid starting Ilb since being drafted out of Washington 6 years ago. He’s very athletic and is better in coverage than Riley. If Denzel Perryman shows enough, Butler could be cut and I would think if he was that Joe Barry would have McCloughan on Redskins 1 out to try to sign Butler ASAP.

    • ET - Jul 15, 2015 at 1:51 PM

      I don’t know if I buy a lot of the projected cuts in that article. Or, perhaps more realistically, most of the bigger / better names on that list will be dangled as trade bait before any cuts. Either way, it’s unlikely the Skins find a known quantity at safety or tight end. Seems like a decent LB or CB could fall to a team watching the waiver wire closely, though.

      • abanig - Jul 15, 2015 at 2:40 PM

        I agree, I actually think it’s more likely that these list of guys are next year’s cuts not this year’s cuts. Meaning, we could sign most of them next March if we wanted to. Take a FS like Rashad Johnson or C like Peter Konz.

  5. mr.moneylover - Jul 15, 2015 at 9:59 AM

    I think a trade might happen if scott feel he need to upgrade a postion before the season start…

    • abanig - Jul 15, 2015 at 12:35 PM

      Trade, who could we possibly trade that we’d be willing to and that we could get a player back that could upgrade any of our starters?

      I don’t see any way we trade anyone and upgrade our team this year. If we trade Cousins, it’s for a late round pick.

    • mr.moneylover - Jul 15, 2015 at 2:39 PM

      If we have to trade cousins for a late round pick then so be it its better then nothing at all because most of the successful players in the nfl are late round draft picks…I guess you forgot how bad kirk cousins is….hes third on the depth chart and is on the verge of getting cut if he cant beat out colt mccoy of the backup job and if redskins decide to keep three QBs I have a feeling the redskins gonna want to add a player at a different postion on the 53 man roster….plus kirk had all the chances in the world to take rg3 job away and he fail…I can honestly say atleast rg3 dont turn the ball over as much as kirk do…I think kirk cousins was on the verge of averaging three INTs a game thats bad…

      • abanig - Jul 15, 2015 at 2:45 PM

        100% agree. I think we’ll always regret drafting Cousins instead of Brandon Boykin or Almedela T’amu in round 4 of the 2012 draft and I think Allen will always regret not dealing Cousins to the Browns last year for a 4th round pick.

      • Trey Gregory - Jul 16, 2015 at 12:07 PM

        Most of the successful players in the NFL are late round draft picks? Do you want to explain that? Because, from where I’m standing, that absolutely is not true in any way shape or form. There’s usually one or two guys from each draft in the later rounds that end up being good players, but most of the pro bowlers come out of the first 3 rounds. Maybe our definition of a late round draft pick is different. But we probably wouldn’t get anything better than a 5th or 6th rounder for Cousins. Go look at recent drafts and see how many pro bowlers came out of the 5th and 6th rounds. It’s not a whole lot.

  6. sidepull - Jul 15, 2015 at 10:28 AM

    Still like Pierre Thomas

    • ET - Jul 15, 2015 at 1:52 PM

      Me too. Surprised he’s still out there.

  7. rtcwon - Jul 15, 2015 at 11:29 AM

    Practice squad eligible QB prospect will be signed; need one to become QB3 after Cousins is traded or more likely cut.

    • abanig - Jul 15, 2015 at 12:21 PM

      Agreed. Maybe they’ll bring Hunter Mason back or they can bring back Blake Sims who can play qb, rb & special teams

    • Redskins_USA's Team - Jul 15, 2015 at 1:09 PM

      Trading or cutting Cousins doesn’t seem like the smartest move in the world to me. While McCoy may have had better success as a backup, he is only good for 1-2 games and durability is an issue with him. RG3 has durability issues of course. Cousins, for all the issues he needs to work on (biggest being INT’s), at least is durable and can be relied on to stay healthy. Until we have a guy who isn’t injury-prone to back up the injury-prone starter, ditching Cousins makes no sense.

  8. mr.moneylover kev - Jul 15, 2015 at 2:24 PM

    Im hoping trey wolfe make the team this year last year he made it on to the practice squad theres no doubt the talent is there I hope he impress coaches in training camp…im hoping the undrafted players really push the backup players for a spot on the 53 man roster…

  9. bangkokben - Jul 15, 2015 at 3:46 PM

    Cousins isn’t going anywhere – this year. He will likely have a Jason Campbell or Rex Grossman type career somewhere except for the back-up years being in the beginning of his career. And no there should be no regrets from Redskin nation. No regrets for losing the ‘talented’ Cousins and no regrets for getting no value in return for his services. He has already provided perhaps the most value of any active QB drafted in the 4th round.

    • abanig - Jul 15, 2015 at 3:52 PM

      Boykin had 6 ints in 2013…

      I think Cousibs threw that many in 4 games played. lol

      • bangkokben - Jul 15, 2015 at 4:00 PM

        Sure. And with Rex Grossman do we beat the Ravens? And if we don’t, do we get into the playoffs in 2012? I don’t think so.

        • abanig - Jul 15, 2015 at 4:03 PM

          You’re telling me Rex Grossman couldn’t have completed a handful of passes against the Ravens and scored a TD?

          For as much as I dislike Grossman, he and Cousins are eirey similar in their propensity for ints. Grossman did play in a super bowl and nearly won it.

        • bangkokben - Jul 15, 2015 at 4:06 PM

          Grossman running the draw for the winning TD? Child please. Sure they are similar. Grossman wouldn’t have seen the linebacker on a pick six sealing the game for the black birds. No way you’re getting good Rex for Baltimore, Cleveland, and Philly. Remember his relief appearance for McNabb against Detroit?

        • abanig - Jul 15, 2015 at 4:10 PM

          Grossman had a qb sneak for a TD in 2011.

          Speaking of qb sneaks, why don’t the redskins run those with Griffin from inside the 10?

        • bangkokben - Jul 15, 2015 at 4:33 PM

          Griffin not running sneaks: injury? Seemed to be more ‘unwilling’ to run.

          As for Grossman, a sneak and a draw are quite different. Doubt we run a sneak against Baltimore’s front seven.

          You started us down this path of hindsight. Sure, the team could’ve benefited more from a corner than a 2nd rookie QB. But the rationale for taking one (injury prone starter AND Grossman is the back-up) seems to be justified. As for the Cousins vs Grossman ‘debate’. There really isn’t one. Cousins may be similar to Grossman but would definitely be the 2.0 version and furthermore Cousins production/accomplishments as a Redskin overshadow not-so-sexy-Rexy’s. What did Rex ever do as a Redskin? At least Kirk has Baltimore which was clutch.

        • abanig - Jul 15, 2015 at 4:57 PM

          I misspoke, I meant a draw. Grossman scored a touchdown on a draw play in 2011.

          As far as Griffin goes, if the Redskins want to be more efficient inside the 10 yard line a good way to do that is to run read option, qb draws or qb bootleg keepers. That way we can keep the defense really off balanced. Griffin scored on a qb draw from inside the 10 last year, they can certainly try that play once a game or something.

          They can’t keep worrying about Griffin getting hurt all the time, they need to let Griffin be himself and play how he’s most comfortable because trying to turn him into something he’s not overnight isn’t working and we’re wasting then$25 million we have tied up in wrs this year while trying to have Griffin “just ” be a pocket passer.

        • bangkokben - Jul 15, 2015 at 5:34 PM

          I certainly don’t remember Griffin scoring a rushing TD last year – doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. I do remember the near rushing TD last year against the Giants ruled a fumble out of bounds. If Griffin is willing to run the read option, then I’d imagine they’ll call it. He had read option opportunities last year that he either didn’t want to run or failed the read multiple times – handing off for zero gain. As for the lack of success in developing Griffin into a pocket passer, that cannot be abandoned just because it didn’t work right away. When you learn a new skill, time is an important element. A child doesn’t learn swimming in one day. There is often measured growth between each lesson and when their isn’t obvious growth, the next year even without any further instruction then there is significant measurable growth. Will Griffin make those kind of measurable strides this year. I don’t know, but I’m sure he’ll be sacked less often. Before last year, he rarely reached the check down and in 2012 him running was the check down. Last year, he figured that out looking a lot like John Beck or Jason Campbell at times. Can he throw on time this year? When that back foot reaches the end of his 5 or 7 step drop, will he unload, find the 2nd read, or hit the check down? IDK, but I’m not going to judge a developing QB this year on last year’s performance. I’m going to wait and see. Look Griffin was the 2nd pick of the draft, he better be more than a faster, more fragile Tim Tebow that needs a special offense.

        • abanig - Jul 15, 2015 at 7:16 PM

          Griffin scored a rushing touchdown in against Dallas in week 17.

          So, it took Gruden and McVay till week 17, but they finally called a running play for Griffin inside the 10 yard line and guess what… He scored!

        • bangkokben - Jul 15, 2015 at 10:20 PM

          Thought it had to be that game.

        • abanig - Jul 16, 2015 at 8:44 AM

          Don’t act like Cousins never threw a pick six and Rex never threw a TD.

          They are very similar qbs only Rex has more confidence

        • bangkokben - Jul 16, 2015 at 8:53 AM

          Of course not. I’m only replying to Cousins actual history on this team – Baltimore 2012 specifically – compared to Grossman’s actual history. Speculating that Grossman would preform the same is ignoring his history of performing with the Washington Redskins.

        • abanig - Jul 16, 2015 at 9:37 AM

          That’s true but to just out of hand dismiss the possibility that Grossman could have finished the 2012 Ravens game and won it doesn’t make much sense to me. Especially since Grossman was a more experienced qb who had played well enough for a team to play him all season and play him in the super bowl.

        • bangkokben - Jul 16, 2015 at 6:14 PM

          Maybe dismissing Grossman out of hand is tough but had Grossman done ANYTHING as a Redskin, any comeback, any relief appearance to suggest otherwise? I can’t remember and until you jog my memory, the possibility of a Redskin rally with Grossman at the helm is dismissed as pie-in-the-sky fantasy. Sure it existed in the realm of possibility but just better odds than winning the lottery.

  10. Trey Gregory - Jul 15, 2015 at 4:43 PM

    I couldn’t agree more about the TE position, especially concerning blocking. But I’m actually more worried about ILB than I am either safety position. There’s a steep drop off in talent after Robinson. I always feel good when Robinson is on the field, but I can’t say the same about any of his counterparts. I hate to use guy’s injury history against them, but Robinson has been hurt a lot. If he goes down, we’re tanked at ILB.

  11. kenlinkins - Jul 15, 2015 at 6:31 PM

    I agree 100% with Rich, that the Redskins seem happy about the 90 players going into camp. Unless another “D Jax” type deals falls into the Redskins lap I do not see the Redskins making any more moves before camp. Even a quick review of the roster will tell you that this is not a overly talented roster but seems to be better than 2014. IMO the new GM will not break his own rules about signing aged Free Agents to big deals just because they have a name value. Besides, with all the changes made it is going to take time to figure out just how all these new parts can work together, more changes just prolongs the process. I hope the Redskins find a few “Gems” in the UDFA class that push a few more older guys off the 53 man roster.

  12. mr.moneylover - Jul 15, 2015 at 7:19 PM

    It wont be no regret if we cut kirk cousins or trade kirk cousins because redskins gave him multiple chances of bein the franchise QB and hes not able to do that even coming out of college they said hes a average QB and will be a backup QB at best hes not fit to be the face of a franchise…they said it really havent been a competition in OTAs and mini camp because rg3 been picking up things and improving everyday while kirk cousins and colt mccoy look really bad both was throwing INTs alot in mini camp

    • sidepull - Jul 15, 2015 at 8:29 PM

      RG3 is 1st rounder that looked like a 4th past couple years. Cousins always looked like a 4th and I don’t understand why some folks want to compare him to RG3.. Its not a fair comparison at all. Rg3 will get comfortable in this system and light it up or he will be on another team. Cousins is going to be on another team no matter how it shakes out. But he plays like a 4th rounder because he is. No pint being critical of him. What did people expect? Another Brady ? Not happening.

      • Trey Gregory - Jul 16, 2015 at 12:19 PM

        Cousins was a pretty decent QB in college and a lot of NFL talent evaluators, our current GM included, thought he had the makings to be a good NFL QB, and he does. If he could cut down those ints, he would look pretty damn good. I think people have high expectations for Cousins because of what he did off the bench his first two years with the team. He played well, and that got fans excited. I’ve personally never thought Cousins was the guy over RG3, but I understand people who did/do. I understand he was a 4th rounder, but he showed flashes of something special. In a QB starved league, that gets people’s attention.

        I also don’t think it would be wise to cut Cousins. You never know how this QB situation will shake out and we wouldn’t get much for him in a trade. He’s more valuable on the team and there’s nothing wrong with that. He was a 4th round pick who served his purpose to be a backup QB. He can do that for us for one more year and we get the full value out of him. Nothing wrong with that. Archives

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