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Need to Know: Five Redskins free agents who are unlikely to return

Jan 14, 2016, 5:14 AM EDT

Morris-cutting-vs.-Cowboys-15

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, January 14, 61 days before the start of NFL free agency.

Five Redskins free agents who are unlikely to return

ILB Keenan Robinson—If you’d told me a year ago that he would be on a list like this one in early 2016 I would have said that you’re crazy. But a nagging injury and issues with fitting in to the defensive scheme led to him spending a lot of time on the bench this season. He could be a good player but he needs a change of scenery.

QB Colt McCoy—The Redskins need to get a younger backup quarterback with some potential. They were able to survive the downfall of Robert Griffin III because Mike Shanahan had drafted Cousins. While there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about Cousins’ future there are no guarantees. They need to get and groom a younger quarterback to be the backup and let McCoy, who will be 30 before the season starts, go to another team.

RB Alfred Morris—I’m not going to say that there’s no way Morris will be back. Perhaps there won’t be much of a market for back who has seen both his per-carry average and total rushing yards decline in each of the last four years and he and the Redskins will agree on a short-term deal. But it seems much more likely that he will find a team that emphasizes the zone-blocking scheme and move on.

TE Logan Paulsen—His season was shut down before it even started after he suffered a toe injury in training camp. There was talk that he might not have made the team had he not been injured. The team would like more speed and athleticism at the position and seem likely to move on from Paulsen, who turns 29 next month.

CB Will Blackmon—He did a decent job filling in for the injured Chris Culliver and, before that, DeAngelo Hall. Decent is fine for a guy you pick up in Week 2 of the season but not when you have the whole offseason to sift through options and find a backup to Culliver, who could miss some regular season time after tearing his ACL and MCL.

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game four days ago. It will be about 241 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL Combine 41; NFL free agency starts 61; 2016 NFL draft 105

In case you missed it

  1. troylok - Jan 14, 2016 at 7:58 AM

    I have to wonder if most of Robinson’s problem was injury. The guy has all of the athletic ability you’d want at the position, so maybe they keep him around on a small contract?

    As for Morris, I agree that he’s gone. I am not all in on Jones so I think the Redskins need to be looking for options in the draft. It seems like the trend is to wait until the second or third day of the draft to pick your running back, so we’ll see if they take a shot.

    As far as a QB, if they sign a veteran, then they can afford to draft a project who will need some grooming. The Redskins seem to have a savvy QB coach, so maybe they take a shot at two guys with one sticking on the developmental roster when the season begins.

  2. Leroy white - Jan 14, 2016 at 10:11 AM

    Robinson is being missed used he should be blitzing the QB more often. The redskins Defensive sceme don’t put pressure on with the line play. The 3-4 strength is the linebacker job to dictate play and with his speed we should play him rushing more. Draft another linebacker to go along with Kerrigan, Preston smith and Robinson. Look at Seattle the linebacker are lean and swift fast to the ball.

  3. HildyJ - Jan 14, 2016 at 10:35 AM

    I can see four of the five but not Colt McCoy. If he’s willing to move back to his role as third string quarterback, why not? He knows the system, the organization, and the current players. He could help a rookie quarterback adjust. He has game experience. Unless his contract is outrageous, I haven’t seen a veteran free agent I’d rather have.

  4. savagegun - Jan 14, 2016 at 10:41 AM

    You and I are on the same page this season, Rich. As scary a thought as that is, but true, LOL!

    I think I commented on FB about Albert Morris that drew some ire from some of our fans. Right now Backs are a dime a dozen and there are some dynamic backs coming into the draft this year. As I said before we need a VERY strong running game if we’re going to keep Cousins for the long haul. I’m not a fan of Cousins. I think he’s a mediocre QB. I don’t think he’ll ever be the caliber QB we need to take advantage of the many weapons we have at Receiver.

    I still feel that there’s value in Colin Kaepernick. With Scout McCloughan as our GM and his connections to Colin I think he’s worth a look. Like RGIII I think Colin just needs a change of scenery and some great coaching, like what Sean McVay provides the offense and QB’s.

    Just my 2 cents worth!
    Thanks for reading!

  5. ET - Jan 14, 2016 at 10:49 AM

    Robinson was a huge disappointment this season. Huge. Seems like the guy has enough raw talent to be a top-tier inside linebacker. I’m not quite sure what happened, either.

    Personally, I hope Will Blackmon gets a fair shot to make the roster next year. He did a great job stepping in this season, and he inspires much more confidence than the EJ Biggers-type DBs that filled out the bottom of the position group a few years ago. As usual, it may depend on how many DBs make it through the preseason unscathed.

  6. 226thebeatdontstop - Jan 14, 2016 at 11:25 AM

    Although the feel good parade continues I’m not sold on Cousins nor should he be the guaranteed starter. He looks good in Grudens system but when one piece of that offense fails its 3 and out.
    Can somebody please tell me what Cousins did the 2nd half of the playoff game if I’m paying him 20 million he has to be able to create and make off schedule plays an he didn’t

    Robinson can play I think having linebacker depth is important…The Redskins need pass rushing defensive ends and pass rushing linebackers …Preston Smith came on as the year progressed we need 2 more

  7. metalman5150 - Jan 14, 2016 at 11:26 AM

    Alfred had better yards-per-carry numbers than any other RB on the team!!!!
    Not that the aforementioned fact will change his status from uncertain to safe, but just perspective.

  8. Stephfan - Jan 14, 2016 at 12:10 PM

    Keenan should be back, he is far better than mason foster when healthy. Second I agree with one of the things that a guy posted. I’m not sold on cousins? Has he beat a good nfl team or even one with a winning record? I’ll wait… But facts are facts he lost every game. Who cares bout passing rating, completion percentage and how many ints he didn’t throw towards the END of the season, if he can’t even win against the dolphins who were garbage, packers who were hurt, panthers, pats…. Hell he could even beat Dallas or the giant the first time around? So why does he deserve a big pay day? For what beating sorry teams? If they sign him to a long term deal and he flops next season, him and gruden will get there walking papers. The redskins would be smart to tag that man. And as for Morris I would love for him to be back. He is better than jones period, jones did nothing to impress me. And so what if backs are a dime a dozen, we need to keep him. And Blackmon did enough to warrant another year. We put up with biggers for 3 so why not Blackmon for another year

    • hail74 - Jan 14, 2016 at 1:00 PM

      I agree that tagging cousins may be the better route and that Blackmon should be on the roster next year as well. I don’t get why cousins is the one on the hook for not beating winning teams. We’re a one dimensional offense. The good teams can ride that out because they’re winning every other facet of the game. Perhaps next year we will have a run game or improved defense and can win some of the tougher match ups.

      • timwillhide - Jan 14, 2016 at 1:18 PM

        I think the amount we run is part of the issue with our run game. Plus it’s a west coast offense so the short pass is suppose to supplement the run game. I think the short passing game actually hurts the run game because of the Defense playing closer to the line. Grudens teams usually pass a lot.
        I would like to see us use the Non Exclusive Franchise Tag.

      • Stephfan - Jan 14, 2016 at 2:26 PM

        I don’t just blame cousins, I should have mentioned the head coach and oline. But in those games defense did its thing early but offense never clicks, that’s why he on the hook for me. He is the man everyone wanted

        • hail74 - Jan 14, 2016 at 2:42 PM

          I don’t agree that defense did its thing early. Against GB? Sure in the first qtr. After that, with game still close, GB scored on 5 straight drives. Something they hadn’t done all year. New England took opening possession, marched downfield and never looked back meanwhile our receivers had brick hands that day. Jets? They shut us down and was easily one of cousins worst games but we did take opening drive for TD only to have the D give up an 11 play drive for a TD on their first series. Carolina? The D gave up 8 scoring drives starting early and often. Bottom line? Cousins right now is not good enough to singlehanded beat good teams, but how many QBs are?

        • Stephfan - Jan 14, 2016 at 3:01 PM

          All I hear is excuses. Because cousins cost us that game with the jets, throwing a pick right to the corners hands. The patters and pats game were losses from the word go but what bout the first Dallas game.. He did nothing until it was to late. The Falcons game, int to end the game. The fins game, missing wrs and ints but hey it’s all cool cause he had the highest competition percentage. And oh I forgot the Giants game?

        • hail74 - Jan 14, 2016 at 4:41 PM

          Yeah he threw a bad pass against the jets. It happens to them all. Did you see Brady vs the Eagles? Immediately after that pass the D let Ryan Fitzpatrick run 18yds down untouched for TD. The Dallas game was tight, like some divisional games are. We prob win the game if not for Djax tho. Again, it’s a team sport so why is it only on cousins when time and again the defense and run game failed? I understand people being cautious of cousins after only one year, I am too, but we didn’t lose against winning teams because of him.

        • Stephfan - Jan 14, 2016 at 5:20 PM

          He contributed alot

        • hail74 - Jan 14, 2016 at 4:49 PM

          I’ll ask again, since it’s all just the qb who wins games, do the redskins beat the Vikings if cousins goes 13/26 146yds 1td 1int? Simple yes or no question.

        • Stephfan - Jan 14, 2016 at 5:23 PM

          Based on that game we could have but the kicker missed. But the Vikings didn’t play a good game so they lost, Hawks got luckey

  9. colmac69 - Jan 14, 2016 at 1:17 PM

    You can’t make some of this stuff up on here

    First off we got cousins as mediocre qb….never b the caliber of qb needed to utilise the weapons and then replace him with colin Kaepernick lol

    As for stephan post are u Greed in disguise…..

    First off qbs winning/losing records are lot crap with no value whatsoever

    Cousins this yr answered every question that was asked of him and proved all doubters in media and fanbase wrong

    Records he compiled league wide and team speak for themselves (out of every qb in league only one to compile perfect rating for game )

    Even in his short career before this yr he flashed potential which was undermined by his tendency to throw ints and he didn’t respond well to mistakes (questions he answered this yr in spades)

    Did he play his best vs greenbay prob not…was he reason we lost don’t think so

    Think he utilised his offensive weapons well this yr….even better when u consider he didn’t really have much of running game to go with it

    Cousins finally got chance to show what he was capable off.(regardless of how gd or bad oposition was)…granted first six games was much like his earlier starts with exception of eagles game when he drove team to winning score but his last ten were off the charts

    As for money he gonna get paid the going rate (if shanahan gets 49ers job that could potentially drive his price tag higher especially if shanahan makes him very gd offer)

    The key for cousins is to prove this yr wasn’t a one off…..with an improved offense you would have to think he can only get better

    However even if he proves himself again nxt season there are some on here who will still say he a mediocre qb who can’t lead team forward…..

    • warpath1 - Jan 14, 2016 at 2:25 PM

      i know, lets let cousins go and fire gruden. That will fix this damn forward progress we made!!!

    • Stephfan - Jan 14, 2016 at 2:38 PM

      First I don’t know who that person is Iam my own man thank you. And congrats he got records but did that translate into any wins against winning teams? I’ll wait… Oh no I don’t have to cause it didn’t. I could careless bout percentage and more bout wins! That’s what matters WINS

      • warpath1 - Jan 14, 2016 at 2:45 PM

        from 4-12 to 9-7. hmmm

        • Stephfan - Jan 14, 2016 at 2:56 PM

          9-7 against losing teams, that means gruden can only beat losers and so can cousins, if you like they your mediocre

        • warpath1 - Jan 14, 2016 at 3:06 PM

          ” if you like they your mediocre” ????

        • Stephfan - Jan 14, 2016 at 3:10 PM

          I like that but I guess you can’t figure that out

      • hail74 - Jan 14, 2016 at 2:49 PM

        Wins do matter but it’s a team game. Some players are great and can carry a team, Brady,manning, but most can’t and no one is claiming that cousins can. Against the Vikings Wilson goes 13/26 146yds 1td and 1int. Do you think the redskins win that game if cousins has similar numbers?

      • squawonthewarpath - Jan 14, 2016 at 6:47 PM

        Yes Stephan and this team won 9 games. Many more games than anyone thought possible. The argument about him not beating any teams with a winning record is ridiculous. The team can only play those who are on their schedule and if they had beat some of the teams who had winning records we’d have 10+ victories. Anyone who watches football knows that the 2015 Redskins are in a rebuilding mode and expecting 10 or more victories would have been unrealistic.

        • squawonthewarpath - Jan 14, 2016 at 6:50 PM

          Also Stephan I noticed how absent you were from the board during the month of December when the Skins were winning. The team makes it to the playoffs, lose the game and boom…you’re back. You and a few others.

        • Stephfan - Jan 14, 2016 at 10:48 PM

          First off I’m not on here cause I get tired of typing in my email, rivh that needs to be fixed. Second I was on here in the beginning of the season when we lost and won smart guy. Thirdly I do work do sorry if i have no life and don’t stay glued to my computer/phone

    • savagegun - Jan 14, 2016 at 8:33 PM

      Colmac I think you need to re-read my post before quoting.

      Colmac: “First off we got cousins as mediocre qb….never b the caliber of qb needed to utilise the weapons and then replace him with colin Kaepernick lol”

      What I said: “I still feel that there’s value in Colin Kaepernick. With Scout McCloughan as our GM and his connections to Colin I think he’s worth a look.”

      As far as Kirk Cousins is concerned, yes he’s a mediocre QB. No he didn’t answer EVERY question. How about the fumbles, decision making (Kneel down on the 6 yard line comes to mind), and lack of big play ability the inability to utilize receivers down field unless they’re wide open. He has a nasty tendency to throw the ball BEHIND the receiver.

      The play book is designed for Kirk. Short, high percentage passes that utilize the talents of the running backs and tight-end.

      So tell me where he PROVES himself and against a team with a winning record: Patriots, Jets, Packers, Carolina? I’ll even throw in Atlanta and the Bills, that way my ‘Skins have 1 win! 1 win 6 losses against teams with a winning or .500 average with Kirk Cousins at the helm.

      I rest my case.

      • colmac69 - Jan 15, 2016 at 7:28 AM

        What case is that I wonder..oh wait minute the one that states cousins is sole reason we lost two games vs 2 favourites for superbowl….an atlanta team that was 4-0….jets team that was 4-1…..Yeh lost vs gb but your delusional I’d you think he was responsible for that loss

        What did he prove?

        He was mentally weak after making mistakes……think he proved a dozen times at least that he could overcome that adversity….

        Couldn’t lead a game winning drive…….think he proved that vs philly…tampa……also go back to baltimore game in 2012…..

        Couldn’t win two in a row…couldn’t win on road…..proved all that wrong did he not

        “Playbook designed for kirk…short high percentage passes that utilise talents of running backs and tight ends”

        Think u will find tom brady been doing that for 15 yrs and he hasn’t done too bad has he…

        However if u and others think cousins is solely to blame for any losses incurred then keep believing…..

        • Stephfan - Jan 15, 2016 at 10:04 AM

          The Baltimore game really. He had one okay. Don’t act like he played the whole game.

      • timwillhide - Jan 15, 2016 at 9:33 AM

        savagegun on I have noticed the same things about Cousins. You can’t comment about those things on here because you will get betrayed by all the Cousins fans. They don’t understand it’s just your opinion. On here you are not allowed to have an opinion about Cousins even backed by stats. They will call you every name in the book and claim you made up links and websites with the stats. They will make excuses for the tape. They are so busy sniffing Cousins jock they don’t step back and look at anything objectively.

  10. greed - Jan 14, 2016 at 2:35 PM

    why is it under gruden players need to leave to be gd players? See amerson, Everyone wanted to blame krob for a poor run d and praise compton as a savior funny how you play a gd team after weeks of bad ones the run d all of a sudden got horrible again, compton a gd player but so is a krob no doubt u bring him back as well as compton and foster let all four lb’s battle it out to me thats a heck of a fourman rotation not to mention strong special team options, if im Alf, after being phased out no way im coming back, blackmon deserves to be invited back to fight for a job no matter who else skins bring in four a guy that we picked up off the couch he did a damn gd job, mcoy not going to another team no team wanted him last season we only picked him up cause the qb from warh state quit during ota’s he limited in a pro offense small no arm , after neyt yr we’ll be looking for a starting qb to

  11. bangkokben - Jan 14, 2016 at 2:59 PM

    As for the five:

    Keenan is clearly a system guy. Can’t get off blocks. Before he didn’t have to. He has to sign with a team that runs that kind of defense and he will shine.

    McCoy needs to stay. Have a guy behind Cousins with no experience in the offense – not a good contingency. Sure draft a guy to groom but Colt needs to be the bridge.

    Morris has gotten worse with Gruden but the offense has gotten better. I don’t think it’s Gruden as much as Randy Jordan. Morris has shown flashes of his old self this season, is durable, and protects the ball. Love to see him back. I don’t believe he’s a system guy as much as Tandler. Certainly better fit in this system than Robinson in this defense.

    Paulsen might be worth a look considering it TOOK ALL YEAR NOT to find a blocking tight end. Maybe the year off has allowed his body to get stronger.

    Blackmon is a stop gap – a stop gap that works for about eight weeks and then stops working. It seemed that every 3rd down pass that was completed in the final quarter of the season was completed against #41. Wish we could’ve gone further in the playoffs. He was a good story.

  12. shawnbridy31 - Jan 14, 2016 at 3:37 PM

    Hey Rich, quick question here, what are the chances of they releasing RG3 and then come time for free agency some other team give Cousins a deal he can’t refuse. What will the Redskins do then. I bet nobody has thought about that scenerio. If that did happen I kno if I was RG3 I wouldn’t come after the way Gruden treated him.

    • colmac69 - Jan 14, 2016 at 4:36 PM

      Franchise tag will b applied to cousins so one way or another he b at washington nxt season

  13. Mike - Jan 14, 2016 at 5:25 PM

    It would be awesome to see a backfield of RG3 and Alfred somewhere again

    • timwillhide - Jan 15, 2016 at 12:23 AM

      Denver could be a possibility they both know the system.

  14. wncskinsfan - Jan 14, 2016 at 10:13 PM

    Agree with most. I would keep McCoy as 2nd or 3rd depending upon who else comes in at qb

    I want to address this notion of Cousins not beating winning teams. I saw a team with (1) a patchwork and barely serviceable secondary (2) no pass rush (3)no ability to stop the run (4) inconsistant special teams (5) no run game (6) a brutalized TE core (7) needs a center (8) an army of starters on IR . . and you want to blame losses on one guy? One guy? Really? cousins surpassed all expectations, broke some records, earned some honors, and otherwise earned his contract as a starter for the Washington Redskins. He did this with style and grace. No social media BS, no controversies, no stupid talk. He just studied football and got better. I blame him for the 9 wins we got . . not the seven losses. The beauty of football . . it’s a team sport. Maybe with an improved team overall . . the fellows can beat some of these winning teams. Good God, give the kid some credit and maybe even a reasonable contract. I think some of you are just flat out incorrigible, or Snyder-fied, or RG III sters, or something. Plain as day, there is something to work with there in that position. WTF do you expect? And my God . . kaepernick!!!!? Really?????? you must be smoking crack.

    Final thought. Scot needs to trade Trent Murphy.

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