clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2015 Redskins Roster Lame Ducks

Which Redskins veterans that made the final 53 this year won't be so lucky next time around? A look at this season's lame ducks and why they aren't long for this team.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Between early May and this past Saturday, I would say that just about every Redskins beat writer authored about forty 53-man roster projections.  It's a fun game to play, and it can actually be interesting to see how the predictions change after OTAs, training camp and preseason games.  That's all good and fine, but it's overkill when you have multiple guys doing the same exact article every week.  After you read the first one you're level of excitement gets capped at seeing which writer kept third-stringer "X" and which didn't.  Maybe that's just me though.

However, as I said, they can be interesting exercises despite the repetitive nature in which they are released.  With that in mind, I thought I would do something a little similar, but also a little different at the same time.  Instead of looking at this season, I looked ahead to next year; and instead of looking at who I think will make the team, I looked at who won't make the cut.  I didn't take the easy way out either by scraping together a list comprised of all the guys who barely caught on this year.  Every player listed is either projected to be a starter or to play a major role this season.

Below you will see the ten players that made this year's roster that I think are the most likely to be cut or not re-signed prior to the start of the 2016 season.  The 2016 ages and salary cap information are listed for each player on the list.

The ranking of each player does not necessarily reflect how likely I believe that it is for that particular player to be cut, the categories they fall under and the explanations given for each player do.  I also don't see the team parting ways with all ten players next year.  My best guess would be that the majority of them don't make it, and that somewhere between two and four of them return.

And if you don't think there will be that many changes, then think again.  As Rich Tandler pointed out, 20 of the 53 players that made Washington's final 53 last year are gone.  That's a turnover rate of 38 percent in just one offseason under Scot McCloughan.  Perhaps he's nearly done though, right?

If we look at the makeover that he gave to his old 49ers roster, we can see that this is probably not the case.  In early 2005, McCloughan was brought on as the de facto general manager in San Francisco.  The 49ers opening day roster for the 2006 season featured 38 players that were not on the 2004 Week 1 roster, which is good for a 72 percent turnover rate.  It will be exactly a decade later, but expect similar results in 2016.

*Please note that Robert Griffin was not factored into the salary cap and age rankings for each player below.  He is not the starting quarterback and the odds are that he will not be on the team next year.  I'm not going to focus on any of the team's quarterback related drama*

Category 1:  Peace Out!  It's Been Real.

Players that have no business making the Redskins final 53-man roster next season

1. Jason Hatcher

9/1/2016 Age: 34.1 (Oldest on Team)

2016 Cap Hit: $8,750,000 (5th Highest on Team)

2016 Dead Money: $4,500,000 (5th Highest on Team)

2016 Cap Savings: $4,250,000 (4th Highest on Team)

When the oldest player on your team is also one of your most expensive players, he damn well better either be your quarterback or be playing at a pro bowl level, Jason Hatcher is neither.

Hatcher isn't just the oldest and highest paid defensive linemen on his team either; he is one of the oldest and highest paid defensive linemen in the entire NFL.

It will be difficult for the Redskins to keep him in Washington next year when his cap number balloons up to nearly nine million dollars.  His acquisition will probably only end up amounting to a two-year rental that never quite lived up to its billing.  In my opinion, the team should have never signed him in the first place.

Potential Replacements: Ricky Jean-Francois, Chris Baker, Draft Pick/Free Agent

2. Shawn Lauvao

9/1/2016 Age: 28.9 (17th Oldest)

2016 Cap Hit: $5,000,000 (t-10th Highest)

2016 Dead Money: $2,000,000 (t-10th Highest)

2016 Cap Savings: $3,000,000 (t-7th Highest)

Another Bruce Allen signing, another waste of time and money.   Lauvao doesn't really fit into the new power-blocking scheme, because he's not a particularly good run blocker.  Actually, he's just not a particularly good blocker in general.

Here is how Pro Football Focus has ranked Lauvao among guards since 2011: 46th, 60th, 70th and 37th.  He allowed 25 or more quarterback pressures in each of those seasons.

Why Allen and the Redskins brass rushed out to sign him to an overpriced deal in the first place is beyond me.  He is nothing more than a lame duck guard that is just keeping the LG seat warm for Arie Koandijo or Spencer Long.

Potential Replacements: Spencer Long, Arie Koandijo

3. Andre Roberts

9/1/2016 Age: 28.6 (20th Oldest)

2016 Cap Hit: $5,000,000 (t-10th Highest)

2016 Dead Money: $2,000,000 (t-10th Highest)

2016 Cap Savings: $3,000,000 (t-7th Highest)

Signing Andre Roberts to be a number two and paying him like one was yet another foolish move made by the team president.  Roberts is a number three at best and he really isn't a great fit in the slot either.  I admit that I was initially on board with this move and had high hopes for him (not as a #2), but things just have not worked out for our dreadlocked friend here in the nation's capital.

Last year Robert's treated the ball like it had just been taken from the hands of a recently deceased Ebola patient, as he dropped just under 17% of his catchable targets (the fifth worst rate in the league).  His inability to catch and fight for the ball made it easier for defenders to do it instead.  Redskins QBs were picked off six times when targeting Roberts (tied for second most in the NFL).  He also brings absolutely no juice to the return game.

Jamison Crowder looks like he has the potential to excel in all of the areas where Roberts has not, and he is better suited to handle slot duties.  Grant is not a "true" slot either, but I personally believe that his exceptional quickness and agility could help him to succeed in this type of a role.

Potential Replacements: Jamison Crowder, Ryan Grant

4. Kedric Golston

9/1/2016 Age: 33.3 (2nd Oldest)

2016 Cap Hit: UFA

2016 Dead Money: N/A

2016 Cap Savings: N/A

The cover photo for this article will not be the last place that you'll see Kedric Golston waving goodbye in the near future.  At over 33-years old, it's time for the team to move on from their longest tenured and second oldest player.

Golston isn't just old either; he's extremely ineffective.  It's been nearly four years since Golston last recorded a sack, a pass deflection or a turnover of any kind.  He has not received a positive run defense grade from the game charters at PFF since 2007.  Last year he ranked 88th out of 89 3-4 defensive ends in that department.

The Redskins certainly improved their defensive line during the offseason, but they desperately need to get younger here in 2016.  Next October, Washington's youngest defensive linemen, Frank Kearse, will turn 28-years old.  At the beginning of the 2016 season, the average age of Stephen Paea, Terrance Knighton, Ricky Jean-Francois, Chris Baker and Frank Kearse will be 29.  Oh, and Leonard Williams doesn't turn 22 until OTAs start next year.

Potential Replacements: Some other old dude, Draft Pick

Category 2: We Need to Talk (about your contract)

Players that have unperformed relative to their contract values and that should not be allowed to return at their current price tags

5. Pierre Garcon

9/1/2016 Age: 30.1 (8th Oldest)

2016 Cap Hit: $10,200,000 (2nd Highest)

2016 Dead Money: $2,200,000 (9th Highest)

2016 Cap Savings: $8,000,000 (t-Highest)

Look, I'm a Garcon fan.  I even called his breakout in 2013.  But if he isn't willing to take a substantial pay cut, then Scot McCloughan shouldn't be willing to keep him on next year's roster.  Garcon's $10,200,000 cap number in 2016 would be the highest number on the team behind only the cap hit from Trent Williams' historic, newly minted deal.  He would be getting paid top-15 wide receiver money when he clearly isn't even the best wideout on his own team.  He would actually make more than DeSean Jackson if their contracts remain unchanged.

The real problem is that both Jackson and Garcon are nearing 30-years old, they are both going to be free agents in 2017 and Washington simply has too much of its financial resources tied up at this position.  The Redskins are currently projected to allocate the third highest amount of cap dollars to the wide receiver position next year.  They have also already begun to invest in the future of the position by drafting three receivers in the past 16 months.

The Redskins just cannot afford to re-sign both Jackson and Garcon.  They should make the obvious choice here: sign the younger and more talented Jackson and move on from Garcon.  Cutting Pierre Garcon would also save a whopping eight million dollars, which is tied for the most cap savings that the team could obtain by cutting a single player

Potential Replacements: Ryan Grant, Draft Pick/Free Agent

6. Dashon Goldson

9/1/2016 Age: 32 (5th Oldest)

2016 Cap Hit: $8,000,000 (7th Highest)

2016 Dead Money: $0 (Least)

2016 Cap Savings: $8,000,000 (t-Highest)

The other player that the team could save eight million dollars by cutting is former 49er and Buccaneer Dashon Goldson.  The difference between Goldson's contract and Garcon's is that cutting Goldson wouldn't leave the Redskins on the hook for any dead money.

Goldson is the fifth oldest player on the roster and one of the ten oldest starting safeties in the league, and he is no Charles Woodson either.  There's a reason that Goldson is on his third team in four years.  In each of the last two seasons, PFF has rated him in the bottom ten among safeties overall, in coverage and in missed tackles.  We might be looking at the second coming of Ryan Clark if he can't right the ship here.

Unfortunately, cutting him would leave a big hole at free safety and Sean Taylor's and Ed Reed's don't grow on trees (as Redskins fans know all too well); so finding a solution at this position could be difficult.  It might be time to invest another high draft pick in this position.

Potential Replacements: Draft Pick/Free Agent

7. Perry Riley

9/1/2016 Age: 28.3 (22nd Oldest)

2016 Cap Hit: $5,049,804 (9th Highest)

2016 Dead Money: $1,049,804 (15th Highest)

2016 Cap Savings: $4,000,000 (5th Highest)

Perry Riley may not be the most glaringly obvious 2016 release candidate, but believe me when I say that the reasons for such a move are there.   You may not notice him making egregious mistakes, but ask yourself: how often do you recall him actually making big plays?  Riley has only tallied one interception, two forced fumbles and nine-and-a-half sacks since he became a full-time starter midway through the 2011 season.

However, Inside linebackers typically aren't asked to rack up high sack and interception totals.  Their main responsibilities are to stop the run and to play pass defense.  The problem is that Riley is far from special in either area.  He has never finished a season ranked in the top 20 in total tackles, instead finding himself ranking higher in the assisted tackle category in each year.  Always the bridesmaid and never the bride, Riley always seems to be late to the party.  He simply lacks the instincts to quickly diagnose plays and to tackle opponents without the help of his teammates.

Things don't get any prettier when you look at his track record in pass defense.  No inside linebacker has given up more receiving yards and touchdowns since 2012 than Riley (1,536 yards and 18 touchdowns).

Potential Replacements: Will Compton, Matrell Spaight, Draft Pick

Category 3: Goodbye, Old Friend.  Time to Let the Real Rebuild Begin.

Players that have been productive members of the Washington Redskins for several years, but that may not be around much longer for various reasons

8. DeAngelo Hall

9/1/2016 Age: 32.8 (3rd Oldest)

2016 Cap Hit: $5,062,500 (8th Highest)

2016 Dead Money: $1,625,000 (13th Highest)

2016 Cap Savings: $3,437,500 (6th Highest)

DeAngelo Hall is the sixth oldest projected starting cornerback in the NFL.  Rashean Mathis, Terrance Newman and Charles Tillman are the only starting corners that have played in more games than Hall has (152 games and 146 starts).   He is also coming back off of a twice-torn Achilles tendon.

Hall is certainly a playmaker, but his coverage skills are often highly overrated.  He also lacks the versatility to be a reliable option in the slot or at safety and the durability to make an impact on special teams in anything other than spot duty.

The Redskins have invested heavily at this position with their recent draft selections and the lucrative contract given to Chris Culliver.  The writing is on the wall for Hall, as he enters what will likely be his final season with the team and perhaps in the league altogether.

Potential Replacements: Bashaud Breeland, Draft Pick/Free Agent, David Amerson

9. Alfred Morris

9/1/2016 Age: 27.7and 59 in Running Back Years (30th Oldest)

2016 Cap Hit: UFA

2016 Dead Money: N/A

2016 Cap Savings: N/A

Alfred Morris is a great guy.  I'm a huge fan.  But at the same time I understand that he is not my friend.  I've never met him and the odds are that I never will.  Morris probably isn't even aware that I exist.  I accept that.  Most Redskins fans, however, seem to have an irrational attachment to Morris, talking about him if he was a part of their immediate family and scoffing at any mention of Washington not re-signing him next year.  We need to do a better job of separating the player from the man and ourselves from the team.

Do you see Bill Belichick and Ozzie Newsome overpaying guys just because they like them and because they are good players?  No you do not, and the NFL literally repays them with draft picks for not doing so.  It's all about value and Alfred Morris plays at one of the most devalued positions in the league.

If Morris can be signed to a team friendly deal, then the Redskins should absolutely bring him back; but if he demands more, then the front office should think twice before opening up their wallets for him.  The reason being that, Morris is not an elite running back and he is already on the old side for his position.

Much virtual ink has been spilled on the former subject, so I'll try to keep it brief by summarizing.  Morris' numbers fall off a cliff without the recently benched Robert Griffin in the starting lineup, he's only had four 100-yard games since 2012, his yards per carry average and total yards have dropped each season and he is a below average receiver and pass blocker.  I would also project him to be somewhere between the fifth and seventh oldest starting running back in the league by 2017.   And It doesn't help that his running style is not highly conducive to career longevity.

Alfred Morris is not an elite player and with an attractive trio of backs sitting behind him on the depth chart, he has no leverage to demand a big-money deal like the ones recently given to DeMarco Murray and Marshawn Lynch.  I like Morris too and I want the Redskins to re-sign him, but only at the right price.

Potential Replacements: Matt Jones, Chris Thompson/Trey Williams, Draft Pick

10. Kory Lichtensteiger

9/1/2016 Age: 31.4 (6th Oldest)

2016 Cap Hit: $4,050,000 (14th Highest)

2016 Dead Money: $1,100,000 (14th Highest)

2016 Cap Savings: $2,950,000 (10th Highest)

Lichtensteiger has been a steady option at the pivot for Washington, but he is also the oldest player on a rebuilding offensive line and on the offense as a whole.

Routinely blown into the backfield due to his size limitations, Lichtensteiger is just not a good fit for the Redskins' new and more power oriented run blocking scheme that calls for bigger and stronger offensive linemen.  Bill Callahan's last three starting centers were Nick Mangold, Ryan Cook and Travis Frederick.  Those players weigh 307, 331 and 315 pounds respectively while Kory Lichtensteiger weighs in at just 296 pounds.  Liechtensteiner is the third lightest starting center in the league.

He is also the third oldest at his position behind only the aforementioned and far superior Mangold and former Redskins castoff Will Montgomery.

Potential Replacements: Spencer Long, Draft Pick/Free Agent

Bonus: Old, Injured and Soon-To-Be Unemployed

Adam Hayward and Logan Paulsen

9/1/2016 Age: 32.2 (4th Oldest) and 29.5 (12th Oldest)

2016 Cap Hit: $1,045,000 (23rd Highest) and UFA

2016 Dead Money: $100,000 (32nd Highest) and N/A

2016 Cap Savings: $945,000 (16th Highest) and N/A

Like the title says, these guys are old and coming off of major season-ending injuries.

There was talk from the beat writers that Logan Paulsen may not have even made the cut this year had he not been injured.  Paulsen is also an extremely poor athlete and receiver.

Adam Hayward is great on special teams, but we are talking about a 32-year old player coming off of back-to-back stints on IR and that is utterly useless on defense.  Hayward has only played on 869 defensive snaps in his eight-year career; 869 snaps would've ranked 19th most among inside linebackers in 2014 alone.

The Redskins could probably re-sign both players on the cheap.  But why do that when you might already have an in-house replacement and when you can easily use a mid-round pick or a couple of million in cap space on more than serviceable and much younger substitutes?

Potential Replacements: Martrell Spaight, Draft Pick/Free Agent, Je'Ron Hamm

Cost Savings Galore and the Fountain of Youth

The numbers below reflect the results if all aforementioned players are released

Total Cap Savings w/ Cuts: $37,582,500 (25% of Projected $150,000,000 2016 Salary Cap)

Cuts by Age: 6 oldest players cut, 8 of 12 oldest players cut, 11 of 22 oldest players cut

Looking Ahead

Other Potential 2016 Departures: Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy, Robert Griffin, Kai Forbath, Chris Thompson, Tom Compton, Josh LeRibeus, Chris Baker, Frank Kearse, Will Compton, Justin Rogers, Duke Ihenacho, Trenton Robinson

Priority 2016 Free Agents: Keenan Robinson, Junior Galette, Terrance Knighton, Alfred Morris, Darrel Young, Tress Way (ERFA)

*All salary cap and free agency information courtesy of*