Scot McCloughan is a practical general manager who goes after talent instead of flashy names. This will be his third season with the Redskins. He has gone offense (wide receiver and tackle) in the first round of both drafts and defense in the second round. That is likely to change this season with the Redskins needing to boost its defense. The team needs depth at multiple positions, and this draft could provide it.
And while it’s easy to argue that Cousins should be realistic regarding whether Washington would actually tag him again in 2018 at $34.47 million, that’s how long-term contracts for franchise-tagged players are valued. If Cousins deviates from that, his agent will face a torrent of criticism from other agents, who invariably will use the departure from convention against Cousins’ agent in the cutthroat content of recruiting players.
Jackson, meanwhile, can expect a salary near or exceeding double digits, and as Mike Garafolo of NFL.com reported earlier today, Jackson will likely have to take less money in order to remain with the Redskins. The 30-year-old Jackson is reportedly interested in heading back to Philadelphia this offseason, a scenario the Eagles have also contemplated. In his third season with Washington, Jackson led the league in yards per catch for the second time in three years while scoring four times.
They should make a good-faith effort to re-sign Baker, their best defensive lineman over the last two or three years. It looks like Anthony Lanier has potential to rush the passer so he should stick around to see if he can develop that skill. And although Ricky Jean Francois may not justify his $4 million salary cap hit he is productive enough to keep around given the ample cap space the team has.
Last year was not a good one for McCloughan. His solution at strong safety, David Bruton, was a bust. McCloughan’s gamble that DL Stephen Paea would turn things around in his second year with the team and that Kendall Reyes would solidify the defensive line did not pan out. All three players were cut, leaving millions in dead cap money and flaws in the defense that teams exposed over and over again. The team didn’t get much immediate return out of the draft, although to be fair the Achilles problems suffered by top pick Josh Doctson could not be foreseen.
But during Senior Bowl practices, Reddick not only got the chance to shine on the edge, but was moved around to multiple off-ball linebacker spots and looked just as comfortable. His background in the secondary was obvious in his fluidity, as he was able to change directions quickly and smoothly, hanging with tight ends and running backs in man coverage.