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Redskins Futures Contracts - Who Could Have an Impact in 2017?

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After the 2016 season ended, the Redskins signed 14 players to reserve/future contracts. Now, not all of these players will last through training camp, but there are a few names on this list that certainly stand out.

Below are four players who have a chance at making an impact on this team in 2017.

Tharold Simon(CB) - 6'3" 202  age 25 - Simon was a fifth round pick of the Seattle Seahawks in 2013. The LSU standout was placed on the PUP list in August, and sat out his rookie year. He saw action in 10 games the following season, earning five starts. He recorded three passes defended and an interception to go along with 13 tackles. Injuries and inconsistency derailed his time in Seattle, and he was eventually released in September of 2016. He was claimed off waivers by the Cardinals, and played sparingly in 2016 before being released in December.

Simon is a great overall athlete, posting a 4.51 40 yard dash, 34" vertical and 128" broad jump at the 2013 NFL combine. His blend of size and length make him an intriguing prospect for the Redskins.

If Simon can stay healthy, and clean up his footwork, he could see time in sub packages as a zone defender, and even challenge for playing time on the outside opposite Josh Norman. He would give the team an opposing presence at CB, and could possibly even play some safety.

Phil Taylor(DT) - 6'3" 335  age 28 - Taylor was a first round pick of the Browns in 2011. He started every game of his rookie season, and recorded 59 tackles, 4 sacks and a forced fumble on his way to being named to the Pro Football Weekly All-Rookie team. He was with the Browns for four seasons, and started 42 games, but injuries took their toll on him. He was eventually released by the team in September of 2015. Taylor signed with the Broncos the following off-season, but was placed on injured reserve after suffering a knee injury in the preseason. Denver released him before the start of the 2015 season.

When Healthy, Taylor is a force in the middle of any defense. He can command and beat a double team, and flashes the violence to disrupt plays in opposing team's backfields. His issue has been his inability to stay on the field. If Taylor can show he's fully recovered from his knee issues, he could become the Redskins nose tackle in their base 3-4 defense. He also has the ability to jump outside and play some 5-technique in an odd front, or rush the passer from the 3-technique in an even front.

I wouldn't be surprised if Taylor makes the 2017 53-man roster, and has an impact moving forward.

Khairi Fortt(LB) - 6'2" 240  age 24 - Fortt was a 4th round pick in the 2014 draft by the Saints, but a preseason hamstring injury forced him to IR. He was later released by the team amidst some controversy about him missing multiple team meetings. He was claimed off waivers by the Bengals, but waived a week later, and was eventually signed to the practice squad. His stay on the Bengals practice squad was short, as just a few weeks later he was signed to the Jaguars active roster. He was waived by the Jaguars the following summer. He had a brief stint with the Seahawks in 2016.

Fortt is an athletic linebacker with a muscular frame. At the combine in 2014, he ran a 4.7 40 yard dash, and recorded a 36" vertical, while doing 30 reps on the bench press. He can play sideline-to-sideline, and is excellent in coverage. His main issues so far in his young career has been injuries.

If Fortt can stay healthy, he could be an immediate contributor on special teams, and could challenge for playing time at inside linebacker in the Redskins 3-4 defense. He also has the ability to rush the passer off the edge, and could be used in this role on some passing downs in blitz packages.

Earl Wolff(S) - 5'11" 210  age 27 - Wolff was a fifth round draft choice of the Eagles in 2013. He came to Philly after a decorated career at NC State, which saw him finish with 400 tackles, 7 interceptions and 9 forced fumbles. Wolff's early career was derailed by injury. He was eventually waived/injured by the Eagles in August of 2015. He signed a futures contract with the Jaguars in January of 2016, but was placed on injured reserve before the start of the 2016 season, and was eventually released with an injury settlement.

Wolff has tremendous ability as a strong safety. He's a viscous hitter who loves to mix it up in the box. Although he lacks the cover skills to play as a single high, he does have smooth hips and enough speed to match up with tight ends in the slot, and he can bring pass rush ability off the edge on blitzes.

Wolff could see some time as a reserve safety and special teams contributor if he makes the Redskins 53-man roster this summer.