Projecting Rosters for the Next Three Years

Most of us want the Redskins to be competing for a Super Bowl in 2018, but many of us recognize that's unlikely to happen so soon. This post represents an exercise in looking at how the roster can be optimized over the next several years to maximize talent, protect cap space, and build a team with sufficient depth to weather the ups and downs of the NFL season.

This analysis leaves six open positions for back-ups (47 spots filled), but the assumption is that players in those roles would be receiving rookie-level contracts. Incredibly, a huge portion of this team is basically locked in through the next 3 years, largely on account of home grown talent on rookie contracts. Through smart drafting in 2019 and 2020, and culling some top heavy contracts, by 2020 this team could easily have its top young talent (Smith, Scherff, Ioannidis) locked up long term AND come out with $52M+ in additional cap space in the next 2 years (2019+2020). Potential draft picks are indicated in parentheses.

Some will surely quibble with a few of my early cuts/trades (Thompson, Crowder, and Reed come to mind), but many of these individuals, particularly if they continue to have injury trouble, are readily replaceable, and we have the draft capital to do so.

The table highlights a few key draft targets in each of the next couple of years, and frees up enough cap space that if a "puzzle piece" type free agent is available, there are sufficient resources to sign him. I'd like to hear your thoughts.

Bold = Under contract

Italic = Leaves before end of contract (cut/trade)

Position 2018 2019 2020
QB1 A. Smith A. Smith (increase $2M) A. Smith (increase $1M)
QB2 K. Hogan (save $3M) DRAFT QB2 (continued savings) (rd 2) QB2 (continued savings)
RB1 D. Guice D. Guice D. Guice
RB2 C. Thompson Alternate (save $3M) Alternate (continued savings)
RB3 S. Perine S. Perine S. Perine
RB4 Rookie contract Rookie contract Rookie contract
WR1 J. Doctson J. Doctson J. Doctson (5th year extension)
WR2 P. Richardson P. Richardson P. Richardson
WR3 J. Crowder T. Quinn (save $1.4M) T. Quinn (continued savings)
WR4 Harris/Quick/R. Davis R. Davis/Draft (rd 6) R. Davis/Draft (rd 2)
WR5 T. Quinn Rookie contract Rookie contract
TE1 J. Reed Draft TE1 (save $6M) (rd 3) TE1 (save $8.5M)
TE2 V. Davis Draft TE2 (save $5M) (rd 5) TE2 (continued savings)
TE3 J. Sprinkle J. Sprinkle J. Sprinkle
LT T. Williams T. Williams T. Williams
LG S. Lauvao Draft LG (save $1.5M) (rd 3) LG (continued savings)
C C. Roullier C. Roullier C. Roullier
RG B. Scherff B. Scherff B. Scherff (re-sign)
RT M. Moses M. Moses M. Moses
OL1 G. Christian G. Christian G. Christian
OL2 Catalina/Clemmings/Kalis Timmons/Dunn Rookie contract
DE1 J. Allen J. Allen J. Allen
DE2 M. Ioannidis M. Ioannidis M. Ioannidis (re-sign, $5M increase)
DE3 A. Lanier A. Lanier (re-sign, $4M increase) A. Lanier (increased cost)
DT1 D. Payne D. Payne D. Payne
DT2 Z. Hood T. Settle (save $1M) T. Settle (continued savings)
DL1 T. Settle Draft DL (rd 4) DL (rd 4)
DL2 S. McGee Alternate (save $2.4M) Alternate (save $4.2M)
OLB1 R. Kerrigan R. Kerrigan R. Kerrigan
OLB2 P. Smith P. Smith (re-sign, $9M increase) P. Smith (increased cost)
OLB3 R. Anderson R. Anderson R. Anderson
ILB1 Z. Brown Z. Brown Z. Brown
ILB2 M. Foster M. Foster SD. Hamilton
ILB3 Z. Vigil SD. Hamilton JH. Clemons
LB1 P. McPhee JH. Clemons (save $1M) Draft LB (continued savings) (rd 3)
FS1 M. Nicholson M. Nicholson M. Nicholson
FS2 T. Apke T. Apke T. Apke
SS1 DJ. Swearinger DJ. Swearinger Blanding/Smithson (save $5M)
SS2 Blanding/Smithson Blanding/Smithson Draft SS (rd 1)
CB1 J. Norman Draft CB1 (save $8.5M) (rd 1) CB1 (save $12.5M)
CB2 F. Moreau F. Moreau F. Moreau
CB3 Q. Dunbar Q. Dunbar Q. Dunbar
CB4 O. Scandrick Texada/Holsey (save $4.7M) Texada/Holsey (continued savings)
CB/SP G. Stroman G. Stroman G. Stroman
LS N. Sundberg N. Sundberg N. Sundberg
P T. Way T. Way T. Way
K D. Hopkins D. Hopkins D. Hopkins

Potential Net Savings

$3M $22.7M $29.7M