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Playing Redskins GM — KEEP or CUT, you make the call

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Putting you in charge of the Redskin roster decisions

NFL: New York Jets at Washington Redskins Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Redskins have had surprising play from some players this off-season, both good and bad. We all know that, come 31 August, finalizing the roster is a numbers game. More than 1,200 players league-wide will get their walking papers in the next week.

Players ‘on the bubble’ have to find a way to shine in camp and in preseason games, despite the fact that whatever they do comes with the caveat that it was done against the other team’s second & third string players, so somehow, it doesn’t seem to mean as much.

Still, certain players have been able to grab the attention of Jay Gruden and his staff from tryouts, to mini-camp, to OTAs, to training camp by “making plays”. Guys fighting to be the fifth linebacker or safety, or the sixth wide receiver need to make multiple outstanding plays against the opponents in preseason games, and often it’s a great tackle on a punt or the ability to occupy a double team and give your teammate a shot at the running back that makes the difference to coaches.

Fans tend to focus on the spectacular, whether it’s spectacularly good or spectacularly bad. Martez Carter and Samaje Perine, for example, both picked up a bit of hype when they broke big runs against the Jets.

Cam Sims had fans first groaning in pain with his dropped-pass-turned-interception versus the Jets, then later had the same fans cheering him for his jaw-dropping catch in the end zone nullified by a penalty. I’m not sure how many fans realized that it was Cam Sims himself who created the penalty that negated that great TD catch by lining up off the line of scrimmage to create an illegal formation penalty. On the next play, Sims had both hands on the ball for what would have been an admittedly tough catch, and he dropped it. Just about everyone has an opinion on whether he belongs on the team.

Meanwhile, not many people will have equally clear ideas about the competition for backup center that involves Bergstrom, Rhaney and Dunn; though, if you noticed one play where one of these guys gave up a sack, or a different play where they pancaked the defensive lineman they were blocking, then your opinion of whether he belongs on the roster might be shaped by that one play.

The point is, it’s not all-good or all-bad for any given player on the bubble, and fans don’t always evaluate players the way coaches do. Hustle, hard work, practice habits and intelligence all count. Of course, making big plays... a lot of big plays... trumps the rest. But very few players only make big plays. Like Cam Sims’ performance against the Jets, you gotta take the good with the bad.

In the end, if you’re a player, what counts is what the coaching staff and the personnel decision-makers think of you. This time last year, no one was 100% sure what would happen to Chase Roullier, Maurice Harris, Anthony Lanier or Josh Harvey-Clemons.

Talent evaluation is a tough business, but when preseason ends there are only 53 spaces available and 90 names still on the back of the jerseys. Somebody’s gotta go... in fact, a lot of somebodies. As Hue Jackson so eloquently puts it, every player has to earn his stripes.

Today, as we approach the end of the preseason, with ‘decision day’ coming upon us quickly, I invite you to enter the world of “suppose”.

Suppose you are the GM of the Redskins. All but one roster spot has been decided, and you have to make the final choice. Whom do you keep? Whom do you cut?

I’ve put nine different poll questions below, but I’d invite you to answer each poll question individually --independent from the others. In other words, for each poll question, assume that all other decisions have been made, and all you have to decide is: Between the players listed in that poll question, whom do you keep, and whom do you cut?

NOTE that some poll questions say KEEP, and some say CUT. They are not all the same.

If you want to add some different choices than the ones I’ve proffered and explain your thinking in the comments, feel free. Today, you are in charge of Redskins personnel. You decide who is on the roster that lines up against the Cardinals in two weeks.

Poll

Question 1: Whom do you KEEP?

This poll is closed

  • 88%
    Tim Settle
    (2042 votes)
  • 1%
    Phil Taylor
    (38 votes)
  • 9%
    Anthony Lanier
    (230 votes)
2310 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Question 2: Whom do you KEEP?

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    Brian Quick
    (544 votes)
  • 43%
    Byron Marshall
    (984 votes)
  • 32%
    Simmie Cobbs
    (742 votes)
2270 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Question 3: Whom do you CUT?

This poll is closed

  • 59%
    Rob Kelley
    (1385 votes)
  • 12%
    Samaje Perine
    (300 votes)
  • 27%
    Kapri Bibbs
    (644 votes)
2329 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Question 4: Whom do you KEEP?

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    Martrell Spaight
    (1529 votes)
  • 33%
    Zach Vigil
    (754 votes)
2283 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Question 5: Whom do you KEEP?

This poll is closed

  • 50%
    Danny Johnson
    (1154 votes)
  • 41%
    Troy Apke
    (958 votes)
  • 7%
    Quinn Blanding
    (174 votes)
2286 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Question 6: Whom do you KEEP?

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    Kevin Hogan
    (404 votes)
  • 26%
    Kyle Kalis
    (589 votes)
  • 56%
    Ziggy Hood
    (1270 votes)
2263 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Question 7: Whom do you CUT?

This poll is closed

  • 24%
    Geron Christian
    (540 votes)
  • 18%
    Ty Nsekhe
    (413 votes)
  • 57%
    Shawn Lauvao
    (1276 votes)
2229 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Question 8: Whom do you CUT?

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    Greg Stroman
    (925 votes)
  • 31%
    Adonis Alexander
    (689 votes)
  • 25%
    Trey Quinn
    (557 votes)
2171 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Question 9: Whom do you KEEP?

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    Casey Dunn
    (535 votes)
  • 62%
    Tony Bergstrom
    (1262 votes)
  • 10%
    Demetrius Rhaney
    (217 votes)
2014 votes total Vote Now