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Who will be the best player cut by the Redskins at the end of August?

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New York Giants v Washington Redskins Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

On the one hand, we have a group of players that are sure starters in 2019; after all, we know that Ryan Kerrigan and Landon Collins aren’t gonna be cut.

Then there are the players who make up the ‘camp fodder’. I mean, no one seriously thinks Josh Woodrum, the quarterback signed from the now-defunct AAF, has any chance at all of making the 53-man roster, right?

But somewhere in the numbers game, we get to the tough decisions - the players who are probably good enough to play in the NFL, but can’t quite secure a spot on the Redskins roster. It may be because the roster is deep at that player’s position; it may be because he doesn’t play special teams; it may be because he irritated his position coach during training camp. Whatever the reason, some NFL quality players are likely to lose their jobs with the Redskins following the final preseason game.

Let’s look at some of the candidates.

Defensive backs

The Redskins might have more potential than actual developed talent on the cornerback depth chart, but they’ve got no shortage of bodies. With a maximum of 11 positions available for CBs and safeties, there’s good chance that an NFL quality player could lose his position with the Redskins defense before Week 1 rolls around. With limited depth at the safety position, the final CB spot could be decided by the flexibility to play multiple positions in the defensive backfield. Danny Johnson was a UDFA last year, and looked unimpressive when he was called on to play. Greg Stroman, likewise, didn’t greatly impress; however, both Stroman and Johnson have punt return skills that make them valuable on special teams. Will his 7th round draft status and flashy play in shorts be enough to secure Jimmy Moreland’s position? Apparently, he has the physical skills to play safety, though Jay Gruden poo-poo’d that idea when a reporter asked him about it. Many people have suggested that the final DB spot will come down to a decision between Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Adonis Alexander.

Outside Linebacker

Two unproven players may be battling for the final OLB spot. The Redskins drafted Jordan Brailford in the 7th round, but he hasn’t played a snap in an NFL football game yet. He may have to push Cassanova McKinzy off the roster. McKinzy played a very limited number of snaps in 2018, but because of one ‘flash’ play that got the slow-motion treatment from the network crew, most Redskins fans have a positive impression of him. Still, his season-ending injury and lack of draft status may be enough to push the lady-killer back to the practice squad, while Brailford stays ‘safe’ as a member of the 53.

Running back

Health and availability may have a lot to do with how many running backs wind up on the opening day roster, and who they are. We all know that Bryce Love was injured in the final game of his college career, but it’s unclear whether he’ll be healthy enough to participate in camp or to play during the regular season. News this week of Derrius Guice’s hamstring has been enough to remind all Redskins fans that he, too, has never taken a snap in a regular season NFL game, and that he, too, is still less than a year removed from an ACL tear. Byron Marshall seems redundant, but the Redskins could save a net of over $2m against the cap by keeping Marshall and cutting Chris Thompson, though Marshall is still a candidate for the Practice Squad. Finally, there’s the Samaje Perine mystery. The 2017 draft pick still has 2 years remaining on his rookie contract. If Jay Gruden is willing to release him from his doghouse, Perine seems to have the skills to succeed as an NFL back as long as he holds onto the ball when he is tackled. This position group is one of the few that appears to have the depth to allow the front office to contemplate a trade sometime during the preseason if another team suffers a key injury.

Quarterback

Could 2019 be the year that Jay Gruden finally lets go of Colt McCoy?

Is it outside the realm of possibility that the Redskins could trade Case Keenum away to a team that suffers a pre-season injury at quarterback, making the decision to ride with Haskins & McCoy?

Offensive Line

The Redskins have both apparent stability and a lot of pre-camp questions with the OL group, with the number one issue being whether or not Trent Williams will show up and play. If he does, then the depth chart issues are easier to figure out, as 4/5ths of the OL starters would be carved in stone. The biggest issue after TW is: who plays left guard? Can the team keep Ereck Flowers, Wes Martin and Ross Pierschbacher - all three of them? Possibly, if you look at Flowers as a potential swing tackle/G, Pierschbacher as a C/G, and Martin as a guy you just can’t cut. That still leaves Tyler Catalina, Tony Bergstrom, Zac Kerin, Timon Parris and Casey Dunn ‘on the bubble’. Including Flowers, Martin & Pierschbacher, that’s 8 players competing for one starting spot and probably 4 backup positions, meaning that two or three of these guys are unlikely to have seats when the music stops.

Tight End

The Redskins are going to have to get younger and healthier at the tight end position soon. They may wait until the 2020 draft to really make an impact at this position, but if they wanted to get a head start on both player development and salary cap reduction, Vernon Davis could be at risk. If the Redskins move on from Davis this year, instead of letting him play out his contract, they would save nearly $5m against the salary cap related to VD’s contract. He would, of course, need to be replaced on the roster, likely by either Matt Flanagan or JP Holtz, both of whom were activated for part of the 2018 season. If the Redskins keep Davis on the 53-man roster, it’s hard to see them finding room for either Flanagan or Holtz.

Wide Receiver

I’m gonna say that Robert Davis starts the season on the PUP list, the two draft picks are safe, and Richardson is safe. I suspect that the slot receiver’s job is, at the very least, Trey Quinn’s to lose. With the Redskins likely to carry either 5 or 6 receivers, that leaves Josh Doctson, Brian Quick, Cam Sims and four others battling it out for one or two roster spots.

Long snapper

For the first time I can ever remember, the Redskins appear to be bringing two long snappers to camp. If you’re not familiar with Andrew East or the back issues that Nick Sundberg faced last year, you may want to review an article I published in late March that discussed the looming long-snapper battle. Sundberg, of course, has been splashed all over the Twittersphere, blogs and sports pages for his high-profile sponsorship of the “Loads of Love” program; that community-oriented work may actually be the difference maker that will keep the 31-year-old on the roster, despite his million-dollar cap hit and the availability of a younger, cheaper replacement.

Poll

Which DB gets cut?

This poll is closed

  • 54%
    Danny Johnson
    (987 votes)
  • 7%
    Greg Stroman
    (136 votes)
  • 1%
    Jimmy Moreland
    (20 votes)
  • 18%
    DRC
    (334 votes)
  • 18%
    Adonis Alexander
    (341 votes)
1818 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Which OLB gets cut?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    Jordan Brailford
    (170 votes)
  • 51%
    Cassanova McKinzy
    (868 votes)
  • 19%
    Both of them
    (327 votes)
  • 19%
    Neither of them
    (326 votes)
1691 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Bryce Love, Byron Marshall, Chris Thompson, Samaje Perine: how many of these players are on the 53-man roster in Philly Week 1?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    4
    (116 votes)
  • 43%
    3
    (768 votes)
  • 44%
    2
    (778 votes)
  • 5%
    1
    (93 votes)
  • 0%
    none
    (6 votes)
1761 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Will Colt McCoy survive the roster cuts after the final preseason game?

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    Yes
    (1172 votes)
  • 33%
    No
    (594 votes)
1766 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Tyler Catalina, Tony Bergstrom, Zac Kerin, Timon Parris and Casey Dunn: How many of these offensive linemen will be on the 53-man roster for the Week 1 game in Philly?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    5
    (71 votes)
  • 6%
    4
    (113 votes)
  • 26%
    3
    (424 votes)
  • 40%
    2
    (657 votes)
  • 18%
    1
    (297 votes)
  • 4%
    none
    (66 votes)
1628 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Which tight end will be on the 53-man roster for the Week 1 game against the Eagles?

This poll is closed

  • 64%
    Vernon Davis
    (1075 votes)
  • 6%
    Matt Flanagan
    (112 votes)
  • 2%
    JP Holtz
    (49 votes)
  • 25%
    two or more of these players will be on the roster
    (423 votes)
1659 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who is most likely to make the team?

This poll is closed

  • 51%
    Josh Doctson
    (882 votes)
  • 46%
    Cam Sims
    (795 votes)
  • 2%
    Brian Quick
    (47 votes)
1724 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Which long snapper do you prefer to keep?

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    Nick Sundberg - he’s a good Redskin on and off the field, and he’ll be easy to replace later
    (910 votes)
  • 43%
    Andrew East - the younger, cheaper, healthier option. Keep him now and the position is set for the next 4 or 5 years, at least
    (714 votes)
1624 votes total Vote Now