- The Ron RivEra continues to impress as the Washington Redskins roster looks different today than it did a week ago. Setting Josh Norman and Paul Richardson loose comes as no real surprise to folks watching the salary cap and seeing the team look to develop young talent. Still, knowing what the team needs to do and seeing them do it have been two very different things under Dan Snyder’s stewardship. Creating $15 million in cap space by releasing these two veterans is a big deal. Now, at least some of that money will have to be spent on the cornerback position, but likely not on a bull-jumping 32-year old player who seems to have played his best ball in the rear view mirror. The bulk of this space was cleared by Norman, but cutting Richardson was pretty important as well. The receiver was brought in to perform at a WR1 level (and paid like it), and didn’t see the field nearly enough to get there (just over 500 yards receiving in two seasons, while missing 15 games). They weren’t the only guys cut, but these two names hitting the street send a clear message to the league: the RivEra is not about making Dan Snyder’s previous decisions look good. This is just more good news for Redskins fans who have grown tired of the franchise hiring the next guy to mop up the mistakes of the previous guy.
- The public unhappiness of Quinton Dunbar, paired with the release of Josh Norman, really cements a major need for the Washington Redskins at cornerback. Now, it remains to be seen what will happen with Dunbar, who is owed a non-guaranteed $3.25 million this season. The good news for Redskins fans is that Dunbar has plenty of value to the team if they decide to shop him or try and play him. The converted wide receiver has played extremely well for the Redskins since Jay Gruden moved him to defensive back. Ideally, the team would be able to work out a deal that kept Dunbar in burgundy and gold—but at a minimum, having a starting cornerback for three million bones would have been pretty sweet. That seems unlikely to happen at this point. Health has been a factor for Dunbar, so that should be factored in to any new deal, but that is basically driving both sides here. Dunbar wants more guaranteed money than just three million bucks, and both he and his agent know that playing out this season could jeopardize that goal.
- No matter which way you slice it, the Redskins are going to have to spend money at cornerback. Question for you: who do you want the most? Before you answer, you can only pick from unrestricted free agents, and you can also choose to spend on Dunbar. We will get to trade scenarios or making a push for restricted guys at a later date.
- Staying with cornerback for yet another point here (this is a real area of concern for me, as you can tell), there is another path to upgrading our talent that potentially involves trading back in the first round. There are trade-down scenarios that could see the Redskins netting Jeff Okudah, the Ohio State corner rated tops in the class. This would involve trading away the rights to a potentially generational player at a huge impact position in Chase Young. It shouldn’t go unsaid that Chase Young makes every corner that suits up for us next year a whole lot better. Young and Montez Sweat rushing the passer should—in theory—cause our secondary to have to cover a lot less per play...in theory. While I am in love with the idea of gaining additional first and second round picks, I am officially back to NOT being sold on trading away Chase Young. That is a conversation that deserves the level-headed treatment of a Hogs Haven comments section.
- It should not be lost on us that freeing up salary cap space means that the Redskins are going to be spending some dough in free agency. This is ALWAYS exciting to us—even when the worst people possible were making the decisions. Going into this offseason’s free agenvy in the new RivEra, I am even more excited about the manner in which the Redskins will spend. There are so many If/Then scenarios, but suffice to say that if the Redskins stand pat at #2 overall and take Chase Young, the offense is going to be in line to get some serious resources. Wide receiver, tight end, offensive line...well hell, that is already a lot—Riverboat will be able to increase our competitiveness right out of the gate if he can convince a few solid veteran free agents at these positions to come and play for him. Sure, we will need a corner no matter what, and that player won’t come cheap, but with Chase Young in the fold, the attention in free agency could really turn to the offense, and that is always fun for us to chew on.
- Trent Williams is the biggest free agent we could add to our team...bar NONE. That story continues to develop, but with TW in the fold (and a new deal that could create some space in and of itself), the Redskins are all of a sudden looking at a 2020 season where 8-8 should be considered the floor. Think about that concept: an offensive line built around one of the best left tackles in the game in front of a physically gifted young gun at quarterback, a young wide receiving corps that should get help in free agency (and at receiving tight end), a pair of bookend pass rushers with undeniable talent on either side of the Payne/Allen Mt. Alabama (with a little Ion Man thrown in there), a defensive back end buoyed by a 26-year old Landon Collins...there are still some holes here, I will grant you. That said, there is a ton of upside in guys we don’t know if we can count on yet until they play fully healthy—Derrius Guice, Bryce Love, Rueben Foster...Jordan Reed? I keep Reed far from the tip of my tongue these days because I don’t think he should ever play football again, but if he is healthy and chooses to continue his career, we know what that looks like. All in all, there continues to be a mountain of evidence pointing to why we as Redskins fans should be excited about our prospects in a way that simply wasn’t possible before this RivEra began.
This Redskins offseason continues on a path towards...what exactly are we thinking this offseason is building toawrds?