Now through the first round of free agency and the draft, and entering the second round of free agency, it’s a good time to look at which players might be vulnerable to replacement on Washington’s eventual 53-man roster. This exercise will consist only of those players who made the final roster at the beginning of last season.
For reference, the initial 2022 53-man roster can be found here.
Selected in the 7th round of the 2021 draft, Milne has been a non-entity in the passing game for the past two years, putting up just 15 receptions for 120 yards and 1 TD. His primary utilization has been in the return game, where he has taken both punts and kickoff returns. While relatively sure-handed, Milne has been an unremarkable returner, averaging just under 8 yards per punt and exactly 20 yards per kick return (i.e., 5 yards less than simply taking touchbacks).
Milne’s position as a depth WR and punt returner should be one of the ripest for replacement on the roster this August. With at least 5 UDFA WRs brought into camp, I’m expecting there will be an upgrade at the position this offseason. My leading candidate is Kazmeir Allen, who looks like he could take the team’s return game to another level, and could potentially be an offensive weapon for Eric Bieniemy.
Last year, Washington began the season with five defensive ends. They started this offseason with one defensive end signed through 2024, and then that one - Shaka Toney - got busted for gambling and was suspended indefinitely. They added two more in the draft though, KJ Henry and Andre Jones Jr.
Obviously, Chase Young and Montez Sweat are locks. Behind them, I would say James Smith-Williams, who filled in ably for Young most of last year is also a lock. That likely leaves Efe Obada, KJ Henry, Andre Jones, and Casey Toohill competing for two roster spots. My suspicion is that Obada and Henry make the cut, and Jones comes down with mysterious “injury” before the season starts and gets assigned to IR to develop this season. I think Toohill is the odd man out.
Washington carried four CBs at the beginning of last season (and five safeties). Holmes was the last CB rostered. If we assume that Emmanuel Forbes, Kendall Fuller, Ben St-Juste, and Danny Johnson are making this roster - and I do - that leaves Holmes out. And, I don’t think another DB slot is opening among the safety group, which will surely include Kam Curl, Darrick Forrest, Quan Martin, Jeremy Reaves, and Percy Butler. If Cam Dantzler ends up being a good fit in DC, he may even end up pushing Johnson off the roster.
None of this is really a commentary on Holmes, so much as it’s a testament to the unreal talent and depth in Washington’s secondary at this point. This group looks like it has the potential to be very good.
I have a hard time believing Washington will carry more than ten offensive linemen going into the season. In fact, last year they only started with nine. We know they’re keeping Charles Leno, Chris Paul, Nick Gates, Ricky Stromberg, Sam Cosmi, and Andrew Wylie. That’s six.
I feel pretty comfortable that they’re keeping Cornelius Lucas, Tyler Larsen, and Braeden Daniels as well. Finally, it feels to me like the team is going to give the almost 24-year old Saahdiq Charles one last chance to live up to his potential.
That leaves Norwell on the outside looking in, and me a little surprised that his release hasn’t already occurred, given that it could save the team several million dollars this offseason.
Washington, to the consternation of many fans, really hasn’t done anything at linebacker this offseason other than replace Cole Holcomb with Cody Barton. Last year, they started the offseason with five linebackers: Holcomb, Jamin Davis, David Mayo, De’Jon Harris, and Eifler. My sense is Khaleke Hudson has already knocked Harris off the board, and that Eifler is vulnerable, not as a result of any moves that have been made quite yet, but because of a free agency move that will reveal itself in the coming month or so.
He might even get unseated by another undrafted Illini, Kendall Smith, given that nearly all his production has come on special teams over the past couple of years, and that’s an area where Smith could potentially make an instant impact.
Which of these players do you think is most likely to get replaced this offseason?
This poll is closed
I’ll take the parlay