The Future Of The Washington Redskins

Joe Will

After a tough 19-10 loss to the New York Giants, the Washington Redskins season came to end. With this loss, many questions are beginning to arise regarding the future of this team. Going into the season, many believed the Redskins would be a force to be reckoned with after they finished at the top of their division in 2015. Unfortunately, the Redskins could not build on their 2015 success and finished the season with a record of 8 wins, 7 losses, and 1 tie. The team had many opportunities in the last six games of the season, but with losses to Carolina, Arizona, and New York they were not able to make it into the playoffs.


This off-season is likely going to be an overhaul of the current roster of the team. Both Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson will be free agents. Each receiver had over 1,000 yards receiving this season but resigning them both is likely going to cost a great deal of money. This issue was supposed to be addressed when the Redskins drafted Josh Doctson with the 22nd overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft, but Doctson injured his Achilles tendon once again during training camp and played less than 20 snaps the whole season. However, they do have the young and talented Jamison Crowder, who provided the team with 800 yards and seven touchdowns this season. On top of all of this commotion, there have been quite a few rumors saying that the speedy DeSean Jackson may want to return to the Philadelphia Eagles who are lacking talent at Wide Receiver. When asked about this, Jackson said he would keep his options open, and he would strongly consider a return to Philly. Despite his blazing fast speed, Jackson is not getting any younger and has missed quite a few games over the past few seasons due to injury. Garçon’s comments were the complete opposite, he said he thought of D.C as his home, and that he loves the community and fans who surround this storied franchise.

Much of this is dependent on what the redskins plan on doing with quarterback Kirk Cousins. Last season Cousins came onto the scene and surprised many people by throwing for over 4,000 yards and leading the Skins to the playoffs. Even with this success, Washington was unaware if he could repeat his 2015 season, and decided to franchise tag him to a one -year deal. Cousins picked up right where he left off, this time throwing for almost 5,000 yards, breaking his own franchise record. The only knock on Cousins is how he performs in clutch games and on important plays. With the season on the line, Cousins has choked in the spotlight on countless occasions. If they were to sign him to a long -term contract it would most likely cost around 100 million dollars, which is a lot of money for an unproven quarterback.

Washington has the sixth highest cap space in the league and will likely target players at positions of need, such as DL, LB, and safety in free agency. They will also need to add some depth in the secondary because many of their defensive backs will not be resigned. The top free agent defensive lineman is Kansas City Chiefs, Dontari Poe. Poe is a 6’3 346 lb behemoth who eats up double teams from offensive lineman, like its nothing. He will be a hot commodity, but there are also other viable options such as Bennie Logan, Jason Pierre -Paul, and Domata Peko. As for Safety, the Redskins have decided to move Su’a Cravens from inside linebacker back to his natural position of free safety. Cravens had a pretty successful year but was plagued by injuries, because of his small frame. If they wish to add some help for safety via free agency, the best option would be Eric Berry; who is also on the Chiefs. Berry had a phenomenal year and was nominated for the NFL’s Comeback player of the year in 2015, after beating Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer. He is the perfect fit for a team who is looking for a tough, proven player. Despite his success, the Chiefs will not have enough money to keep both Berry and Poe. There are not many safeties like Berry, so if they are not able to get him, the Redskins could bring in a veteran player like Mike Adams, but that would only temporarily solve the problem that has plagued this team for many years. The Skins have been searching for a star safety, ever since Sean Taylor was fatally murdered in 2007. Although Taylor’s hard work and play on the field can never truly be duplicated, there are some young safeties in the 2017 NFL draft, that could provide the spark that this team needs.

The Redskins will also have to figure out who they will choose to hire for their offensive and defensive coordinator. Following the loss to the Giants, they decided to fire defensive coordinator Joe Berry, after their defense finished in the bottom of the league two consecutive years. To make matters worse, their young thirty -year- old offensive mastermind Sean McVay decided to take a head coaching job with the Los Angeles Rams. Many people around the league thought very highly of McVay, but they still believed it would be a few years before he was ready to take over as a head coach. With McVay gone, the Redskins will most likely hire someone already on their coaching staff, to call the plays for the offense. As far as defensive coordinator goes, they initially were hoping to get former Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley, or Super bowl winning coach, Wade Phillips. Wade passed on the job, after stating that Washington “Did not have enough talent on the defensive side of the ball”, and he will be joining McVay as the Rams defensive coordinator. Bradley is still not sure as to where he will go, but the speculation is that he will join newly hired coach Anthony Lynn and the Los Angeles Chargers. The current front runners for the Washington defensive coordinator job are Mike Pettine, Rob Ryan, and current Redskins outside linebackers coach Greg Manusky. There are still many question marks surrounding this team, and it will certainly be a busy off season for Washington. Despite all this chaos, do not be surprised if the Redskins look to make a big splash in the draft or even free agency!

Update: Since writing this article, the Washington Redskins have promoted Greg Manusky to defensive coordinator. They have also promoted Matt Cavanaugh to offensive coordinator.