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Your 2011 Washington Redskins

Brandon Banks and Anthony Armstrong have made the most of their opportunities in 2010 (Toni L. Sandys-Washington Post)

With all the attention Albert Haynesworth has drawn over his benching just before Sunday’s game in New Jersey (and now suspension), it got me thinking. Just how many of these 2010 Redskins will be around to see 2011? I’m going to forego McNabb talks because of the contract and nobody really knows what’s going on in Mike Shanahan’s head right now.

The Redskins offense has produced to an extent this year. McNabb’s Jason-Campbell-like stat line of  16/30 200 yards 1 touchdown 1 interception isn’t really helping this years team but his numbers can be attributed  to many things including the offensive line play, having no running game and his own physical performance. The defense has struggled for the entire season and I think there will be somewhat of a house cleaning after the seasons end, possibly starting at the top. The bright spot of the three units has been special teams. I know the Skins still don’t cover as well as they’d like to but they have Brandon Banks now on returns and Lorenzo Alexander is striking fear in to the other side’s return team. Let’s take a look first at players whose contracts are up after this season.

Notable players that will be free agents this offseason- assuming they have a place to go for 2011. (name, age)

  • Rex Grossman 30
  • Santana Moss 31
  • Stephon Heyer 26
  • Kedric Golston 27
  • Chris Wilson 28
  • Rocky McIntosh 27
  • H.B. Blades 25
  • Carlos Rogers 29
  • Reed Doughty 27
  • Josh Bidwell 34

The Redskins could opt to keep Grossman to maintain some depth at quarterback if Beck doesn’t look like he’s going to pan out. If McNabb isn’t in Washington next season your guess is as good as mine. Santana Moss isn’t getting any younger but he has proved again this season to be a reliable receiver. I hate to talk bad about a former University of Maryland player in the NFL but Heyer has to go. He offers no help at his true position and minimal help as a part of this patchwork offensive like the Redskins have right now. I believe Kedric Golston is underrated, but who knows what Shanny thinks about him. Chris Wilson is another one of those players, like Golston, that could be gone if a player with better potential comes along. Rocky McIntosh and Carlos Rogers are almost definite re-signs for me. I know Rogers has hands of stone and Rocky has been hurt a little bit but they seem like decent options as of now. Reed Doughty and H.B. Blades can go and as for Bidwell at punter, maybe the Skins keep him, maybe they don’t.

I’m also going to add to this list a few players that don’t have expiring contracts but should be on or near the chopping block. My first is Clinton Portis. The Redskins can cut him this year and owe him nothing, which I think they will do. Mike Shanahan dealt Portis once for Champ Bailey and I believe he feels no allegiance to him and honestly he shouldn’t with the way Clinton has been getting hurt these last few years. Albert Haynesworth would be the next obvious choice. While I don’t believe he is a cancer to this team like a Terrell Owens, I do believe that the attention he brings and his public disputes with the coaching staff might not fly for another year. Shanahan runs a tight ship and I think fat Albert might be headed overboard. My final contract I believe may be terminated (or in this particular instance I think should be) is Casey Rabach. I spoke about his play on Riggo’s Rant last week and how after he was dropped from the lineup with an injury in Tennessee, McNabb saw got some of the best protection he’s had in weeks. I’m not sayin’…I’m just sayin’.

Now with all the possibilities as far as players coming and going there are a few I believe the Redskins should lock up as soon as they have the chance. My first pick is Anthony Armstrong. The kid has skills and he’s averaging 20.7 yards per catch along with five plays for 40+ yards. He’s been about as consistent as any receiver this year and he’s only a rookie. The next on my list is another rookie in Brandon Banks. Return guys are sometimes hard to come by, or sometimes they’re easy to come by but don’t produce (thanks Randle El). Banks has “it”. He has that seventh gear that makes him the fastest person on the field when the ball is in play. I love the thought of him just being back there. The only downside is his size; he’s listed at 5’7″ 150 lbs- I was that big in middle school. I worry about him getting popped and fumbling, but it hasn’t happened thus far in the regular season. My final picks are Lorenzo Alexander, Kory Lichtensteiger and Keiland Williams. Zo can hit; we all know that. Lichtensteiger has played well enough to me on the line and Williams has more speed than Torain and for that reason I like him better.

All the free agency moves in the world won’t get the Redskins where they need to be, contrary to Mr. Snyder’s previous beliefs. This list is based on the current situation in Washington and is subject to change. The Redskins may be able to make a few moves during the offseason but I believe they will still have to build through the draft like every successful franchise does.

Stayed tuned for my post Friday on the Redskins and where they stand in this years draft. I know, a 5-7 record and we’re already talking about April; welcome to DC.

[UPDATE: Albert Haynesworth has been suspended by the Washington Redskins as of 12/7/2010. NFL.com is indicating the suspension will be for the final four games of the season. Haynesworth will be placed on the suspended/inactive list, opening up a roster spot. The last thing Washington wanted to do was to let him just walk away; for now this is the solution.]

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