The Washington Redskins have made a change on their offensive line, signing undrafted free agent Sean Welsh and parting ways with Orlando Franklin.
The Washington Redskins have done a very good job of adding talent to their roster during the 2018 offseason. And during the NFL Draft, they were able to add a number of quality players. Because of their diligence in this area, the team has been able to part with some veterans who were fringe roster candidates. And they did this once again on Thursday.
According to the Redskins official website, the team cut offensive lineman Orlando Franklin after they officially agreed to terms with undrafted free agent Sean Welsh. Franklin had spent a bit of time with the Redskins in 2017, but he only appeared in one game. He was just added as depth after the team lost most of their offensive line due to injuries.
Over the course of his career, Franklin has seen action in 90 games, and he was once a very good right tackle for the Denver Broncos. However, injuries and age have caused his performance to drop over the course of the past few years. As a result, he is merely a backup caliber player at best. But following his release by the Redskins, it’s possible that his days in the league could be numbered.
Franklin was always unlikely to make the Redskins roster. He has versatility to play tackle or guard, but he has no upside left, is injury prone, and is on the decline. He would have had trouble beating players like Tyler Catalina and Tony Bergstrom for a backup spot. So, releasing him now is sensible.
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As for the addition of Welsh, I listed him as one of the undrafted free agents who could have a shot at making the final roster. Here’s what I said about his ability in a recent piece.
"Welsh comes to the NFL with a great deal of experience. During his college career, he started in 46 games and played both guard spots and right tackle. He could also man center if needed, but Daniels played that role. Generally, Welsh was a stout blocker with very good strength and power. He can be a physical player, and there’s a chance that he could overpower some players at the NFL level."
Given the team’s situation at left guard, Welsh could have a chance to compete for that role. If he impresses, the Redskins could give him a shot there. If not, he has the potential to be a backup guard and center, and he could take that role away from Bergstrom. Or, he could make it as the ninth lineman because he has also seen action at tackle during his college days.
Either way, parting with Franklin makes a lot of sense, and Welsh has a lot of upside. The Redskins will make sure that they have a lot of offensive linemen available in the case that they suffer injuries on that front as they did in 2017. So, Franklin will probably stay on their short list if the injury bug bites again. But for now, Welsh has more upside so he belongs on the roster.