Redskins won’t have any new starters in secondary, aside from Collins

(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

The early part of the offseason has given way to excitement surrounding several young Redskins players. That excitement has eroded the wall between objectivity and subjectivity.

Particularly in the Washington Redskins cornerback room, hot takes are already flying. Jimmy Moreland‘s emphatic start to the offseason helped set off the referenced chain of events. Now, some are saying Moreland could be the team’s starter in the slot in 2019.

The hype around Moreland has spread throughout the secondary, and expectations slowly seem to be rising for the group, and every one of its members. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is no longer a once-retired veteran with a dramatic plunge in production in his most recent years; he’s now a blazing fast, Pro Bowl cover man, with the length and range to be an elite defensive chess piece. Adonis Alexander is no longer a massive project with a low floor and little development; he’s now a candidate to start at free safety. And Jimmy Moreland is no longer a sixth-round rookie; now, he’s a star.

These statements, for my money, are not truths. They are rhetorical devices, used to encapsulate the distortion of the information flow that occurs every offseason. Yes, with all this off time, onlookers can think about the best-case scenario, and hope that it comes to pass. But there are still plenty of questions surrounding the Redskins secondary, and no one is immune.

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I’m not sure if it’s a hot take, but I don’t see any new starters in the Redskins secondary, aside from Landon Collins. Josh Norman and Quinton Dunbar will remain on the boundary, and Fabian Moreau, who many are writing off as a result of Moreland’s ascent, will remain in the slot.

Moreland is an exciting player who could factor into the Redskins long-term plans, but let’s not forget that Moreau has a fantastic athletic profile, and was quietly improving all throughout last season. Moreland and Greg Stroman can provide good depth. But Moreau isn’t being removed from the starting lineup, and he’s not replacing Dunbar or Norman on the outside. Dunbar played very well when healthy last season, and the team seems to be committed to Norman for at least another year.

Alongside Collins at safety, fans have theorized that Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie could start, since the two have previous experience with one another, and Adonis Alexander is a name that’s been thrown around by Virginia Tech faithful. Neither of these players, however, should start over Montae Nicholson in the end.

Alexander has been slow developing for Washington, and a transition from a position coach he was familiar with from college, to one he isn’t familiar with, could further stunt his growth. Rodgers-Cromarite, meanwhile, has been referred to as strictly a cornerback by Redskins ESPN beat reporter John Keim. Keim said that while Rodgers-Cromartie could occasionally slide in at safety, based on play-by-play situations, he’d most likely be used as an inside-outside cornerback. That’s assuming that Rodgers-Cromartie even makes the team; several young players are battling with him for the sixth spot, and his contract has almost no guarantees, so cutting him wouldn’t be costly.

The Redskins two-man race at left guard. dark. Next

In short, refrain from adding new names to the starting conversation in the Redskins secondary, aside from Landon Collins. Josh Norman and Quinton Dunbar will be the boundary cornerbacks, barring injury. Fabian Moreau should continue to develop in the slot. Perhaps Jimmy Moreland could occasionally slide in there, giving Moreau more reps on the outside. But in general, the starting equation will remain the same as it was at the start of 2018.