The Redskins will report to training camp on July 25. Over the next five weeks they will undergo the process of cutting their 90-man roster down to 53. Which players will get those coveted spots and which will join the ranks of the unemployed? Over the next couple of weeks we’ll go through position by position and try to predict what decisions Mike Shanahan and company will make.
So far in the 53, we’ve looked at the running backs (see projection below). Here is the projection for tight ends.
There are six tight ends on the roster, the Redskins will keep three.
In: Fred Davis, Niles Paul, Chris Cooley
Out: Logan Paulsen, Richard Quinn, Beau Reliford
Changes from 2011: Paul moved from wide receiver to tight end
Bubble watch: Paulsen, who made the team as an undrafted rookie in 2010, will be very difficult to cut. Perhaps they can find a spot for him but right now he appears to be on the outside looking in.
A tight end can be a rookie quarterback’s best friend and the Redskins could have a trio of BFF’s for Robert Griffin III.
They are looking for big things from Davis. He was on the way to a 1,000-yard season last year before being suspended for the last four games. He is the team’s franchise player and since he signed his tender his $5.4 million salary is guaranteed.
He does, however, have the threat of a season-long suspension hanging over his head should he slip up and violate the NFL’s substance abuse policy again. And although the organization seems to be confident that Davis can steer clear of trouble his situation it says here that they will keep Cooley as an insurance policy.
With Paul likely spending the season learning the nuances of his new position, the Redskins need a solid Plan B in the event Davis falls off of the wagon. The cost of that insurance will be a $3.8 million salary and a total $6.23 million cap hit for Cooley.
If not for the cloud over Davis they might cut Cooley loose and keep Paulsen, who is the best blocker of the group. As noted, it would not be shocking to see them juggle things to try to keep Paulsen.
Quinn has some talent; he was a second-round pick of the Broncos in 2009. He might be able to latch on to another team with a big showing in preseason games. Reliford looks the part at 6-6, 260 but he looks very green. A year on the practice squad to polish his game might give him a shot in 2013.
Projections to date:
In: Roy Helu Jr., Tim Hightower, Evan Royster, Darrell Young
Out: Tristan Davis, Alfred Morris, Antwon Bailey, Lennon Creer