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.
There are 12 wide receivers on the roster, the Redskins will keep six.
In: Anthony Armstrong, Pierre Garçon, Leonard Hankerson, Josh Morgan, Santana Moss, Aldrick Robinson
Out: Brandon Banks, Terrence Austin, Darius Hanks, Brian Hernandez, Lance Lewis, Samuel Kirkland
Changes from 2011: Jabar Gaffney released, Donte Stallworth and Dave Anderson left as free agents, Niles Paul moved to tight end; Garçon and Morgan signed as free agents
Bubble watch: Banks has defied to odds to spend two years on the roster and he won’t go easily. Austin is a favorite of the coaches but he might not get a third year to break through. Armstrong and Robinson are vulnerable if those two shine.
From the moment that the Redskins signed Garçon and Morgan it was obvious that those two and Hankerson would be the Redskins top receivers this year. As the offseason programs have gone on, Moss has clinched a spot in the rotation.
Last year, the Redskins kept seven receivers on the 53-man roster for most of the year. That counts Banks, who returned kicks but played only a handful of snaps on offense, as a receiver. But this year something will have to give somewhere as it is very likely that the team will carry three quarterbacks. It appears that the return specialist role is the one that will be sacrificed to be able to carry the third QB.
This isn’t unfounded speculation, Mike Shanahan as much as said so when the talked earlier about the need for Banks to be able to play wide receiver if he is going to make the team.
Working with six receiver spots and having the top four set, that leaves eight players for two roster spots. It would be a major upset if any of the four undrafted free agents–Lewis, Hanks, Hernandez, and Kirkland–put themselves into contention for anything more than a practice squad job. That leaves the other four fighting for those last two jobs.
You can make a case for or against all of them.
--Armstrong could regain his 2010 form after having an off year due to injury.
--Robinson is green but he has speed and you can’t teach that.
--Austin has not done much in his two years with the team but he is a hard worker who might be ready to break through.
--The odds are slim that the 5-7 Banks will be able to contribute in the passing game. But then again he has defied expectations.
The choices here are Armstrong and Robinson but none of the four making it would be a big surprise.
Projections to date (click for details and breakdown):
In: Roy Helu Jr., Tim Hightower, Evan Royster, Darrell Young
Out: Tristan Davis, Alfred Morris, Antwon Bailey, Lennon Creer
In: Fred Davis, Niles Paul, Chris Cooley
Out: Logan Paulsen, Richard Quinn, Beau Reliford