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 we’ve covered the offense. Today we’ll start breaking down the defense with the line.
There are 11 defensive linemen on the roster, the Redskins will keep six.
In: Stephen Bowen, Jarvis Jenkins, Adam Carriker, Kedric Golston, Barry Cofield, Chris Neild
Out: Darrion Scott, Kentwan Balmer, Doug Worthington, Chris Baker, Delvin Johnson
Changes from 2011: Jenkins back from injured reserve
Bubble watch: If Balmer can be more than just an impressive physical specimen and actually play good football, he could push for Golston’s spot.
The big competition in training camp this year is unlikely to be for a roster spot but for a starting job. Cofield is set at nose tackle while Jenkins and Carriker will compete to see who starts at left end opposite Bowen. In any case, those four have roster spots locked up.
Neild also is fairly safe as the backup nose tackle although he could be pushed by Baker. The Redskins have shown a preference to hang on to their own draft picks so that favors Neild. But if Baker clearly outplays Neild in camp and in the preseason, which is not out of the questions, Baker could be a surpise 2012 roster addition replacing Neild, who surprisingly survived the 2011 final cuts.
The Redskins did resign Golston as a free agent contract but his one-year deal contains no guaranteed money so his spot on the roster is not secure. They brought Balmer in after Golston went on injured reserve midway through last season. He did not impress immediately, playing just 28 snaps in three games. But the coaches are intrigued by his potential and if the 25-year-old can revive his NL career (this is the former first-round pick’s fourth team in his fifth NFL season) he could push the 29-year-old Golston out.
Scott was on the roster last year but the return of Jenkins likely leaves him without a spot. Worthington spent most of last year on the practice squad and could return there this year. Johnson’s best hope is to land on the practice squad.