2023 NFL Offseason: Washington Redskins

Washington Redskins (Last Year: 8-8-1)

2023 NFL Season Preview:

Veteran Additions:
QB Jacoby Brissett, OT Trent Scott, OT/G Andrew Wylie, G Nick Gates, LB Cody Barton.
Early Draft Picks:
CB Emmanuel Forbes, S/CB Quan Martin, C Ricky Stromberg, G/OT Braeden Daniels, DE K.J. Henry. Redskins Rookie Forecast
Offseason Losses:
QB Taylor Heinicke, QB Carson Wentz, RB J.D. McKissic, G Trai Turner, G Wes Schweitzer, C Chase Roullier, LB Cole Holcomb, S Bobby McCain.

2023 Washington Redskins Offense:
The Redskins were linked to numerous quarterbacks this offseason, ranging from Lamar Jackson to Will Levis. Yet, they didn’t address the position at all except for their signing of Jacoby Brissett, who will serve as the backup. This is because Ron Rivera said he feels comfortable with Sam Howell as his starter. Howell, a fifth-round pick from the 2022 NFL Draft, has started one game thus far in his career, but it was an impressive showing in an upset over Dallas in the finale last year. Howell is an accurate quarterback with plus mobility, so perhaps he’s the answer at the position that Washington has been looking for since Joe Theismann’s infamous injury.

Howell will have a chance to succeed because of his talented receiving corps. Terry McLaurin struggled last year when paired with Carson Wentz, but thrived otherwise. The No. 1 wideout caught 77 passes for 1,191 yards and five touchdowns. He’ll join second-year Jahan Dotson and versatile threat Curtis Samuel in a solid receiving corps. Dotson, chosen in the opening round of the 2022 NFL Draft, missed five games in his rookie campaign, but enjoyed some brilliant performances, including a 105-yard, one-touchdown outing versus the Giants in Week 15. He has tons of potential and is expected to make a big leap in his second season.

The offensive line should be able to protect Howell from mediocre or worse pass rushes, but will have trouble with the league’s top units. It doesn’t help that they got rid of talented center Chase Roullier and replaced him with Nick Gates, who was a subpar blocker for the Giants. It’s also a strike against the Redskins that Andrew Norwell has regressed steadily in recent years. The soon-to-be 32-year-old was once a quality blocker, but that’s no longer the case. In fact, the only plus starter in the interior is Sam Cosmi, who can also play right tackle.

Speaking of right tackle, that position will be occupied by Andrew Wylie, whom the Chiefs didn’t exactly rush to re-sign this offseason. Then, there’s left tackle Charles Leno, who turns 32 in October. Leno has been a solid blocker for most of his career, but he could suffer some age-related regression soon.

Given that there will be an inexperienced quarterback at the helm, the Redskins will want to lean on their running game. Brian Robinson will have experience and better health, given that he was shot in the butt last summer. Robinson returned to action in October to rush for 797 yards, but it’s reasonable to guess that he wasn’t quite 100 percent when he began playing again. Robinson should be better in his second season, while Antonio Gibson handles more of the receiving work with J.D. McKissic gone.

2023 Washington Redskins Defense:
The Redskins possessed an offense that produced just 18.9 points per game last year, yet they still managed to finish 8-8-1. This can be attributed to their defense, which was ranked 10th in pressure rate. They were sixth versus the pass as a result.

It shouldn’t shock anyone that the Redskins were very good when it came to generating pressure, given the talent they have on their roster. What is surprising is that Washington was able to be in the top 10 of pass rushes despite Chase Young being limited to just three games because of a previous ACL tear. Young is a great talent who should be close to 100 percent for the start of 2023. He and Montez Sweat will be able to hound opposing quarterbacks consistently on the edge.

Washington’s sack leader last year was Da’Ron Payne, who combined with Jonathan Allen to generate 19 sacks in the interior. Payne was pushed around a bit in run support, but his 11.5 sacks were crucial to the Redskins having a top-six pass defense. He was re-signed to a $90 million contract this offseason. Elsewhere on the defensive line, Abdullah Anderson saw plenty of action on run-stopping downs, but wasn’t very effective. The Redskins were just 15th versus the rush.

It’s reasonable to expect Washington to worsen versus the run, as well as the ability to cover the middle of the field. This is because the team’s top linebacker, Cole Holcomb, left for Pittsburgh this offseason. With Holcomb gone, the Redskins will have to lean on pedestrian players like Jamin Davis and Cody Barton. Davis was a first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, but has been a poor performer through two seasons.

While the linebacking corps will be worse, the secondary at least was given an injection of talent at cornerback. The first action the Redskins took was using the 16th-overall pick on Emmanuel Forbes. The Mississippi State product is a lengthy, ball-hawking cornerback who projects as a strong fit in Ron Rivera’s defense. If Forbes pans out, he and Kendall Fuller will form an excellent outside cornerback tandem. The other new defensive back is Quan Martin, a second-round rookie who is a versatile player capable of playing safety and slot corner. It seems as though Martin will begin his career in the latter spot.

Martin could eventually move to safety, but the Redskins are fine there for the moment. Kamren Curl is coming off an excellent season, though he missed five games due to injury. He’ll start next to Darrick Forrest, who was decent in coverage last year, though he missed one too many tackles.

2023 Washington Redskins Schedule and Intangibles:
The Redskins’ rich fan base doesn’t show up to games because they’re too busy dining at fancy restaurants and passing bills that only enrich themselves even further. This would explain why the team is just 46-70 as a host the past 13 years.

Punter Tress Way was eighth in net average last season. He was one of the best punters at pinning the opposition inside the 20.

New kicker Joey Slye was 25-of-30 last year, including 4-of-6 from 50-plus. He missed four extra points, however.

The Redskins have some tough games on their schedule, as they have to battle the Bills, Dolphins, Jets, and 49ers. However, they have some easy opponents as well, including the Cardinals, Rams, and Patriots.

2023 Washington Redskins Rookies:
Go here for the Redskins Rookie Forecast, a page with predictions like which rookie will bust and which rookie will become a solid starter.

2023 Washington Redskins Positional Rankings (1-5 stars):
Offensive Line
Running Backs
Defensive Line
Special Teams

2023 Washington Redskins Analysis: The Redskins won’t be projected to win many games because of their quarterback situation, but there are other reasons to be pessimistic about their outlook. Their offensive line is worse than it was last year, and the same thing can be said of their linebacking corps. The Redskins also have a tougher schedule this year. Besides, they are a dysfuctional organization, so it was going to be difficult for them to reach the playoffs anyway.

Projection: 5-12 (4th in NFC East)

2022 Projection: 6-11. 2022 Actual Result: 8-8-1.
2021 Projection: 10-7. 2021 Actual Result: 7-10.
2020 Projection: 4-12. 2020 Actual Result: 7-9.
2019 Projection: 4-12. 2019 Actual Result: 3-13.
2018 Projection: 10-6. 2018 Actual Result: 7-9.
2017 Projection: 8-8. 2017 Actual Result: 7-9.
2016 Projection: 9-7. 2016 Actual Result: 8-7-1.

NFL Draft Team Grade: B Grade

Goals Entering the 2023 NFL Draft: The Redskins seem set on giving Slingin’ Sammy Howell a chance to quarterback the team next year. They’ll need to give him better protection, but the greater priority is finally addressing the secondary and linebacking corps, which have been huge areas of need for many years.

2023 NFL Draft Accomplishments: The Redskins have dealt with major problems in their secondary for quite some time, so they wanted to resolve those issues because they didn’t stand a chance against the Eagles and their dual dynamic receivers. Washington consequently spent its first two picks on defensive backs. Emmanuel Forbes is a ballhawking cornerback, while Quan Martin is a versatile player capable of starting at safety or nickel corner. Both were solid selections.

Some energy was spent on upgrading the offensive line after that, as the next two selections were used on blockers. Ricky Stromberg was a reach in the third round, but the Redskins got back on track with Braeden Daniels in the fourth. Daniels will likely have to move to guard in the NFL, so he can fill a need in the interior of the offensive line.

Washington had a solid draft overall, as all but two of its picks scored in the B+ to B- range. There were no grades above B+, but the Redskins did well outside of the Stromberg pick, filling needs with quality prospects.

NFL Draft Individual Grades:

16. Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi State – B Grade
Credit Charlie Campbell for reporting that the Redskins loved Emmanuel Forbes, who fits Ron Rivera’s defense so well as a ball-hawking cornerback. I wondered if the Redskins would draft a falling prospect like Christian Gonzalez or Nolan Smith, but they stuck with their guy, which is fine. Forbes is going to fill a huge need at cornerback, which has been a big problem area for many years in Washington.

47. Quan Martin, S/CB, Illinois – B+ Grade
I had Quan Martin going one pick earlier, but he makes a lot of sense for the Redskins, who are finally resolving their major secondary issues. Martin can play both safety and cornerback, but with Emmanuel Forbes in the fold, putting Martin at safety is a logical fit.

97. Ricky Stromberg, C, Arkansas – D Grade
Here’s another reach. We’ve reached the compensatory section of the third round, so making reach picks like this isn’t Millen-worthy, but the Redskins could have drafted so many better players than Ricky Stromberg. The Arkansas product had a solid 2022 campaign, but he’s not an exciting prospect.

118. Braeden Daniels, G/OT, Utah – B Grade
Braeden Daniels played tackle in college, but will have to move to guard in the NFL. However, he should be able to play well at guard for a team that needed help with interior blocking.

137. K.J. Henry, DE, Clemson – B+ Grade
There are rumors that one of the Redskins’ starting edge rushers might be traded, so this pick makes sense from a need and a range perspective. K.J. Henry is a quality player who performed better than his numbers indicate at Clemson.

193. Chris Rodriguez, RB, Kentucky – B- Grade
Chris Rodriguez is a power back who gets good yardage after contact. Another running back makes sense, though I think the Redskins should have went with a receiving back instead with J.D. McKissic gone.

233. Andre Jones, DE, Louisiana-Lafayette – C+ Grade
Andre Jones was productive at Louisiana-Lafayette, but I don’t see how he can make it in the NFL at the moment, given his lack of strength and overall size. He really needs to fill out his frame to have a shot.

Season Summary:
The Redskins had a great chance to reach the playoffs, but losses to the Giants and Browns capsized their season. They’ll now have to move forward with a new quarterback.

Offseason Moves:
  • Redskins sign OT Trent Scott
  • Redskins sign QB Jacoby Brissett
  • Redskins sign LB Cody Barton
  • Redskins claim CB Cameron Dantzler
  • Redskins sign G/OT Andrew Wylie
  • Redskins sign G Nick Gates

    Team Needs:
    1. Quarterback: Carson Wentz was a failure. It’ll be tough for the Redskins to find a viable replacement, so they may start Slingin’ Sammy Howell at quarterback next year. Signed Jacoby Brissett

    2. Two Cornerbacks: Washington’s pass defense was a total disaster last year. Two new cornerbacks are needed to really bolster the pathetic unit.

    3. Two Linebackers: Only one linebacker is needed if Cole Holcomb is re-signed. The middle of Washington’s defense has been weak for quite some time. Signed Cody Barton

    4. Guard: The offensive line must be addressed. The interior of Washington’s offensive line was incredibly weak last year. Signed Andrew Wylie and Nick Gates

    5. Tight End: Logan Thomas is in danger of being released this offseason, as he has struggled since suffering a knee injury a couple of months ago.

    6. Defensive Tackle: Da’Ron Payne is Washington’s best free agent, and there was a need at depth here anyway. Re-signed Da’Ron Payne

    7. Punter: Tress Way was one of the worst punters in the NFL last year.

      Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

    2023 NFL Free Agent Signings:
    1. Jacoby Brissett, QB, Browns. Age: 30.
      Signed with Redskins (1 year, $10 million)

      Jacoby Brissett was thought of as a liability to start the year, but he proved to be a strength for the Browns in 2022. He completed 64 percent of his passes while maintaining a 7.1 YPA.

    2. Andrew Wylie, OT, Chiefs. Age: 29.
      Signed with Redskins (3 years, $24 million)

      Andrew Wylie is a passable starting tackle, but the Chiefs can probably do better.

    3. Cody Barton, LB, Seahawks. Age: 26.
      Signed with Redskins (1 year)

      Cody Barton should only be a two-down player because he’s decent versus the run, but struggles in coverage.

    4. Nick Gates, G, Giants. Age: 27. — Signed with Redskins
    5. Trent Scott, OT, Steelers. Age: 29. — Signed with Redskins

    Washington Redskins Free Agents:

    Salary Cap: TBA.
    1. Da’Ron Payne, NT, Redskins. Age: 26.
      Re-signed with Redskins

      Da’Ron Payne had a great start to his career, at least until 2022. He had a down year, so perhaps he’ll rebound next season.

    2. Chase Roullier, C, Redskins. Age: 30.
      Announced retirement

      Chase Roullier is an excellent center when healthy, but he has missed 24 games in the past two seasons.

    3. Cole Holcomb, LB, Redskins. Age: 27.
      Signed with Steelers (3 years)

      Cole Holcomb is a solid, three-down linebacker who was missed when he was lost with a season-ending foot injury in the middle of the 2022 season.

    4. Taylor Heinicke, QB, Redskins. Age: 30.
      Signed with Falcons (2 years, $20 million)

      Taylor Heinicke has proven that he can be a strong backup in the NFL. He can win when everything is going right, though he sometimes makes some terrible decisions.

    5. Carson Wentz, QB, Redskins. Age: 30.
    6. Trai Turner, G, Redskins. Age: 30.
    7. Wes Schweitzer, C, Redskins. Age: 29. — Signed with Jets
    8. J.D. McKissic, RB, Redskins. Age: 30.
    9. Tyler Larsen, C, Redskins. Age: 32. — Re-signed with Redskins
    10. Bobby McCain, S, Redskins. Age: 30. — Signed with Giants (1 year)
    11. Efe Obada, DE, Redskins. Age: 31. — Re-signed with Redskins
    12. Jon Bostic, LB, Redskins. Age: 32.
    13. Cam Sims, WR, Redskins. Age: 27. — Signed with Raiders
    14. Nick Martin, C, Redskins. Age: 30.
    15. Wes Martin, G, Redskins. Age: 27. — Signed with Browns

    NFL Free Agent Tracker:
    QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K/P | FA Grades | FA Rumors

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