Rivera and Smith could be looking more towards a quick flip in 2021 than 2020

Some Redskins fans recognized going into the 2020 offseason that there might be a struggle to sign key free agents. There is still the stench of the Bruce Allen tenure that will take Ron Rivera time to air out. It was always a possibility that it would be an offseason of depth building rather than signing all the big names. This seems to be a strategy that Rivera and Kyle Smith want to implement and make sure they have the right guys who can help all the young guys grow. There might be also another reason they are implementing this strategy that those fans who want instant gratification cannot see past. The 2021 offseason.

The Redskins are currently projected to have just under $134 million in cap space for the 2021 offseason. This, as of right now, without Ryan Kerrigan’s restructured deal which we keep hearing the Redskins want to do and Trent Williams not returning after this year. The two additional cap moves that can be anticipated are Alex Smith getting cut in the 2021 offseason and Jonathan Allen’s 5th year option being picked up. Cutting Smith will be a cap savings of $13.6 million. While Allen’s 5th year option would be around $12,000,000.

(According to the NFL’s 5th year option rules is that a player drafted between picks 11 thru 32 will get paid the average of players 3 through 25 at that position.)

If the Redskins were not to sign any additional players to more then a 1-year deal this offseason—and after factoring in the potential salaries from players drafted this year—their estimated cap space will be around $120 million. This sets them up for what could be a flurry of franchise altering signings. What could those moves be you ask?

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Tight End

Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis’ absence from Dwayne Haskins’ arsenal was felt the final few games of 2019. Tight end is one of the more important positions on offense with it opening the field up for everyone else. With there being a likelihood, the Redskins draft a tight end in round 3 or 4 of this year’s draft, there is still room for a stud veteran presence. The 4 tight ends that the Redskins could potential have available are:

George Kittle, 27, 49ers

Hunter Henry, 26, Chargers

Gerald Everett, 27, Rams

Jonnu Smith, 26, Titans

Left Tackle

We don’t know if Trent will come back after this year. All indications from what has been reported is that fans and Ashburn need to prepare to move on. It is going to either be a push of youth on the left tackle market, or it is going to be thin with teams trying to retain blind side protection. Here are the 5 that could be available for the burgundy and gold in 2021:

Ronnie Staley, 27, Ravens

Laremy Tunsil, 27, Texans

Cam Robinson, 25, Jaguars

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David Bakhtiari, 29, Packers

Wide Receiver

There was no doubt that the Redskins were all in on the Amari Cooper sweepstakes. They were looking for another playmaker to put opposite of rookie sensation Terry McLaurin. Fear not. There is a potential gold mine when it comes to game changings wide receivers in the free agent class in 2021. This list could be a lot longer, but just 5 of the potential players available could be:

Keenan Allen, 29, Chargers

Chris Godwin, 25, Buccaneers

Kenny Golladay, 27, Lions

Dede Westbrook, 27, Jaguars

JuJu Smith-Schuster, 24, Steelers

Inside Linebacker

The Redskins have attempted to address inside linebacker since the departure of London Fletcher. This is a position that could go either way of being a real need in 2021. Shaun Dion Hamilton could prove that he can stay healthy, Jon Bostic could show that he has more left in the tank going into the second year of his 2-year deal, or Rueben Foster could prove that good things come to those that wait. Just in case it all goes sideways, here are who the Redskins could be looking at filling this role:

Zach Cunningham, 26, Texans

Denzel Perryman, 27, Chargers

Kevin Minter, 30, Buccaneers

Dont’a Hightower, 31, Patriots

Avery Williams, 29, Jets

Free Safety

Ever since the murder of the late Sean Taylor, the Redskins have had problems trying to find someone to consistently fill the free safety spot. They tried the likes of LaRon Landry, Macho Harris, Reed Doughty, Bacarri Rambo, and now Montae Nicholson. Nicholson has shown flashes but has been inconsistent when healthy and shown some poor decision making off the field. The Redskins did sign Sean Davis, but he is on a 1-year show me deal with inconsistencies in his game that could cripple the back end of the defense. Much like death and taxes, free safety will be a major need during free agency. Her are who the Redskins could potential have available to them from a thin free agent class:

Marcus Maye, 27, Jets

Justin Simmons, 27, Broncos

Marcus Williams, 23, Saints

Cornerback

This is the one position that is the most up in the air. Dunbar is likely gone next offseason. They just brought Kendall Fuller back from Kansas City, and there is a chance Bashaud Breeland could be coming back as well. Fabian Moreau is a free agent next offseason, but he could end up excelling in his more natural position on the outside with both Fuller and Moreland able to play the slot. The cornerback free agent market is not expected to have a lot of top tier talent available. It is likely that Jalen Ramsey will be locked up by the Rams, but their cap situation could potentially prevent that. Even with all that uncertainty, there is starting depth they can add. Here are who the Redskins could target:

Jalen Ramsey, 26, Rams

Jalen Mills, 28, Eagles

D.J. Hayden, 31, Jaguars

Michael Davis, 26, Chargers

NOTE: All cap numbers and projected 2021 free agents are based off Spotrac.com on March 21, 2020

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