The Washington Redskins are a franchise in perennial disarray, with 2014 being no exception to that standard. The Redskins need help at wide receiver, offensive line, cornerback, defensive line, linebacker and safety. A thorough housecleaning could be in order, as Redskins’ general manager Bruce Allen (above, right) has a tall task in rebuilding his roster for new head coach Jay Gruden (above, left).
Quarterback Robert Griffin III and running back Alfred Morris are the building blocks for Washington. Each had subpar seasons statistically in 2013 in comparison to their respective rookie seasons in 2012. Griffin will look to rebound and shake off his disappointing sophomore campaign that saw his leadership and personality questioned. While Morris’ rushing yards and touchdowns decreased from his rookie season, he was one of the team’s few consistent performers along with wide receiver Pierre Garcon.
Washington’s passing game consisted of Garcon and nothing else. Garcon led the NFL in receptions with 113 in 2013. He could use some help from his fellow wide receivers, as issues with injuries and consistency plagued the unit. Wide receivers Leonard Hankerson, Santana Moss and Aldrick Robinson need to become efficient options in the passing game. If they don’t, the Redskins’ passing offense will continue to struggle.
Washington’s ailing defense, already depleted by injuries, could lose one of its few playmakers. Outside linebacker Brian Orakpo led the Redskins with 10 sacks in 2013. However, his Redskins’ rookie contract is set to expire. That could prompt Orakpo to test the free agency waters in an effort to earn a big money, long term contract. Washington already lost stalwart linebacker London Fletcher to retirement; losing Orakpo to free agency would further deplete its depth at linebacker. It’s clear that signing Orakpo to a long term deal is essential for Washington.
Redskins’ cornerbacks DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson don’t figure in the team’s long term plans. While Hall earned four interceptions and scored three touchdowns on defense in 2013, he can’t be expected to duplicate that output in 2014. Wilson was the weak link at corner that was constantly beaten by opposing receivers. At best, he could be a reserve backing up young cornerback David Amerson; at worst, his days in Washington could be over.
It’s starting to look like the run the Redskins embarked on to reach the playoffs in 2012 was a fluke, evidenced by the team’s 3-13 record in 2013. Washington had better be prudent with its limited 2014 draft picks and its free agency dollars. If it isn’t, the days of inefficient football will continue to plague the franchise in 2014 and beyond.