Alex Smith

Despite offseason moves, Redskins expected to finish 2019 in NFC East basement, according to NFL preview magazines

After selecting Dwayne Haskins at No. 15 overall, the Redskins hope the rookie is the quarterback of the future. Photo by Brian Murphy.

Based on the moves they made this offseason, the Washington Redskins should, at worst, be expected to finish around 7-9 in 2019. A 9-7 finish while fighting for a playoff spot may be viewed as their best-case scenario. The team addressed several needs since free agency began in March but only time will tell if they can make their way out of the .500 quagmire they’ve been stuck in the last four seasons.

The two biggest factors will be health, which has been the team’s downfall the last two seasons, and quarterback play. With Alex Smith unlikely to play in 2019 (and maybe ever again) due to a broken leg suffered last season and Colt McCoy still recovering from a less severe broken leg suffered just weeks later, the Redskins addressed the most important position on the roster with a trade for veteran Case Keenum and the selection of Dwayne Haskins with the 15th pick in the draft.

Assuming star left tackle Trent Williams ends his holdout and returns at some point during training camp, the biggest questions heading into 2019 are: Who will start at quarterback and will the competition between Keenum and Haskins be decided legitimately? Four of the first five games are against playoff opponents, including the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. Will Keenum be the starter so he can navigate the team through those early turbulent waters only to hand over the reigns to Haskins so he can sail calmer seas during his rookie voyage? Will Haskins be named the starter right away in order to put some more butts in the notoriously vacant FedEx Field seats? Or will Haskins be named the starter for Week 1 because he’s legitimately ready to play, early tests be damned?

Those questions will be answered in a couple months. But what fans can evaluate to this point is the team addressed pressing needs this offseason, such as safety (Landon Collins) and edge rusher (Montez Sweat). Even though they signed Ereck Flowers and drafted Wes Martin and Ross Pierschbacher, the left guard spot still appears unsettled. The team took a hit when inside linebacker Reuben Foster tore his ACL and LCL in May OTAs. The 2017 first-round pick was claimed by the Redskins last season amidst controversy and will miss the 2019 season. For the Redskins, that means another hole in the roster has opened up.

Despite an offseason that appears it will keep the Redskins afloat and at least semi-relevant in 2019, analysis from the top NFL preview magazines proves lots of doubt remains about this team. So much so, that Lindy’s, Athlon and Street & Smith’s all peg the Redskins for a last-place finish in the NFC East.

Keep reading to find out what else these reputable periodicals had to say about the 2019 iteration of the burgundy and gold.

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Redskins 2018 training camp photos: Days 1 + 2

The Redskins opened up their sixth training camp at Richmond’s Bon Secours Training Center on Thursday with tempered crowds and quiet confidence.

A disappointing 2017 plagued by injuries led to a 7-9 record and marked the fourth time in five seasons the team missed the playoffs. The team rebounded with a solid performance in free agency and the draft. Now that camp has started, the time has come to show whether those moves will pay off or not.

Washington begins its preseason schedule against the New England Patriots on Thursday, August 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Enjoy my photos from the first two days of the Redskins’ 2018 training camp. (more…)

Expectations low for 2018 Redskins, according to NFL preview magazines

Alex Smith

New quarterback Alex Smith hopes to point the Redskins to their first playoff appearance since the 2015 season. Photo by Brian Murphy.

The Washington Redskins faced an unprecedented situation when their twice-franchised quarterback Kirk Cousins was slated to hit the open market in March. Instead of ponying up to keep the three-time 4,000-yard passer in the stable, the team opted to give up rising cornerback Kendall Fuller and a third-round pick in April’s draft to the Kansas City Chiefs for quarterback Alex Smith.

Now the pressure is on Smith to keep the Redskins afloat. After missing the playoffs the last two seasons, Smith is charged with bringing the team back to relevancy. New running back Derrius Guice (a steal as the No. 59 pick in the draft) will certainly relieve some of the pressure Smith faces this season.

In one of their best drafts in decades, the Redskins continued to address defensive line in a big way, taking Alabama defensive tackle Daron Payne 13th overall along with Virginia Tech defensive tackle Tim Settle in the fifth round.

After losing four of their top five picks from the 2014 draft to free agency this spring, it’s unclear how quickly their replacements will step up. Based on how the rest of the division adjusted their rosters this offseason, it appears the Redskins haven’t done enough to compete for a playoff spot, at least according to the top NFL preview magazines. Take a look at how they view the Redskins going into the 2018 season. (more…)

The only five players the Redskins should consider at No. 13

University of Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea appears to be a very likely choice for the Redskins at No. 13.

University of Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea is a very likely option for the Redskins at No. 13 overall in Thursday’s NFL Draft. (Photo by Scott Eklund/Red Box Pictures)

By Jake Russell

The Washington Redskins have many holes to fill and, sitting at 13 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft, are in an advantageous situation to improve their roster. They have the flexibility to do that through staying put and taking the best player available or trading back and recouping a third-round pick to make up for the one they surrendered in the January trade that landed quarterback Alex Smith. Trading up in the draft appears very unlikely and unnecessary at this stage. (more…)