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Offseason Forecast: Washington Redskins

With the offseason officially under way, Around The League will examine what's next for all 32 teams. The series continues with the Washington Redskins.

What's changing?


Almost everything is in flux. The Redskins will usher in a first-year head coach in Jay Gruden and a first-year offensive coordinator (27-year-old Sean McVay). The defense was terrible in 2013: The unit needs vast improvement and at least five new starters. The team also will lose defensive leader London Fletcher to retirement. On the upside, RGIII will be another year removed from reconstructive knee surgery and can continue his progress under center. Jim Haslett and his 3-4 defense remains in Washington.

Biggest free agents


» LB Brian Orakpo: The Redskins would be foolish to let the star pass rusher go, and the team already has started contract talks. Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan form one of the league's best edge pass-rushing duos, and if the 'Skins can't re-sign Orakpo, the franchise tag is likely.

» CB DeAngelo Hall: The 'Skins quickly took care of Hall, signing the corner to a four-year deal worth nearly $5 million per year, according to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport. Hall was resurgent in 2013; he provided solid coverage of the opposing team's No. 1 receiver and posted three defensive touchdowns.

» LB Perry Riley: The team already is losing one starting inside linebacker and can ill afford to let Riley go as well. He's been soild, starting in all 16 games over the past two seasons.

Other key free agents: WR Josh Morgan, WR Santana Moss, CB Josh Wilson, S E.J. Biggers, S Brandon Meriweather, LB Rob Jackson, TE Fred Davis, S Reed Doughty

What they need


Defensive backs and more defensive backs. David Amerson likely will step into one starting role at cornerback, but the Redskins will need two new safeties and at least one cornerback (assuming they re-sign Hall). The Redskins have long needed a No. 1 receiver and finally have one, but they still need a complement to Pierre Garcon. They also need safety help in a bad way. The Redskins don't own their first-round draft pick thanks to the RGIII trade, so they'll have to rely primarily on free agency. This hasn't worked out well in the past. (Adam Archuleta anyone?)


With the offseason underway, Around The League explores what's next for all 32 teams.

AFC East
» Bills | Dolphins | Jets | Patriots
AFC North
» Bengals | Browns | Ravens | Steelers
AFC South
» Colts | Jaguars | Texans | Titans
AFC West
» Broncos | Chargers | Chiefs | Raiders
NFC East
» Cowboys | Eagles | Giants | Redskins
NFC North
» Bears | Lions | Packers | Vikings
NFC South
» Buccaneers | Falcons | Panthers | Saints
NFC West
» Cardinals | 49ers | Rams | Seahawks

On the way out?


» DE Adam Carriker: He's played just two games over the past two seasons amid a rash of injuries and carries a cap number of almost $3 million in 2014. The Redskins have Jarvis Jenkins ready to step into a starting role, which should make the decision easier.

» Guards Chris Chester and Kory Lichtensteiger: The Redskins employed a zone-blocking scheme under Mike Shanahan, but their new hybrid scheme will require bigger lineman. Cutting both players would save $3.8 million in cap room.

» OT Tyler Polumbus: Polumbus has been a turnstile at right tackle, and is perhaps the weakest link on the team. The Redskins like 2012 fifth-round pick Adam Gettis, and he could slide into Polumbus' spot if they don't find someone in free agency.

Offseason crystal ball


The Redskins finally will have some cap room to play with, but they have more holes to fill than most teams. With a whopping 20 impending unrestricted free agents, a lot of money will be devoted to retaining key starters. Look for the team to prioritize improving special teams and get bigger offensive linemen, bringing in possibly three new starters. The team will retain Orakpo via the franchise tag, and we predict they'll secure Riley. Our crystal ball says the Redskins will overhaul the much-maligned secondary and will bring in at least one high-priced player there. And, as always, the Redskins will make a splash on the first day of free agency.

On the latest edition of the "Around The League Podcast," the guys huddle with Seahawks trio Michael Robinson, Brandon Mebane and Red Bryant before unpacking Cleveland's week of chaos.

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