The NFL Draft and free agency is in our rearview mirror. There is very little day to day NFL news aside from random minor transactions across the league and conversations about where/when this star or that future Hall of Famer will be traded. The NBA and NHL playoffs are in full swing. Baseball is gearing up for a long, hot summer. The dog days of Summer are upon us. But that doesn’t mean we can’t look down the line at what else the coming summer months hold for us: NFL mini camps and Training Camp. 

Which leads us to a new feature here on The Grueling Truth – The State Of The League. We will be going over all 32 teams, division by division: their offseason player personnel moves, coaching changes, and projected preseason depth charts. Between the beginning of June and the 3rd week of July (Dallas and Pittsburgh can report to training camp as early as July 21st; Tampa Bay can report as early as July 24th; the rest of the league will be reporting on July 27th), new team reports will be released every few days until the start of training camp. Having already discussed the rest of the NFC East, let’s wrap up the division with the Washington Football Team! 

 

Washington Football Team Pre-Training Camp Projected Depth Chart

Position

Starter

Backup

QB

Ryan Fitzpatrick

Taylor Heinicke

RB

Antonio Gibson

J.D. McKissic

WR1

Terry McLaurin

Kelvin Harmon

WR2

Curtis Samuel

Cam Sims

WR3

Dyami Brown

Antonio Gandy-Golden

TE

Logan Thomas

John Bates

LT

Charles Leno

Saahdiq Charles

LG

Ereck Flowers

Wes Schweitzer

C

Chase Roullier

Tyler Larsen

RG

Brandon Scherff

 

RT

Cornelius Lucas

Samuel Cosmi

     

EDGE

Chase Young

William Bradley-King

DT

Da’Ron Payne

Matt Ioannidis

DT

Jonathan Allen

Tim Settle

EDGE

Montez Sweat

James Smith-Williams

LB

Cole Holcomb

Casey Toohill

LB

Jon Bostic

David Mayo

LB

Jamin Davis

Khaleke Hudson

CB1

William Jackson

Benjamin St-Juste

CB2

Kendall Fuller

Deshazor Everett

CB3

Jimmy Moreland

Danny Johnson

S

Bobby McCain

Kamren Curl

S

Landon Collins

Darrick Forrest

     

K

Dustin Hopkins

 

P

Tress Way

 

LS

Camaron Cheeseman

 

KR

Antonio Gibson

Danny Johnson

PR

Isaiah Wright

 

*Bold name = 2021 rookie*

 

Washington Football Team 2021 NFL Draft Class

Round 1 (19th overall): LB Jamin Davis, Kentucky

Round 2 (51st): OT Samuel Cosmi, Texas

Round 3 (74th): CB Benjamin St-Juste, Minnesota

Round 3 (82nd): WR Dyami Brown, North Carolina

Round 4 (124th): TE John Bates, Boise State

Round 4 (163rd): S Darrick Forrest, Cincinnati

Round 6 (225th): LS Camaron Cheeseman, Michigan

Round 7 (240th): EDGE William Bradley-King, Baylor

Round 7 (246th): EDGE Shaka Toney, Penn State

Round 7 (258th): WR Dax Milne, BYU

 

Washington Football Team Free Agent Moves

Expired Contracts

Player

Position

Age

2020 Team

2021 Team

Reuben Foster

ILB

27

WSH

 

Nick Sundberg

LS

34

WSH

 

Mychal Kendricks

OLB

31

WSH

 
         
         
         

Arrivals

Player

Position

Age

2020 Team

2021 Team

Ryan Fitzpatrick

QB

39

MIA

WSH

William Jackson

CB

29

CIN

WSH

Curtis Samuel

WR

25

CAR

WSH

Charles Leno

LT

30

CHI

WSH

Bobby McCain

FS/CB

27

MIA

WSH

David Mayo

ILB

28

NYG

WSH

Joe Walker

ILB

29

SF

WSH

Adam Humphries

WR

28

TEN

WSH

Tyler Larsen

C

30

CAR

WSH

Darryl Roberts

CB

31

DET

WSH

Deandre Carter

WR

28

CHI

WSH

Deon Yelder

TE

26

KC

WSH

Linden Stephens

S

26

SEA

WSH

         
         
         

Departures

Player

Position

Age

2020 Team

2021 Team

Alex Smith

QB

37

WSH

Retired

Thomas Davis

LB

38

WSH

Retired

Robert Foster

WR

27

WSH

MIA

Kevin Pierre-Louis

OLB

30

WSH

HOU

Ronald Darby

CB

27

WSH

DEN

Ryan Anderson

OLB

27

WSH

NYG

Fabian Moreau

CB

27

WSH

ATL

Jeremy Sprinkle

TE

27

WSH

DAL

Ryan Kerrigan

DE

33

WSH

PHI

Morgan Moses

OT

30

WSH

 
         
         
         

Re-Signed

Player

Position

Age

2020 Team

2021 Team

Brandon Scherff

G

30

WSH

WSH

Dustin Hopkins

K

31

WSH

WSH

Kyle Allen

QB

25

WSH

WSH

David Sharpe

T

26

WSH

WSH

Lamar Miller

RB

30

WSH

WSH

Jared Norris

OLB

28

WSH

WSH

Cam Sims

WR

25

WSH

WSH

Danny Johnson

CB

26

WSH

WSH

 

Washington Football Team Offseason Review

The Washington Football Team is coming off an improbable division winning season and playoff appearance. Sure it was in the worst division the NFL has ever seen, and they only won seven games, but this still isn’t something to just scoff at. Washington fielded one of the better defenses in the NFL last season, and will look to build on last season’s success as they aim to win their 2nd straight division title. Head coach Ron Rivera getting a team that was one of the worst in the league the previous season to the playoffs in his first year at the helm was a great accomplishment, but Rivera completing his last round of cancer treatment in October was one of the brightest moments in the NFL last season.

Defensive Rookie of the Year Chase Young is already one of the best young edge rushers in the league. He leads a physical, young, and athletic defensive line group that looks like one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. The team didn’t lose many key players this offseason in free agency, but they might miss long time edge rusher Ryan Kerrigan’s leadership on and off the field; he left as a free agent to the Philadelphia Eagles. Even without him, the team is talented on the edge with one of the best edge rushing duos in Young and Sweat. Selecting developmental edge rushers Bradley-King and Toney late in the NFL Draft were solid additions, and they offer some depth on the outside. The depth and talent at defensive tackle is impressive, as the trio of Payne/Allen/Ioannidis is one of the best interior defensive line groups in the league. 

Despite having an elite front four, the linebacker group badly needed to add a playmaker this offseason, and it got just that. Washington added a couple of veteran free agents to provide some depth, but the big addition was 1st round pick Jamin Davis. Davis is basically a one year wonder, having started only 11 games in his college career, but he is one of the most athletic rookies in this year’s NFL Draft class – regardless of position. He lit up his pro day – ran an unofficial 4.37 40, had a 42 inch vertical jump, and an 11 foot broad jump. Davis showed legit sideline to sideline speed and proved to be a stout defender vs the run on tape, but he needs to improve his zone coverage and gameplay recognition. That will come with the 1st team reps he will be getting. The athleticism and potential are there to be a difference maker at the next level, and he’ll have some solid coaching to help get him there.

Washington looked to make an elite passing defense even better this offseason when they bolstered the secondary in free agency by signing cornerback William Jackson and safety/corner Bobby McCain. Jackson was a great addition and will start on the outside right away opposite Fuller, while McCain might emerge as a starter at safety and at the very least adds depth at both corner and safety. Jimmy Moreland might start the year as one of the starting nickel corners, but will likely give way to rookie third round pick Ben St-Juste at some point during the season. St-Juste needs some refinement, but he is a tough press corner who brings elite size, length, and physicality to the position. It will be interesting to see where McCain fits in with all the options the team has at safety. Collins comes back from injury to likely start at one of the safety spots, but his replacement last season, Kamren Curl, played very well in his absence. I’m sure Washington will find a way to get Collins/Curl/McCain on the field often – maybe on some drives they’ll play all three together. 

The defense is this team’s strength, but the front office made several quality moves during the NFL Draft and free agency to bolster the offense. Signing quarterback Fitzpatrick in free agency might not make waves in the headlines, but he counts as an upgrade at the position. The team is hopeful his gritty veteran presence will lead to some more consistency in the passing game, as the team ranked 25th in passing. A rotating door at quarterback last season didn’t help – Dwayne Haskins and Kyle Allen went 2-8 as starters, and NFL Comeback Player of the Year Alex Smith struggled despite going 5-1 as a starter. No matter who started behind center, the results were rather mediocre. Taylor Heinicke played well in the Wild Card game against Brady and the Bucs, and will give Fitzmagic some competition. 

Re-signing Scherff was one of the top priorities for Washington, and that wasn’t the only thing they did to address the offensive line. Free agency brought in Charles Leno from Chicago, Ereck Flowers came over via trade from Miami for his 2nd stint with the team, and the team selected tackle Sam Cosmi from Texas in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft. Leno figures to start at left tackle and Flowers at left guard, while Scherff holds down his usual right guard spot. Chase Roullier returns to hold down the center position, so that leaves a battle at right tackle between Cornelius Lucas and Cosmi to see who will fill the final spot on the rebuilt line after the release of Morgan Moses. Lucas might be the early favorite, but Cosmi is a solid all around blocker, was one of the better offensive tackles in the college the past couple of years, and will likely be the starter sooner than later.

Washington added a likely starter at quarterback and retooled their offensive line, but they didn’t stop there. McLaurin and Gibson are excellent, young offensive playmakers, but it was clear more talent was needed. Thus, the team brought in free agents Curtis Samuel (3 years, $34.5M) and Adam Humphries, and then drafted deep threat Dyami Brown in the 3rd round of the NFL Draft and tight end John Bates in the 4th round. Samuel played for Rivera in Carolina, and will slide in immediately as the WR2. Samuel hasn’t been the most consistent receiver, but he is coming off career highs in receptions and receiving yards this past season. He is primed for a big role with his new team. Brown had issues with drops in college, and while he isn’t the biggest or fastest, he averaged over 20 yards per catch and adds a downfield big play element to this passing game. Logan Thomas might be the starter at tight end, but Bates is as close to a starter as you can have. He has gotten better overall each year of college, and will likely find playing time immediately in two tight end sets.

Washington may have finished under .500, but winning this division in year 1 under Rivera despite all the issues and inconsistency at quarterback is a great stepping stone to hopefully bigger things. They played hard against Tampa Bay in their wild card loss, and will look to build on that experience. Ya gotta win more than seven games though…Dallas and New York have gotten better this offseason, and are the primary competition to Washington. The Football Team has high hopes this year led by an elite defense, and are hoping they’ve done enough to give the offense the boost it needs. Can Fitzmagic lead this team back to the playoffs?

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