The State of the 2018 Washington Redskins: Rebuild or Reload?

The Washington Redskins 2017 campaign did not go as planned. Sure, their franchise quarterback, Kirk Cousins, put up great numbers yet again, but the team ended up stuck in mediocrity with a record of 7-9. Any time a team ends up in the middle of the pack, like the Skins did this year, they tend to face even tougher choices moving into the next season. I see the Redskins moving in one of two directions this off-season:

  1. Rebuild for the future through the draft
  2. Reload talent in this year’s draft, as well as in free agency.

Many expert analysts covering this team are predicting that the timing seems right to do the first option: Rebuild. What would that look like? For starters, you can forget about any type of bidding war with Kirk Cousins, for as much as coach Jay Gruden would like to keep his star quarterback, a split seems the most likely scenario.

The Redskins also have way too many holes to fill in a roster that was decimated with injuries this past season. A grand total of 25 players out of the 53-man roster are in need of a new contract, and a large percentage of those players will not be back. For example, Terrelle Pryor signed a one-year deal, which didn’t work out well for either side, as the Skins became frustrated with his dropped passes in key moments, while Pryor hurt his value immensely moving into free agency.

Elsewhere, veterans such as DeAngelo Hall, Junior Gallette, and Bashaud Breeland all will likely not be seen in a Redskins uniform next season. Another key “cog” in the offense is tight end Jordan Reed, who couldn’t stay on the field this season, and will in all likelihood not be worth retaining. With so much potential turn-over going into next season, it’s even harder to imagine the Redskins front office having enough leverage to convince Cousins to stay for the long-haul.

What about that second scenario where the Redskins simply reload for next year? I don’t see it happening, and for the same reasons many Redskins fans like myself have grown accustomed to: They are sick of mediocrity.

The ultimate goal for any franchise is to hoist the Lombardi trophy, and this team seems to be stuck right in the middle of that goal with no clear outlet for going any higher. As much as pains me to say it, we will be saying a hard goodbye to many Redskins this off-season as we try to stomach an even tougher outlook for 2018. Not quite the New Year’s resolution the Redskins were looking for, but it’s the right one.

Kevin Dietsch/UPI

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