5 Players Washington Redskins Shouldn't Bring Back Next Season
Player evaluation has usurped winning, as Washington seeks to rid itself of the dead weight that has caused its fall to the bottom of the NFL standings.
Hence the question: Which players shouldn't the Redskins bring back in 2014?
Washington head coach Mike Shanahan may be on record, via CBSDC, that "everybody is playing for their jobs."
But for five Redskins, they shouldn't count on those jobs being in Washington.
Rather it be for salary cap reasons, poor performance or trade value, each player's exodus would allow the Redskins to boast a better team in 2014.
With that said, here are the five players who should be donning different uniforms in 2014.
Whether it be because of his subpar play, injuries or his contract status, Washington is flush with reasons to cut ties with Meriweather after this season.
Originally, Meriweather was brought in to be an enforcer and playmaker for the Redskins secondary in 2012.
He was signed to a two-year, $6 million deal.
Only tallying three interceptions and missing 18 of 30 games, it's clear that the Redskins got the latter version of Meriweather.
Then, there's Meriweather owning a player option for the 2014 season that would result in a $3.4 million cap hit for Washington.
With Meriweather's playing status always a question mark, due to injury or suspension, he's simply not worth such a price tag.
His departure would also open up playing time for rookie Bacarri Rambo.
Accumulating 249 receptions, 2,034 yards and 13 touchdowns in his tenure in Washington, Davis was a productive tight end for the Redskins.
But now, Davis only has six receptions, 61 yards and one touchdown in 2013.
Ask Davis, as Mark Maske of The Washington Post did, and he'll tell you that his lack of production and playing time is tied to a clause in his contract that pays him a $500,000 bonus if he’s active for at least 12 games this season.
With the likes of Niles Paul, Logan Paulsen and rookie standout Jordan Reed occupying Washington's tight end depth chart, the Redskins have more than money motives to not play Davis.
He's simply not playing because there are better tight ends on Washington's roster.
Seeing that all three are under contract for 2014, there's no reason for Davis' services to be retained.
While Davis' $2.5 million cap hit in 2013 wasn't significant, it was dead money that the Skins can now spend elsewhere—defense, defense, defense!—to improve their roster.
After giving Morgan the benefit of the doubt that he would produce in 2013, Washington has little to show for instilling such faith in the receiver.
Despite being paid like Washington's No. 2 receiver, Morgan has only tallied 20 catches and 214 yards in 2013.
Eighth on the team in yards and seventh in receptions, it's safe to say that the Redskins are experiencing buyer's remorse on the $5.1 million they are paying Morgan this season.
The only solace Washington can take is that, through his poor play, the remaining three years on Morgan's contract never vested.
Both Nicks' and Maclin's salary cap numbers were lower than Morgan's in 2013.
While the two are superior receivers to Morgan, with Nicks' indifferent play and Maclin's injury in 2013, it stands to reason that Washington could acquire either of them with Morgan's vacated cap number.
Let's face it, Fletcher isn't getting any younger. At age 38, his best years are behind him.
But more problematic, one of his worst seasons is ongoing. Fletcher is on pace to finish with his lowest tackle total since 1999.
His play doesn't pass the eye test either. Just ask Kevin Ross II of CBSDC:
Because the truth says at this stage of Fletcher’s career he is a liability in pass coverage, he cannot travel sideline-to-sideline fast enough, he cannot get off of blocks, and he is non-existent in the run game. So far this season, you can easily forget that London Fletcher is on the field.
Regardless of the leadership a savvy veteran like Fletcher can provide, the numbers dictate that this season should be his last in Washington, and maybe the NFL.
While the 2014 free-agent class isn't flush with many great linebackers, the Redskins could use the savings from Fletcher's contract to re-sign Brian Orakpo.
On a friendly rookie deal and productive—when he plays—Cousins can't be on the Redskins in 2014 because of the position he plays, quarterback.
Despite the injury concern that will always accompany Griffin, Washington can't afford to keep Cousins because of the draft capital it traded to acquire Griffin.
If you trade three first-round picks and a second-round pick for a quarterback—who did lead you to the playoffs, by the way—he has to be the starting quarterback, right?
With Cousins starting the last three games of the 2013 season, Washington has a prime opportunity to showcase Cousins to other teams.
And the timing couldn't be more perfect.
A draft that once was projected to be one of the most quarterback-rich of all-time is beginning to thin at the top.
Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota has already declared that he will return to college next year. Now another top prospect, Teddy Bridgewater, is unsure if he will turn pro, according to ESPN.com's Brett McMurphy.
As the batch of top quarterbacks available in the draft dwindles, some team is going to be left at the altar without one and, thus, may be compelled to deal for a quarterback like Cousins.
The perfect template for such a deal is the case of Matt Schaub.
For a player the Redskins only spent a fourth-round pick on, such a trade would be adequate compensation for Cousins.
You've seen what the Redskins' free agency spending has gotten them.
So acquiring draft picks stands as the best way to improve the roster for 2014 and beyond.