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What's Next for the Redskins?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Looking Ahead:

1. Will Arrington, Ramsey Return?

The Redskins could part with two former first-round picks -- LB LaVar Arrington and QB Patrick Ramsey. Drama has surrounded Arrington the last two years, from a contract grievance to being benched to lashing out again at the organization at the end of the regular season. Ramsey, 26, wants to play but was given the hook after all of 19 minutes as the starter. With Mark Brunell putting up career numbers and Jason Campbell being groomed as the passer of the future, a trade might be in order.

2. One-Year Wonder?

Of the six NFC teams to make the playoffs this season, only one -- Seattle -- was there in 2004, and that run lasted a mere game. While a power structure is in place in the AFC, a wild shuffle ensues every year in this conference. Brunell will be 36 in September, the team has yet to find a second wideout to complement Santana Moss and the offense struggled often, particularly in the wild-card game at Tampa Bay.

3. Checks, Please

Coach Joe Gibbs and owner Daniel Snyder have broached the topic of extensions for coaching staff members, almost all of whom will be entering their final year under contract. After so much success, particularly on defense, retaining all of them might be difficult, and no doubt Snyder will be digging into his wallet. Defensive coordinator Greg Blache, for one, had head coaching inquiries last offseason, and it may take some effort to keep everyone.

4. Cut and Run

The Redskins stand about $18 million over the salary cap, league sources said, and while they can restructure several contracts to trim that figure, tough decisions loom. Last season, Washington surprised many and let top free agents Antonio Pierce and Fred Smoot leave, and others filled in admirably. While Gibbs is adamant about retaining as much of this team as possible, Arrington and Ramsey could be leaving. The Redskins are not in "salary cap hell," as some suggest, but do not have oodles of cap space with which to upgrade, either.

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