Barry Cofield (96) is one of only four current starters on the Redskins’ defense under contract for next season (Ben Margot/Associated Press)

Seven of the Washington Redskins’ 11 starters on defense in last Sunday night’s loss to the New York Giants at FedEx Field are eligible for free agency in the offseason. Nose tackle Barry Cofield, one of the team’s few current defensive starters under contract for next season, acknowledged that he is curious about what the defense will look like next year.

“It’s something I definitely wonder about,” Cofield said after Wednesday’s practice. “Obviously I have zero control over it. I’m interested to see what the front office’s plan is. But obviously you’ve got to stay focused on the now and try to enjoy these last four weeks playing with these guys. Realistically I do wonder how we’re going to look next year.”

The potential free agents include safeties Brandon Meriweather and Reed Doughty, cornerbacks DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson and linebackers Brian Orakpo, London Fletcher and Perry Riley Jr.

Cofield said it’s not challenging for him to find motivation for the remainder of the season even with the Redskins, at 3-9, eliminated from playoff contention.

“It’s not difficult at all for me,” he said. “This is my job. It’s the game I’ve played for years, that I love, that I love to play. Realistically you’re technically not paid to make it to the playoffs. You’re paid to show up to work every day. You’re paid to show up to meetings. You’re paid to get beat up and show up the next day with a smile on your face and play hard and put on a show for the fans. So that’s what I’m gonna do.”

Asked what the Redskins can accomplish as a team in what remains of the season, Cofield said: “We’ve got a lot of young guys that can get better. We have a team that we need to grow toward the future. And we need to also just try and get some good vibes, some motivation going into the offseason. And also understand our fans — they stuck with us through thick and thin, and we have to go out there and perform.”

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesdays.

What’s ahead:

● Posts every hour on the hour throughout the morning.

● The Redskins practice Thursday at 11:50 a.m. Coordinators Kyle Shanahan and Jim Haslett are expected to speak with reporters afterward.

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