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Washington Commanders coaches and executives will hold meetings over the next few days to determine how they will reduce their roster from 90 to 53 players by the NFL deadline at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

It is important to emphasize that the resulting roster is the original 53 players. This year marks the first in which the cuts will come in one day rather than in installments, meaning 1,184 players will be available league-wide this week. Players with less than four years of NFL service are subject to waiver; those with four or more become free agents immediately. Washington could tap into this pool to improve at multiple positions, including the offensive line and tight end.

After Saturday’s pre-season finale, coach Ron Rivera said there were “probably six or seven” spots on the deep squad yet to be decided. He said special teams would be an important factor for the reserves. Washington executives face tough decisions on the fringes of the roster, including whether to prioritize a more polished receiver and less explosive returner (Dax Milne) or a less polished receiver and more explosive returner (Kazmeir Allen).

Takeaways from Saturday’s Commanders-Bengals game

If recent history is true, the Commanders are unlikely to drop a 2023 draft pick, and many dropped players will likely end up on the practice team. During the coronavirus epidemic, the NFL expanded its practice rosters from 10 to 16 players (up to six can be veterans with two or more seasons to play).

Here’s our prediction for the Commanders’ first 53-man roster:

In: Sam Howell, Jacoby Brissett

No surprises. Howell will be the starter, Brissett will be the backup and Fromm will likely end up on the practice team.

One argument for keeping Fromm: The NFL passed a rule this year that allows teams with three quarterbacks in the 53-man roster to have the third active on game days without counting against the 46-man limit .

It’s no joke learning the west coast offense

In: Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, Curtis Samuel, Dyami Brown, Byron Pringle, Dax Milne

Out of: Kazmeir Allen, Marcus Kemp, Mitchell Tinsley, Brycen Tremayne, Kyric McGowan, Zion Bowens

With a clear finish in the top four, the battle for the last two spots included two former Chiefs (Pringle and Kemp), two smaller spots (Milne and Allen) and an undrafted rookie upstart (Tinsley). Washington could use fifth place for top receiver (Pringle) and has sixth place for punt/kickoff returner.

Allen, while explosive, was inconsistent. He bungled a punt at the Commanders 10 by losing sight of the ball too early on Saturday, highlighting the challenge coaches face when they need a young player.

Milne wasn’t as explosive, but reliable. Last season, he threw 40 punts and 15 kickoffs, and botched just one (which he made up for). But his longest punt return was 19 yards and his longest kickoff was 33.

If commanders want stability and security, and most want to help the new offensive, they could choose Milne and hope to add Allen to the drill squad as he develops.

Tinsley impressed in the preseason — six catches, 129 yards, one touchdown, three of four special teams stages — but just missed our roster. He may have played so well that Washington feared he might face waivers and therefore make a hard cut elsewhere.

A key for Commanders’ OL: Changing of the Guard

In: Charles Leno Jr., Andrew Wylie, Sam Cosmi, Saahdiq Charles, Nick Gates, Chris Paul, Tyler Larsen, Ricky Stromberg, Cornelius Lucas, Braeden Daniels

Out of: Trent Scott, Alex Akingbulu, Jaryd Jones-Smith, Mason Brooks, Aaron Monteiro, Nolan Laufenberg

The starting five, the two draft picks (Stromberg and Daniels) and the loser of the left guard battle (Charles or Paul) are locks. Washington will likely keep Larsen as a backup center, but Stromberg could also fill the role, as well as a swing tackle. Lucas seems to have an advantage over Scott.

Rivera said Thursday it’s important to retain extra linemen in the event of an injury. Brooks, Laufenberg and Jones-Smith are strong candidates for the training group.

Tight ends could be the focus of a new offensive

In: Logan Thomas, John Bates, Cole Turner, Alex Armah

Out of: Curtis Hodges, Brandon Dillon, Kaden Smith

The only vacant spot went to Armah, who also plays at full-back because of his versatility and excellent blocker – qualities new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy values ​​in his tight ends. Hodges, the other serious competitor, ran decent distances but struggled with falls.

Washington could also gamble: keep three tight ends, drop Armah and use the extra space to keep a young player it fears losing if squads get mixed up. It’s a bet Armah doesn’t get a better free-agent deal than Washington is willing to offer.

In: Brian Robinson Jr Antonio Gibson Chris Rodriguez Jr

Out of: Jonathan Williams, Derrick Gore, Jaret Patterson

It seems unlikely the Commanders would make a hard cut elsewhere to retain a fourth running back. But if so, then it would be Williams, a seasoned veteran who plays on special teams, or Gore, who played well for Bieniemy in 2021. If eliminated, both would be strong candidates for the training squad.

After a tragedy, Chris Rodriguez Jr. plays for his mother

In: Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Montez Sweat, Chase Young, Phidarian Mathis, John Ridgeway, Efe Obada, Andre Jones Jr., KJ Henry, Casey Toohill, James Smith-Williams

Out of: Abdullah Anderson, Benning Potoa’e, Joshua Pryor, Will Bradley-King, Isaiah Mack

The commanders’ strongest position is also one of the most difficult to predict. There are five strong candidates for the backup edge rusher (Obada, Jones, Henry, Toohill, Smith-Williams) and three for the backup tackle (Mathis, Ridgeway, Anderson). The team only had nine defensive linemen for its first 53 years in 2021 and 2022.

Andre Jones Jr. makes a push

This year the team recruited two defensive linemen (Henry and Jones) and is able to retain two more due to linebacker and other job cuts.

It’s possible the Commanders could endure cuts, put Mathis (Wade) on injured reserve and sign another tackle like Anderson.

In: Cody Barton, Jamin Davis, David Mayo, Khaleke Hudson

Out of: De’Jon Harris, Ferrod Gardner, Milo Eifler

Washington, like many teams, continues to devalue that position. Only four will likely remain as the base 4-3 defense with three linebackers is rarely used.

Commanders will likely prioritize placing a linebacker or two in the training group. Two days after the final cuts, Davis will have a hearing related to a reckless driving conviction. He faces a minimum of four and a maximum of eight days in prison.

In: Kendall Fuller, Emmanuel Forbes, Benjamin St-Juste, Quan Martin, Christian Holmes, Danny Johnson

Out of: Rachad Wildgoose, Tariq Castro-Fields, Nick Whiteside, DJ Stirgus, Jace Whittaker, DaMarcus Fields

Benjamin St-Juste is a matchup nightmare

For the last two spots, positional flexibility (Johnson can play inside and outside) and special teams (Holmes plays all four phases) make Johnson and Holmes make sense versus Wildgoose and Castro-Fields. But Washington’s professional staff clearly likes Wildgoose and Castro-Fields. The team claimed both waivers after Cut Day 2022. Upon unveiling, another team could claim Castro-Fields because of his size (6-1, 197) and speed (4.38 seconds in the 40-yard dash).

In: Kam Curl, Darrick Forrest, Percy Butler, Jeremy Reaves

Out of: Terrell Burgess, Kendall Smith, and Joshua Kalu

Despite his feel-good history and Special Teams All-Pro honors, Reaves is in the bubble. The team has invested heavily in the defensive backcourt and has young, versatile safeties in front of them. But ultimately, Reaves’ skills on special teams should earn him a spot.

In: Punter/owner Tress Way, kicker Joey Slye, long snapper Camaron Cheeseman

Washington decided its kicking contest last week when it cut Michael Badgley and kept Slye. Of greatest concern is Cheeseman, a 2021 sixth-round pick who struggled at times with errant snaps in the preseason. Way blamed the inconsistency on the long snapper while trying an experimental new hold.

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