With 20 Redskins set to hit the open market in a few weeks, GM Bruce Allen and his staff have some tough decisions to make. There are some big names on the list (i.e. Brian Orakpo, Brandon Meriweather and Perry Riley, to name a few). There are some obscure ones (like J.D. Walton) as well. All of the decisions, though, have the potential to have an impact on the team's fortunes in 2014. In the coming days, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and Tarik El-Bashir will give you their thoughts on who should stay and who should go.
Position/name: WR/Josh Morgan
2013 cap number: $5.1million
2013 stats: 20 receptions, career-low 214 yards, 0 touchdowns, inactive twice
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Background: The Redskins had high hopes that Morgan would be part of the solution in receiving corps when they signed him as a free agent in 2012. And that season he looked the part, leading the team with 48 receptions. During the offseason he has screws removed from his foot from a prior injury and he declared himself healthy and ready for bigger things in 2013. But his performance came up flat as he caught just 20 passes and found himself in Mike Shanahan’s doghouse for reasons that are a mystery to many, including Morgan.
Tandler: Go—I might consider giving Morgan a very team-friendly deal with some incentives if it was just a matter of having a bad year on what was a bad year for many on the team. He is, after all, a D. C. native and a tireless worker for local charities. But he will be 29 before the season starts and he is coming off of the worst season of his career. That is not the kind of player that a team looking to start over with a new coach is looking for. Morgan was highly frustrated by how Mike and Kyle Shanahan treated him, to the point where Chris Cooley and others said that he wasn’t giving full effort on the field. Even though the Shanahans are gone, Morgan would be better off with a fresh start in a new city and the Redskins would be better off giving snaps to a younger wide receiver.
El-Bashir: Go—I tend to agree with Rich on this one. I spoke to Morgan at a community event earlier this month and the D.C. native said he hopes to return to Washington. But he also hinted that he’s received no indication from GM Bruce Allen that the feeling was mutual. Morgan also said he had yet to sit down with Jay Gruden; Gruden had been named head coach four weeks earlier. To me, that was telling. It was clear from the way things unfolded last season that Morgan’s stunning lack of production stemmed from some early-season struggles and the toxic relationship that developed with Mike Shanahan, who cut his playing time, moved him to returner and eventually deactivated him not once, but twice. What’s never been cleared up, though, is exactly how Morgan went from having a rough start to Shanahan’s doghouse so quickly. It probably wasn’t all Shanahan. Whatever happened, I think both sides would be well-served from moving on.