Despite the fact the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants have both gone bonkers with their spending to start free agency, the Washington Redskins are still the No. 1 team in the NFC East in the latest NFL.com power rankings.
Washington checks in at No. 11 in the power rankings with Dallas (No. 15), New York (No. 16) and Philadelphia (No. 24) all trailing.
The Redskins, of course, have made it a priority, at least early in free agency, to re-sign players who contributed to their division title in 2015.
Will Blackmon, Mason Foster, Kedric Golston, Duke Ihenacho, Colt McCoy, Logan Paulsen and Tree Way have all been signed to new deals, while Kendall Reyes and David Bruton provide the team depth and experience.
You can't forget about the team placing the franchise tag on Trent Williams, either.
With that carryover, the Redskins have something the Giants and Eagles don't.
"How will the Redskins fare in 2016?" NFL.com's Elliot Harrison writes. "Well, if success in modern pro football is contingent on having continuity at head coach and quarterback, Washington has that. Notice the words that begin with "con" in the previous sentence. Appropriate, as the prefix "con-" means "together," and -- perhaps because of Kirk Cousins' infectious attitude (and catchphrases) -- this team played together last season. OK, so that's Simple Simon reasoning, but playing as a team is so underrated in this era of Let's go buy a defense roster construction (SEE: Giants, New York football)."
One key for the Redskins, and whether or not they see a rise or fall in the rankings, is how the running game produces this season.
As it looks now, Rob Kelley will likely carry the load in his second season. Improves are being sought with his increase in workload, but the second-year back is loaded with talent.
"He's a big, powerful runner," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said recently. "The big thing about Matt is, we've got to keep him healthy and work on ball security – those are the two things in the offseason. I know Randy Jordan will harp on that, and getting his pad level down a little bit. But health, ball security, those are the two biggest things."