Taking a Look at the Redskins Roster Heading Into Free Agency

With rumors heating up surrounding the NFL draft & the Redskins plan to trade up, there’s been a lot of grumbling in Redskins Nation about giving up too many picks for RG3. I hear “We have way too many holes to fill” or “This could set our franchise back a few years if it doesn’t work”.

It’s imperative to note that Free Agency is BEFORE the draft this year, so I’d like to take a look at the state of the franchise to see if a big move for RG3 will hinder the team as some fear.

The Bright Spots: The last couple of drafts & Free Agent moves have the Redskins seemingly on the upswing talent wise. Offensively last year’s rookies Roy Helu & Evan Royster seemed have put a lock on the RB position. Fred Davis had a career year before the suspension & the team looks to have him back. Rookie Leonard Hankerson showed promise in the two games he started before getting injured, he showed #1 receiver potential. The offensive line really grew as a unit even with being decimated with injuries, undrafted Free Agent Willie Smith proved to be a pleasant surprise. Defensively the D-line was a very solid unit. Adam Carriker is a priority for the team to bring back coming off of a good year. Also of note Jarvis Jenkins will be returning from an ACL injury, he showed a lot of promise in training camp last year & looked like the team’s best lineman. London Fletcher was London Fletcher again, & Perry Riley turned a lot of heads with his play & looks to be a staple for many years as ILB for the Redskins. Rookie Ryan Kerrigan had a very good rookie year, forcing a lot of turnovers & making plays all over the field. Kerrigan & Orakpo should be a menace to opponents for years to come.

The Needs: It has been reported that the Redskins are set to be $47.5 million under the cap, that’s more than enough to address a lot of needs in free agency before the draft. The way I see it the biggest needs for the Skins are depth at Safety & a possible starter if Laron Landry isn’t brought back, an interior lineman, a play-making WR & a RT.

Other needs include a nickel CB that can be groomed as a starter & ILB to be groomed under London Fletcher. However, no need is greater than QB.

Who’s Available/Targets: At QB the name being linked the most to the Redskins is Peyton Manning. However Peyton is still under contract with the Colts, at least until March 8th & who’s to say Peyton would want to play for the Redskins? Even if by some chance the Redskins land Peyton, he’s at best a 2-3 year solution. Kyle Orton is a possibility to be a stabilizing veteran to pair with a rookie QB.

Looking at WRs, Vincent Jackson may be at the top of the Redskins priority list. Shanahan was interested in him a couple of years ago & he would instantly add a dynamic that’s missing on the Redskins offense. Marques Colston could be a backup plan if the Saints don’t re-sign him. Dwayne Bowe seems to be a longshot as the Chiefs will likely Franchise Tag him. Eddie Royal is someone I think they’ll like to bring in as Shanahan is very familiar with him, he worked great in Shanny’s offense in Denver.

Interior Linemen on the wish list would include Carl Nicks & Ben Grubbs. The Saints may not have cap room to offer Nicks the deal he’s looking for, him & Grubbs are above average offensive lineman that fit what the Redskins like their OL to do.

If the Redskins decide they need a starting cornerback, they’ll likely look at Brandon Carr or Cortland Finnegan. However, new defensive backs coach Raheem Morris said he needed a guy to play against the slot. So some of the 2nd & 3rd tier guys will be looked at as well.

Safety position, as noted there is a big cloud over the front office’s head with a decision on Laron Landry looming. If he’s not brought back the team could look at Michael Griffin to fill that void. But another concern of course is the depth at the safety position. For the last few years the Redskins have carried 3 SS’s & 1 FS & injuries always seem to haunt the team at this position. This has to be addressed this offseason.

The Conclusion: Looking over this, if you add a couple of pieces noted in the Available Target section as well the talent that’s on the team, there’s potential for a QB like RG3 to step into a great situation. The Redskins aren’t “1 player away” but RG3 with added help will certainly make this team much better than last year. Mike Shanahan can’t afford to wait another year for his QB, he may not make it through another year if not. The Redskins are one of the few teams in my opinion that can survive a “sell the farm” type of trade for a player of this special talent & at a position that’s plagued this franchise for years, you have to make this move.

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Posted on February 29, 2012, in Uncategorized, Washington Redskins and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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