Monday, July 18, 2011

Redskins Free Agency

(How about OT Ryan Harris as a possible target?)

With the lockout slowly churning to an end (so is my stomach as I hope neither side can find a way to screw this up!), almost every media outlet and blog is looking at who the Redskins will target in the upcoming massive free agency that will be set upon the NFL in less than two weeks time. Well, to get back into the groove of actually writing about football, so is IIWII. I'm going to look briefly at every position, note some potential targets and discuss possible key Redskin free agents.

Before I even look at each position, lets look at the key target areas the Redskins must focus on when free agency finally starts. I've said it before and I'll say it again until I see radical improvement, the Redskins must address the offensive line in this free agency period. I applaud both Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen for drafting 4 offensive linemen over the past two drafts (Williams, Cook and Capers in 2010, Hurt in 2011). That said, only Trent Williams is a starter. The Redskins are developing a great deal of depth on the O-line but are still missing key starters on the line. I would argue that there is clearly 2-4 positions wide open on the current roster.

I'd love to mention the QB position but outside of re-signing Rex Grossman, what is there to say? Not much on the market to help the Skins at the position
Cornerback may the the team's second biggest position to fill that has talent available in free agency. Carlos Rogers and Phillip Buchanon are free agents. The good news is that there is a ton of  good, available talent not named Nnamdi Asomugha. Yeah, I like his skill set too, but I think the Skins need to find good players that don't break the bank. The last time the Skins spent major money on the top free agent.....Do I need to explain anything other than typing Albert Haynesworth?

The D-line also needs to be addressed as the Skins need to improve upon the depth of the D-line. I'm not sure that the Skins currently have their starting NT on the roster (Neild is a rookie, Bryant played well but many have concerns and Kemoeatu was hurt/ineffective last year); nor do I know who will be starting opposite of Adam Carriker at DE in 2011. The Skins need to bolster the D-line with run stuffers who can help collapse the pocket.

There are a few other positions of need, but one that most fans don't look at. It's a clear position of need that the Skins really haven't had for years: Punter. The Skins need a good punter. Field position is critical for a team that is struggling and the Skins need to find a guy who has a great hangtime with a decent amount of power. Also, Danny Smith will be looking for a punter who can directional kick.

Ok, so let's look at the Skins needs position by position:



QB
Not much to say really. What we can assume is two things right now. One is that McNabb will be traded or released at some point. Second, is that Rex Grossman will be re-signed probably sooner than later once free agency starts (or the 72 hour window given prior to FA). That leaves a 3rd QB position open. My guess is that the Skins may target either a veteran to battle with Beck and Grossman for the #2 position. Either that or they'll bring in a young (probably rookie) QB to groom him for the future.

There's not much out that that really excites me. Oh yeah, Vince Young will probably be available, but with maturity issues and little time to study the playbook is he really a good option? Same can be said about aging veterans. If you expect any of these FAs not named Grossman to be starting in 2011 for Washington, expect the Skins to struggle like they did with McNabb in 2010.

RB
I seriously doubt the Skins go after any RBs. They have about 7 RBs currently on the roster. More or less, it's going to be a "may the best man win" situation with this group.

FB
Same can be said about Mike Sellers and Darrel Young. I doubt the Skins focus on bringing in anybody new.

TE
Outside of bringing in a 4th TE for camp to not wear down the other guys, I doubt the Skins target a TE in FA.

WR
It sounds like the Skins are interested in bringing back Santana Moss. The big question is do they think they have enough or do they still need to target a Rice, Holmes or Edwards? This may be a position to keep an eye on especially if Moss is not re-signed despite drafting 3 WRs this year.

OL
Here's where the fun can start on the Skins. I'm not the only one looking at offensive linemen. Staying Medium and Hogs Haven have a few good articles on the topic as well.
What we know: Will Montgomery, Stephon Heyer and Jammal Brown are free agents.
Who the Skins may target: I would think possibly all three Redskins may be re-signed but emphasis most likely on Brown who the Skins spent a 3rd round pick this year to obtain. Brown seemed to improve as the season went on but he has indicated that he wants to be a LT again and still has concerns about his hip. Montgomery should be re-signed. While maybe not an every week starter, he deserves an opportunity to compete for a spot. Montgomery had some notbale performances as both a guard and center. Montgomery also can play 4 positions on the line if possible.

As for non-Redskin free agents, at OT all signs are pointing at Ryan Harris as a possible option. Harris was drafted by Mike Shanahan in 2007 and is a good fit for the zone scheme. Only downside is that he has a history of injuries. At OG the Skins have many options. Pro Bowler Davin Joseph seems to be a good choice. He was a Bruce Allen draft pick in 2006, has a history of playing zone and played for Oklahoma (so did T. Williams, Jammal Brown and Malcolm Kelly). Other possibilities are G Mike Brisiel who has a history with Kyle Shanahan (Houston) and the zone scheme and G Evan Mathis of the Bengals. Jason LaCanfora has also suggested T/G Marshall Yanda as a target. He does have history with the Skins OL coach but I wonder if he really fits the type of OL the Skins are looking for. He's a power scheme lineman

I still doubt that the Redskins will sign a center. There are a few free agent possibilities, but if Montgomery is re-signed, I expect a 4 way battle between Casey Rabach, Kory Lichtenstiger, Will Montgomery and Erik Cook. My guess is that Lichtenstiger may be moved to staring center at some point.


S
What we know: Reed Doughty is a free agent. Outside of that, I doubt there will be much done by the Skins at this position. The Skins already have the FS they were targeting before the lockout in OJ Atogwe. Only question is whether the Skins re-sign Doughty. If Doughty is re-signed, then I would expect a serious battle for the backup FS spot between Chris Horton, Kareem Moore and Macho Harris to name a few. Rookie Dejon Gomes may also battle for a roster spot.

CB
What we know: Carlos Rogers and Phillip Buchanon are free agents
Who the Skins may target: I like Johnathan Joseph, Ike Taylor and Josh Wilson as possible targets.  Although, I've heard rumors that maybe none of the major CB targets will be taken by the Skins as they hope/feel Kevin Barnes will be solution opposite DeAngelo Hall. And, yes, I don't see Carlos Rogers coming back either.

LB
What we know: Chris Wilson, Rocky McIntosh and HB Blades are free agents.
Who the Skins may target: I'm guessing maybe a low level ILB free agent. They could re-sign either Blades or McIntosh. It looks like there will be a push for Lorenzo Alexander to compete with Perry Riley and Robert Henson for the ILB spot next to London Fletcher. Skins may also target a 3-4 OLB just to add more depth/competition behind starters Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan. Wilson may be re-signed.

DE
What we know: Kedric Golston is a free agent
Who the Skins may target: Doesn't seem to be many 3-4 DEs out there but Cullen Jenkins does seem to be the top target of the Skins.

NT
Who the Skins may target: Franklin seems to be the top NT by all accounts but I'm hearing mixed opinions on him being a true Skins target. Also along with the Jenkins rumors are stories that Cullen's brother Kris may be interested to come to DC as well.

More as we get closer to free agency.......

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