The #Washington #Redskins entered #Free Agency this offseason with a plan to build their defense up from a unit that has finished near the bottom of the league the last few years. That plan included the philosophy that the team would not overpay for players in the process. After one full week of open free agency the Redskins have, for the most part, stuck to their guns.
Washington had to shift their plan a little bit after both of their 1000 yard receivers signed elsewhere, leaving the team no choice but to sign another wide-out.
The Redskins have addressed needs on defense
Washington has cleaned the house up front on the defensive line with the decisions not to bring back Chris Baker, Kedric Golston, Cullen Jenkins and releasing Ricky Jean Francois. The team decided to re-sign Ziggy Hood last week. That gives them Hood, Anthony Lanier, AJ Francis, Joey Mbu, Matt Ioannidis, Phil Taylor and the other two defensive linemen the Redskins signed in free agency, Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee under contract as of now. Realistically all of those players except maybe Ioannidis are rotational contributors at best.
The Redskins need some big and nasty guys up front, and they’re likely to have to turn to the NFL Draft to find them. Currently the last big name DT left on the top 100 free agent list is the Giant’s Johnathan Hankins, who reportedly is looking to get overpaid, at $10 million a season. The Redskins haven’t been willing to overpay players in the market they deem unworthy, hence the reason they haven’t signed a big-name d-lineman. The market has seen multiple one-year deals (typically one-year prove-it contracts) that overpaid at the moment, but also set each prospective player up for a significant pay increase in 2018. Most recently the Redskins brought in former Eagles d-lineman Benny Logan, who eventually signed a one-year deal with Kansas City. The team tendered free agent Will Compton a contract of the 5th round variety, meaning another team could sign him but would have to give Washington a 5th round pick in return, the Redskins can match any offer as well.
Washington was able to improve the secondary when the team signed safety DJ Swearinger, who in all likelihood will be a week one starter. Swearinger is a hard-hitting player who improved dramatically last year in Arizona. The Redskins recently added former Colts linebacker Chris Carter, who can play both inside and outside linebacker but should be viewed as a special teams player. The team also scheduled a meeting with former Colts cornerback Darius Butler.
Redskins offense in state of reloading at the moment
Washington’s spending has been lopsided recently regarding offensively and defensively. Last year the team spent near the bottom of the league in their defense while spending near the top on the offense. This year the franchise is looking to even that out.
Losing Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson was a blow that the Redskins had been bracing to feel the effects of for months. While Washington had hoped not to lose both of them, they knew the possibility was indeed there. With Garcon signing for $16 million in year one, and Jackson signing a deal that will pay him $12 a year, the team had to move on. They tried to make a last minute offer to Jackson, but it wasn’t enough.
The team was able to sign former Cleveland Browns receiver Terrelle Pryor to a one-year $6 million dollar deal. Pryor may have been one of the league’s most intriguing pickups after catching 77 passes for 1007 yards and four touchdowns with six different quarterbacks throwing him the ball, in only his first season as a receiver. Washington was also able to re-sign tight end Vernon Davis to a 3-year deal. Having Davis back is critical as he serves as the team’s insurance policy for oft-injured Jordan Reed.
The Redskins placed a second-round tendered contract on restricted free agent running back Chris Thompson. Thompson has evolved into one of the team's most important pieces as a third-down pass catching back.