The Washington Redskins will be looking to upgrade in several areas when free agency begins on March 9th. While the team will look to retain some of their own first, it’s expected they will look to strengthen the safety spot and add some players along the defensive line as well.

Washington will have over $64 million in free cap space to work with and could free up more with a couple of moves. The Redskins still have to decide on deals with QB Kirk Cousins, WR’s Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson as well as defensive tackle Chris Baker, so it’s unclear exactly how much cap dollars they will have to spend.

Washington used the second least amount of salary cap space on defense in the entire league last season, and it showed on the field as they finished 28th in total yards last season surrendering 377.9 yards and 23.9 points per game.

Defensive lineman are the Redskins biggest need

Last year the Redskins gave up 119.8 yards a game rushing, including 4.5 yards a carry and 19 total touchdowns. Those stats are near the bottom of the league, and if they want to be more than an average team, they'll have to improve in those areas. Below are few free agents who could make an impact.

  • Calais Campbell – Campbell is by far the best lineman available this year, the only problem is he’s 31. He fits the exact need the Redskins have for a run-stopper who also has the ability to create pressure on the quarterback. Campbell’s market value should be somewhere around $8.3 million a year. In 120 career starts he has 373 tackles with 56.5 sacks and 3 interceptions and a touchdown.
  • Bennie Logan – The Redskins have already expressed interest in Logan this offseason. In 4 years playing both nose, and defensive tackle in a 4-man front in Philly, Logan had 163 tackles and 5.5 sacks with 3 forced fumbles in only 51 starts.
  • Nick Fairley – The former 1st-round pick had a rebound year in 2016 after signing with the Saints (his 3rd team in 3 years) registering 43 tackles with 6.5 sacks while earning a league minimum base salary.
  • Brandon Williams – While Williams could be rather pricey (his market value should be somewhere around $12.9 million a year), he would give the Redskins a proven nose tackle who can fill holes with the very best in the league.
  • Lawrence Guy – In only 20 career starts Guy has 69 tackles with 6.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries.

Still searching for safety help

Ever since the tragic death of Sean Taylor, the Redskins have been searching for safety that can control the center of the field.

The team will be moving Su’a Cravens to strong safety in 2017 after playing linebacker last year. Even with the shift of Cravens, the team still has a lack of talent on the back-end. Below are a few options who will be available in free agency.

  • Eric Berry – Berry, 28, is by far the best available defensive player in free agency this year. In 84 career starts with Kansas City, Berry had 367 tackles with 5.5 sacks and 14 interceptions, five of which were returned for touchdowns. It’s safe to say he would fit on any team that can afford his market value, which is somewhere near $9.1 million per year.
  • Tony Jefferson – While not being as flashy an option as Berry, Jefferson proved he can play well when the Cardinals had injuries last season. In 14 games he had 74 tackles and two forced fumbles.
  • DJ Swearinger – Swearinger spent time with his 3rd team in 5 years in 2016 and looked pretty good doing it. Just like Jefferson above, he started 12 games with the Cardinals in 2016 registering 56 tackles with 3 interceptions and 2 sacks.

Looking at the other needs the Redskins have gets tricky until we know which players from last year’s team won’t be returning.

One player they definitely should take a look at is linebacker Zach Brown. Brown has started 49 games in his career collecting 292 tackles, 14 sacks, 7 interceptions and 2 touchdowns. He would be a speedier option at inside linebacker for the burgundy and gold and has a market value somewhere around $4.5 million a year.

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