It hasn’t been a splash offseason for the Washington Redskins in terms of free-agent moves. But the team is very focused on the defensive side of the ball and with good reason. This unit has been substandard for any number of years. In each of the past five seasons, the team has surrendered at least 40 offensive touchdowns. Team president Bruce Allen and the franchise has been busy adding free-agents for new coordinator Greg Manusky. Now well-traveled outside linebacker Chris Carter joins Terrell McClain, Stacy McGee and D.J. Swearinger.

Deepest area of the team

In Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith, the Washington Redskins have one of the better outside linebacking corps in the league.

The former was the team’s first-round draft choice in 2011 and has been a starter since the get-go. The two-time Pro Bowler has never missed a start and totaled 58.5 sacks and 19 forced fumbles along the way. He’s totaled double-digit sack totals in two of the past three seasons – leading the club with 11 QB traps this past year. Meanwhile, Preston started all 16 games in 2016 in his second NFL campaign and finished with 38 tackles and 4.5 sacks.

Of course, the team’s second-best pass rusher in ’16 was Trent Murphy. A 15-game starter the previous season, he still played in all 16 games and finished with a career-best nine sacks and three forced fumbles. Unfortunately for him and the team, he is facing a four-game suspension (which he has appealed) to start the upcoming season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

Hence why the Addition of Carter makes sense…sort of.

How can Carter help?

A former fifth-round draft choice by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2011, Carter has bounced around this league and that would be an understatement. He has also suited up the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens.

The former Fresno State product has played in 62 regular-season games and has made just four starts – three of those in 2012 with the Steelers. Despite zero career sacks, he does give the Washington Redskins a little depth at the position and should see some backup action if Murphy’s suspension is upheld.

But look for him to be a part of the team’s kickoff and punt coverage teams.

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