This was surprising, but also speaks to just how poor the Redskins pass rush has been this season. Jason Babin simply doesn’t fit the Washington Redskins 3-4 scheme, and trying to play him in space would have had worse results than when they tried Andre Carter there in 2010. Babin can still rush the quarterback, and could have been used on passing downs as a nickel rusher. What’s even more interesting is that Babin costs $1.69 million for the rest of this season, which would basically eat up the rest of the Redskins cap room. In the past that wouldn’t be too significant, but with the new CBA allowing teams to carry forward any additional cap space, the Redskins would be out that money for next year. Given the cap penalty and the dead money they will incur by cutting veterans it is a bit odd the Redskins were willing to risk cap space on a player who doesn’t fit their scheme, and would be no more than a rotational player.
I thought this was a nice pick-up by the Redskins. Yes Muckelroy has been hampered by injuries, but he had really nice potential coming out in the draft, and is still very young. At the very least he offers the Redskins a nice depth pick-up going forward, and a guy who can contribute early on special teams. Muckelroy also has the ability to develop into a starter, if he can stay injury free. This makes him a nice low risk/moderate reward pick-up for the Washington Redskins.
Kehl was with the Redskins this preseason and overall played pretty well, unfortunately in the roster crunch he wasn’t able to make the 53 man roster. He could help out the Washington pass defense if he can show some of the same coverage ability he displayed in preseason. Granted it was against back-ups, but he was often in the right position in coverage. Something that has been rarely said about the Redskins linebackers this season.
Kehl has made a handful of starts in his career, and has always been viewed as a quality special teamer. He will primarily be a special teams player with the Redskins, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he got some snaps as the year winds down. The Washington Redskins will have to make a tough decision after this season on London Fletcher‘s future with the team. Due to cap constraints they aren’t likely to make any big signings to replace him, meaning the Redskins will need to rely on Keenan Robinson to step into that role. Given that Robinson will miss time and might not be 100% ready, it would be nice to have a capable veteran back-up. Kehl could be that stopgap option, and if he proves himself the Redskins can offer him a contract for next season.
Likely the additions of Muckelroy and Kehl will allow the Redskins to utilize Lorenzo Alexander more as a blitzer from here on out. He showed up well in that role during the Vikings game but hasn’t had many opportunities since. Though it shouldn’t make a major impact, Alexander could add a little boost to the pass rush.