After the Redskins tagged Brian Orakpo, the question immediately became “How do we target the rest of free agency and the draft?” That’s easily going to be the biggest question mark over the next few days as we approach the start of the legal tampering period and the beginning of Free Agency. While the Redskins just lost a chunk of their salary cap, expect Bruce Allen to effectively restructure contracts as well as release players to help gain extra cap room. With that being said, lets take a look at what needs to be done in order to see this as an “effective” offseason for the Redskins
This is always the hardest part of the offseason as you are releasing players, but the same time the NFL is a business. I expect the Redskins to take a hard look at salaries and matching production and make decisions based off of that. Look for the Redskins to release players such as Stephen Bowen and Chris Chester. Similar to the Carriker situation, Bowen is beginning to age and coming off of a serious injury. Chester hasn’t been able to perform at the same level of his contract and is aging with two young players behind him ready to step up and play. Outside of those three, I wouldn’t be surprised if Tyler Polumbus and Will Montgomery are all released as well. Outside of those players being released, I wouldn’t be surprised if any players are restructured
This is the exciting part always for Redskins fans, because it leads to the usual “quick fix” philosophy. Free Agency under Bruce Allen and under Mike Shanahan was a way to supplement the draft and the contracts weren’t usually extravagant. Under Bruce Allen and company this year, I expect much of the same. The big needs heading into FA are to add to the DL with another DE/NT type and to add to both the secondary and ILB positions.
With that in mind I’d be surprised if they didn’t target such players as Linval Joseph, Brandon Spikes, Captain Munnerlyn and Chris Clemons. Joseph would probably be the big splash of the bunch with his contract, but the thought of him playing alongside Chris Baker and Barry Cofield is quite intriguing. Brandon Spikes, Captain Munnerlyn and Chris Clemons would provide serious stability to our ILB, Slot CB and FS positions at very reasonable costs. I was under the impression for a while that the offensive line would be the focus in FA, but as we’ve seen lately and rumors are coming out, the focus seems to be adding to the defense and focusing on the draft for offense. A quick sleeper name to watch for WR would be Kenny Britt as he would fit directly into what Jay Gruden wants in his WR’s and would come relatively cheap and the upside is high, while the risk would be low.
Finally heading to the draft, we’ll see that the major needs for the team stem on the offensive side of the ball, but also at the same time the Redskins can choose to add more parts to the defensive side of the ball. With that in mind I’ve created a quick 7 round mock draft, using the needs of the Redskins after FA.
2nd round- Allen Robinson WR Penn State
3rd round- Gabe Jackson OG Mississippi State
4th round- Jordan Zumwalt ILB UCLA
5th round- Kevin Norwood WR Alabama
6th round- Tyler Larsen C Utah State
7th round- Tom Hornsey P Memphis
As you can see after the draft, the Redskins will have addressed some of the major needs of the offseason with both free agency and the draft. Jim Haslett will have parts that are added to his defense and Jay Gruden will have young and talented offensive players who will help mold and change the old days of the team. Look for the Redskins to follow a plan somewhat similar to this and use FA as a defensive upgrade area, and the draft to be an area to upgrade the overall team as well as focus on the offense.