The Redskins had a productive first week of free agency, but they still have plenty of work to do as they try to get out of the NFC East cellar. Though some may worry that money is tight for the Redskins right now, they still look to be in good shape. They probably still have $7-9 million in cap room (possibly more), but actually have more to play with due to the Rule of 51 and more potential cuts that could occur. Also, a long term extension for Brian Orakpo could free up a big chunk of cap room. Here are some top free agents the Redskins could consider:
-The Redskins have their two starting receivers in Pierre Garcon and Andre Roberts, but could use another veteran option to help out RGIII. Damian Williams has long been under the radar, and he could be a nice cheap signing with some upside. Lance Moore and Jason Avant would be solid veteran slot options on a one year deal. Rice and Austin would also be one year options, but would offer some nice size to the Redskins receiver corps. Both are coming off injury filled years and don’t seem to have a strong market. They could be worth a look and would add another dimension to the Redskins pass offense. This is not a position the Redskins should spend a lot of their remaining resources, but bringing in another body makes sense unless they are sold on Santana Moss as the number 3 receiver.
– Logan Paulsen‘s roster spot could be in jeopardy given his contract and streaky play. The Redskins have already brought in Owen Daniels for a visit and he is probably the top target for the Redskins. Dustin Keller is coming off an ACL injury, but if he checks out medically he could be worth a 1 year incentive laden deal (though you might not cut Paulsen). Ed Dickson has been a disappointment in Baltimore, but he’s a guy who’s always had a lot of potential and could be worth a shot. Dallas Clark is near the end of his career, but he can still be a solid pass catching tight end and could offer depth if their are concerns about Jordan Reed‘s health. At this point any of these tight ends should come pretty cheap and should all be options for the Redskins.
-The Redskins cut WIll Montgomery their starting center of the last couple of years and will tentatively play Kory Lichtensteiger there. Lichtensteiger was a college center but has seen very little time there at the NFL level. He’s even more undersized than Montgomery and overall has been more of liability. While the Redskins could go the rookie route, ideally you wouldn’t want to pair a rookie center with a young quarterback. If the Redskins want to fix their center problem long term the best option (outside of Alex Mack) is Brian De La Puerte the former Saints starting center. He’s been a good starter for a couple of years now and would be an instant upgrade. Kyle Cook has played for Jay Gruden the past three years, and while he’s not exactly considered a good center he’s probably an upgrade and has plenty of experience. He also figures to come pretty cheap in this market. Wendell is coming off a down year with the Patriots, but he’s still under 30 and has been productive in the past. Goodwin is near the end of his long productive career, but could be a nice 1 year pick-up to help protect Griffin. Velasco is coming off an Achilles injury but has been pretty solid in his career, he could be a cheap fall back option to give the Redskins some competition in camp.
-The Redskins spent good money on Shawn Lauvao, but they could consider adding another guard to the mix as well. Chris Chester carries a savings of $2.7 million if he’s released, and any of these three names could probably be signed for $2 million or less. Willie Colon is the best of the bunch, but he’s dealt with some serious injuries in his career. When he’s healthy, he’s very good, but he’s just not always healthy. Dahl and Colledge no longer are on that level, but they could be a solid 1 year stop gap, who comes cheaply and is on par or slightly better than Chester. This is a position that is more likely to be bolstered in the draft, but the Redskins should keep these guys on their radar.
-The Redskins have a need to further protect RGIII, and with Tyler Polumbus carrying a savings of $2.5 million if he’s cut, the Redskins can upgrade their protection for little additional expenditure in 2014. Zach Strief is by far the best option as he’s been a quality starting RT in New Orleans the past couple of years. It sounds like he wants to stay in New Orleans, but they might be trying to low ball him given their limited cap space, If the Redskins offer a moderate contract they could lock him up. Donald Penn is coming in for a visit, he’s been and up and down LT the last couple of years, but he could fare better on the right hand side. Eric Winston is probably the best combination of price and production. David Stewart is apparently considering retirement after the Titans cut him, but he’s not that old and has been pretty productive in his career. Harris and Clabo have some starting experience on the right side and been fairly productive, but they are only minor upgrades. Charles Brown was a highly touted prospect, but has failed to live up to his potential, a change of scenery though could make things interesting.