Redskins Free Agent Options On Offense: Part 1
Need Level: Minor
-The Redskins could decide to pass on the position all-together, but steady veteran Rex Grossman is a free agent leaving just 3rd year players Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins as the only QB’s on the roster. Given Griffin’s injury history the Redskins should strongly consider having a decent 3rd string quarterback. In addition to providing quality depth it could also make it easier with trading Kirk Cousins if an opportunity presents itself.
Players of interest:
1. Tarvaris Jackson–
2. Colt McCoy–
3. Rex Grossman-
4. Derek Anderson–
5. Jimmy Clausen–
-Ideally the Redskins would just bring Rex Grossman back on another 1 year league minimum deal where they can use the veteran exception to reduce his cap figure. With the Shanahan’s gone that might no longer be in the cards, but if Grossman is willing to come back the Redskins should be happy to have him. If he walks, the Redskins should try to get one of the other names on the cheap.
Need Level: Moderate
-The Redskins are set at the top of their depth chart with Alfred Morris, who has had back-to-back huge seasons for the Redskins. Morris though is still a bit of a one dimensional back and isn’t too much of a weapon in the passing game. The Redskins do have Roy Helu Jr. backing him up and an option in the passing game, but behind him there isn’t much. All that is left on the roster is Evan Royster and Chris Thompson and neither is close to being guaranteed a spot. Helu is also a free agent after this season so if a longer term back-up could be found the Skins could be interested.
1. Darren Sproles
2. Jonathan Dwyer
3. La’Rod Stephens-Howling
4. Brian Leonard
5. Felix Jones
-Sproles would be a bit of a luxury pick-up for a rebuilding team, but if the Redskins can justify devoting a little more money to the position, he could be worth a shot with a short term deal. Sproles can help out as a slot receiver, and return man as well as his duties as a back-up/3rd down back. Dwyer is a solid back-up running back who always seems to be a bit underrated. He could be a nice cheap back-up option. Stephens-Howling is basically a poor man’s Darren Sproles and could be had for a league minimum deal. He could help out as the kick returner where he has 3 career TD’s. Felix Jones is a former first round pick, who can help out with returns as well as being a speed back out of the backfield. He too will likely come at a league minimum deal. Brian Leonard played under Gruden for two years in Cincinnati, and can be viewed as a hybrid RB/FB who plays special teams.
Need Level: Extremely High, at least two players needed
–Pierre Garcon is established as the top receiver, but the Redskins need a number two and a slot receiver. If Leonard Hankerson were fully healthy he could definitely handle one of those roles, but coming off an ACL injury the Redskins need at least two guys who are capable of playing early on. Though it is a high need, the Redskins don’t need to go overboard as they don’t figure to be throwing the ball like the Lions or Saints. Their 2nd receiver and slot receiver will be more limited roles than some other teams, so it doesn’t make sense to put top resources there.
1. Emmanuel Sanders
-Would be the ideal top target for the Redskins, young and capable of playing both inside and outside, also can help out in returns if need be. Price could end up pretty reasonable, but will likely be more than the Redskins want to sign.
2. Andre Roberts
-Very similar profile to Sanders, probably just slightly behind him in terms of talent level. Price could get high, but could come down depending on how other teams prioritize him. If other teams fill their needs with other options, Roberts could be left with a soft market and a nice moderate signing for the Redskins.
3. James Jones
-Smart veteran receiver who isn’t exceptional in any area, but is solid all-around. Would be a nice signing for a young quarterback, and his price shouldn’t be too high. Biggest issue is that he probably would rather play for a top contender or a team that is expected to pass the ball more. Skins aren’t going to be high on either wish list for free agents and would probably need to considerably overpay to bring him here.
4. Hakeem Nicks
-Yes the TD’s have disappeared, but he’s still been a solid receiver the past two years, and in 2010-2011 he looked like a star in the making. If he’s on, he’s a fantastic complement to Pierre Garcon. Issue could end up being that he’s only looking for a one year deal, which doesn’t help the Skins much as they are rebuilding. Also, he’ll likely look to go to an offense led by a top QB (Den, N.O. or NE) to boost his stock.
5. Golden Tate
6. Dexter McCluster
-Would be an ideal option at the slot receiver position. His price tag should be very reasonable and he can be a huge boost in the return game (particularly PR) as well. He’s not a pure slot receiver, but he adds versatility as a guy who can line-up in the backfield as well, allowing a team to be more creative.
7. Damien Williams
-Often overlooked receiver, who could be a nice free agent steal. Has been productive every time he’s given an opportunity and has experience playing all three WR positions. Will likely be very much under the radar, and could offer a good return on the investment.
8. Lance Moore
9. Jerome Simpson
-Has ties to Gruden from Cincy in 2011, bigger receiver with good deep speed as well. Coming off a productive year with the Vikings where he outplayed both a 1st round pick and a top free agent signing, Simpson could be a cheap signing who still can be counted on to produce.
10. Jacoby Jones
-Arguably the best return man in the game today, Jones could be a major boost to the Redskins special teams. He’s not a starting receiver, but he’s been a good top 3 guy with good deep speed. He’d be an ideal paring with a guy like Sanders or Roberts, as they can start outside and move inside when the Skins go 3 wide.
11. Sidney Rice
12. Jason Avant
-Consistently solid receiver, who does most of his damage from the slot. Could be a cheap veteran option who can help out a young QB.
13. Ted Ginn Jr
14. Nate Burleson
15. Brandon LaFell
-The wide receiver position is very deep in free agency overall with number 2 and number 3 receivers. Some of the high priced guys don’t make sense for the Redskins, but the guys on this list at the right price could be nice fits. Ideally they would get one of the top 5 to 6 options and then a lower option as well. Even if the Redskins plan on taking a receiver in the 2nd or 3rd round, they need to take at least two guys off this list. Regardless of how high they draft a receiver they can’t assume that player will be able to start or contribute at a high level as a rookie. With so many receiver option able to help in the return game the Redskins should look to sign at least one guy who can add value on special teams as well.