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Free agents the Redskins should consider- Defensive

Steve Shoup

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Redskins Free Agent Options : Offense | Defense

Defensive Line:

Sylvester Williams:

-The Redskins are pretty well set along the defensive line with Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne and Matt Ioannidis as the starters and Tim Settle and Caleb Brantley as the top depth options. They are likely to keep at least 6 if not 7 defensive linemen, and it’s an uncertain depth chart beyond the top 5. With how often this position group deals with injury, it would make some sense to add a player with some solid experience who could fill in for a week or two. Williams is a guy who fits that bill that will come cheaply. Williams has never lived up to his draft hype, but he’s generally been a solid run defender in his career. He can play both nose tackle and the 5 technique spot giving him some versatility as well.

EDGE rushers:

Nick Perry:

-With the addition of Montez Sweat the Redskins have a much better outlook for their EDGE rushers this season, but they could still consider adding some decent depth. Perry took a little time to develop, but once he earned a bigger role he showed he can be an effective pass rusher. He had a great 2016 season with 11 sacks in just 14 games. The problem with Perry has been his inability to stay healthy, as he’s never played 16 games in a season. His price should be pretty low, but his impact could be solid as the Redskins 3rd EDGE rusher and insurance if there are any injuries.

Shane Ray:

-Ray had a really good sophomore season back in 2016 with 8 sacks despite not even being a full time player. Since then he’s struggled to stay on the field and regain his effectiveness. He’s an intriguing reclamation project who has the tools to be an effective pass rusher, but has struggled to put it all together. He’s an ideal fit for the Redskins 3rd pass rusher, and if his price isn’t too much he’d be worth taking a look at.

Safeties:

Fanspeak’s Redskins Blog

Tre Boston:

-Boston is the free safety most fans want and it’s pretty easy to see why. Though not a very good or great starter, he’s been highly effective these past few seasons as a starter. Boston will just be 27 this season, and he’s a player who has 10 interceptions and 24 passes defensed over these last three years. It is odd that now three teams have moved on from him, and he doesn’t have a bigger market, but his production speaks for itself. Boston still has some limitations, but he would be an ideal complement to Landon Collins and is young enough to be more than a one year stopgap if he’s productive.

Corey Graham:

-Graham started his career as a corner, earning a lot of playing time as a slot corner/3rd corner role. Over the past four years he’s transitioned to safety and has been a solid contributor as a FS who can help cover the slot or come down in the box in a SS role. Ideally he’s more of a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none type of player. He fits best as a 3rd safety who earns snaps in sub packages and backing up a variety of roles. For the Redskins though he would likely push for the starting free safety job. He doesn’t get talked about a lot, but he would be a nice addition to the team, who’s versatility could become a major plus.

Darian Stewart:

-Stewart has been a long term quality starter at both the free and strong safety positions. Back in 2016 he had his best year and made the Pro Bowl with Denver. Stewart’s play is still generally strong, but he’s probably better suited in more of an in the box strong safety role. He still is probably passable as a free safety starter, and would likely be an upgrade in Washington for the Redskins. Stewart probably shouldn’t be the Redskins first choice, but should remain an option to improve the secondary.

Kurt Coleman:

-Coleman is a very similar profile to Stewart as a long term quality starting safety, who has played both the free and strong safety positions. Coleman is likely the cheaper option of the two, so if money is tight or the Redskins feel more confident in Montae Nicholson to handle the majority of the starting duties they could opt for Coleman. He would still be a solid addition to the team and a valuable back-up/role player on the team.

 

Overview:

Safety is the clear problem area for the Redskins as they filled their strong safety need with Landon Collins, but still have a sizable concern at free safety. The good news is there are a few options out there for them who should offer some level of upgrade to the team. Beyond safety they don’t need much on defense, but could look for a 3rd EDGE rusher if the price is right. You can never have enough pass rushers on the team, and adding a veteran with upside like Ray or Perry would give them another weapon for opposing offenses to have to deal with. Defensive line is a really minor need and I only see them looking at league minimum guys since most of their defensive snaps should be accounted for.



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