With the start of NFL free agency less than a month away (midnight, March 13), it’s time to start predicting which players are coming and going, and which will be sticking around.
Cue the obligatory ‘Top X-number Free Agents’ lists–because how else would we be able to compare a top-flight quarterback to a 4-3 defensive end?
The field of reliable football sources was limited to Sports Illustrated, Sporting News, and Pro Football Focus. Four current Redskins were cited on any of the lists, and the rankings were sporadic at best.
Here is the rundown:
London Fletcher: Sports Illustrated (Top 30), Sporting News (48-of-100), P.F.F. (31-of-50)
Fletcher is the most highly touted Redskins free agent, appearing on nearly every list, somewhere in the second tier of available free agents. His lauded leadership makes him especially appealing, but players at his position are at a premium when they’re a decade younger. Although his league-leading tackles and continued success are outstanding, Fletcher gets short-changed by analysts focused on father time.
LaRon Landry: Sports Illustrated (Top 30), Sporting News (85-of-100)
When healthy, Landry is one of the best strong safeties in football. He possesses a game-changing ability, the type he displayed against the Cowboys in his first game of the 2011 season. But Redskins fans haven’t seen No. 30 for a full season in two years, as Achilles injuries have ended both prematurely. He has the talent to be ranked a lot higher, his injury status gives him a more conservative ranking.
Fred Davis: Sporting News (33-of-100)
In the absence of Chris Cooley, the Redskins discovered a budding star at the tight end position in Fred Davis. Davis put up career highs in starts (12), receptions (59) and yards (796), leading the team in those categories at the time of his suspension. Had he finished the season on that pace he would been only the sixth tight end in NFL history to have at least 78 receptions, 1,060 yards and a 13.0 yards per catch average. With that in mind, Davis has the ability of an elite free agent tight end. But factoring in his off the field indiscretions, and it’s a more difficult assessment.
Rocky McIntosh: Sporting News (93-of-100)
McIntosh played in 15 games this season, starting the first eight, before being replaced by Perry Riley at inside linebacker. He had 73 tackles, one sack, and a pass defensed this season, and has the ability to play either inside in the 3-4 defensive scheme or outside in the 4-3.
What do you think of the rankings? Would you rank certain Redskins higher or lower? Which pending Redskins free agents should have been ranked? Share your thoughts below.