What The Team Accomplished So Far:
The Redskins came into the offseason with a wishlist of needs, part of which they can address in free agency, part of which will be addressed in the draft, and part of which will be addressed through rehab and players getting healthy.
For a passing game that ranked 14th in the NFL last year in yards per game, the Redskins found two receivers in Pierre Garçon and Joshua Morgan that can stretch the field and fight for the extra yard. It looks like the Redskins will have a fierce training camp battle for receiver again this year, as there are currently 10 receivers on the roster.
I wouldn’t presume that this will be the list of receivers that the team enters camp with, as that’s still four and a-half months away, but the team has displayed an aggressive approach to upgrade the aerial attack.
Here’s what industry expert Peter King tweeted about the moves:
My Fair Warning:
As far as official Redskins signings, that’s it so far. The company line on reporting free agent acquisitions is to wait until the player passes their entry physical and puts pen to paper on a contract. Up until that point, nothing is official and anything can happen.
Since 5 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, I’ve watched Twitter, ESPN, NFL.com and PFT reports suggesting that the Redskins are interested in every player from Bart Starr to the freshman punter at Seaford High School. Some of them have turned out to be true, including early reports about Garçon and Morgan.
But my point is that many of them are not true, and any perceived need turns into a report about every player at that position. I’ve seen well-respected news outlets fall into the trap of running with a story, and that’s something that Redskins.com will not do.
BUT, the news and information that you read on this site, and other associated platforms will be accurate and timely to when it becomes official. Until it becomes official though, just sit tight. No news until it actually becomes news.
Which Redskins Are Left Unclaimed:
One of the several industry authorities on player rankings is Pro Football Focus, who tries to quantify a player’s value based on certain statistical criteria. Their analysis isn’t the be-all, nor do I agree with sabermetrics at certain positions. But they do a fine job, and they have kept an updated list of the remaining former Redskins available in free agency.
Here are those players with the associated rankings (with additional commentary underneath):
25. London Fletcher, LB
So it’s unlikely that Fletcher makes a move to anywhere but Washington, but if you’re looking for an excellent linebacker on a short term deal then why not make him an offer he can’t refuse. Not every free agent move needs to be with the future in mind.
Fletcher is fifth on the list of inside linebackers, and earns a fairly high ranking for a free agent of his age. ESPN’s Matt Williamson ranks Fletcher fourth on his list, calling him “an oldie, but a goodie.” ESPN Blogger Dan Graziano makes the argument that the Redskins and Eagles make the most sense for signing Fletcher, given his familiarity in Washington and the need in Philly. Something to keep an eye on on free agency unfolds and the market is set.
37. Laron Landry, S
Maybe the biggest question mark in free agency. Talent would see him in the Top 10, but has a huge red flag regarding his health. Will avoiding surgery prove the smart long term move?
48. O.J. Atogwe
A safety with good range, Atogwe was wasted a bit being used in the box on 21.7% of all his defensive snaps in 2011. He becomes the top safety on the market.
With both presumed starting safeties from last season now on the market, the Redskins now have big questions in their secondary. But given the health of the two last year (16 combined starts), they had big questions anyway. The Redskins hired defensive backs whisperer Raheem Morris as the secondary coach, and he may be looking to go in a different direction.
I encourage you to look over the rest of the list and see what’s left in free agency. By my count, none of the Redskins on the 2011 squad have signed with any other teams yet. If and when they do, we’ll let you know.
Remember that free agency happens like the draft: different teams target different positions, and when a run is made on one position, the big dominoes fall fast. There is always a second, third and fourth tier to free agency, and the market will play out over time.
If there’s someone you have an eye on, be sure to share it in the comment section below.