Zach Brown & Junior Galette
In my opinion Zach Brown & Junior Galetteare priority Free Agents, that need to be resigned. Galette seems to be the long shot, considering that no reports of a contract offer have come out. Now with Trent Murphy getting a $7 million dollar contract in Buffalo, it seems more likely that Junior will be too expensive. Brown reportedly received an undisclosed offer form the Skins in January, but he apparently advised the Skins front office that he wanted to test Free Agency. The Redskins currently have Mason Foster, Martrell Spaight, Zach Vigil and hybrid ILB/SS Josh Harvey -Clemens as the only notable ILB’s. So the Redskins have decent depth, but lack a true game changer at the position. Brown is that type of playmaker that they need to retain. In fact Brown led all NFL Inside Linebackers in total tackles for three quarters of yh season, before going down with a foot injury. At this point it’s 50/50 Brown is back in Washington. As for Junior, I think he’ll probably go to the highest bidder.
Honey Badger Released
News surfaced yesterday, that Cardinals Safety/DB Tyrann “The Honey Badger” Mathieu was released. Reports are he refused to accept a proposed pay cut, which led to his prompt release. No doubt there will be multiple teams vying for The Honey Badger to sign with their team. Mathieu will demand an annual salary between $10-$13 million a year per reports The hybrid playmaker has been used as a FS, SS and Slot corner. His impact can’t be underestimated. The one edge the the Redskksn might have is with their current safety DJ Swearinger. DJ previously played with Mathieu in Arizona and apparently they are good friends. It’s too bad Arizona didn’t wait a few more weeks to release him though. This could have been another situation, similar to the time that Djax and Norman’s were release very late in the Free Agency period, which led to the Redskins signing them with really no outside competition. Alas, that isn’t the situation today and Bruce Allen has made it clear, the Redskins will no longer get into bidding wars over Free Agents. Early reports are the Raiders are very interested, but as Skins fans we can dream right?
With the departures of Bashaud Breeland to Carolina and Kendall Fuller being traded for Alex Smith, cornerback depth has all of a sudden become a question area. Many readers are upset that Fuller was traded and I’m on board with that, but the move was necessary to stay competitive and avoiding a full out rebuild. As for Breeland, it was time for him to move on because he just didn’t seem to mesh with current Skins #1 cornerback Josh Norman. The former Clemson corner, signed a contract in Carolina for approximately $8 million a year. I just couldn’t see the Redskins paying Breeland and Norman, so much money at the same position. I believe they made the right choice in extending Quinton Dunbar on a 3 year low CAP contract. Add in second year corners Fabian Moreau and Joshua Holsey and this team has a promising young nucleus. I think they’ll have to add a corner in the Draft’s Mid Rounds, with the potential to play the slot position and let Dunbar & Moreau battle for CB #2.
The Need At RB
The Skins showed last year, that they simply don’t have a running back capable of carrying the ball 10-15 a games and produce on the goal line. The fact is Samaje Perine is a work in progress, Rob Kelly is another injury waiting to happen and Chris Thompson is their 3rd down/scat back. They desperately need a bruiser, who can pass block, as well as pose a receiving threat. Now with Alex Smith the starting QB, establishing the run game is important to the team’s ultimate success in the passing game. More play-action is needed, in order for Smith and the Redskins offense to succeed. They need that 1st-2nd down running back threat, that actually scares opposing defenses. The Skins will be using more QB boots, RPO, Zone Read and Jet Sweep packages to suit Smith’s strengths. I actually mocked Kareem Hunt to the Redskins last year. I think that type of back isn’t difficult to find, amongst this years deep crop of dual threat running backs. Per Doug Williams and Jay Gruden’s comments, it certainly seems that they view the Draft as their place to find their next great running back.
Extending the contracts of Jamison Crowder, Brandon Scherff (has a‘19 Rookie 5th year option $12 mil) and Preston Smith are priority per reports. Word is Smith is the extension they are working on, which might be why they haven’t reached out to Galette yet. Surprisingly enough, Smith will garner a multi year deal with an average of $11 + million dollars per year. Now with Trent Murphy signing with Buffalo, they can only hope that Smith will accept an extension over testing Free Agency. As for Crowder, things could get murky if the Redskins Draft/sign another receiver with the ability to play the slot. Scherff is the top candidate to get extended before the season starts in my opinion. As mentioned above, the former Iowa Hawkeye has a 2019 Rookie 5th Year Option. If Scherff truly wants to be a Redskin long term, I see no reason why he wouldn’t accept a LTD in the realm of $10-$12 million per year. As Skins fans, we must just wait patiently though because these types of extensions usually happen closer to training camp and after the Draft. Stay tuned for the next B&G Report in which we break down all the Redskkns signings and trades!