Welcome back to The B&G Report! The official start to the league year is less than a day away! The Redskins have more than a few holes they must fill. I’ve always been a believer that you build your team through the Draft, but key pieces can be found in Free Agency as well. Since Bruce Allen came aboard, the team has not been big spenders in Free Agency compared to years past. DeseanJackson and Josh Norman were exceptions, based on how late their respective teams released them. In those cases, bidding wars did not took place and Allen has made it clear he will not get involved with those types of FA’s. I’m expecting an approach similar to last year and maybe one big splash signing. The Redskins started the domino effect, by trading for Chiefs QB Alex Smith. Now multiple teams, most notably the Cleveland Browns, have made multiple trades before the new league year even started! In my opinion, trading for Alex Smith is a low risk, high reward move. The only issue I had with the trade was including Nickel CB Kendall Fuller in the transaction.
The big contract Free Agency contracts will be signed within the first few hours of Free Agency. Who are we kidding about this whole “Legal Tampering Period”! Per NFL rules, agents can talk to to teams, but no contracts can be agreed upon until March 14th. As fans we all know that’s not how it works and contract details are already being leaked at this time. I’ll go through a few Free Agents of note, as well as the Redskins FA’s to be and possible trades. Let’s get to it!
Resigning Our Own Free Agents
Zach Brown– In my mind Brown is the Redskins #1 FA that’s needs to be brought back. Reports state he was offered a contract in January, but he didn’t respond due to his desire to test Free Agency. Letting Brown test the waters is a calculated risk, but if he sees the market is limited for his desired pay day, then maybe he accepts the Skins offer. Football Analysts believe Brown will experience the same issues, that he dealt with in last years Free Agency period. He’s an ultra competitive Inside Linebacker, who’s a ferocious hitter, but has major deficiencies in pass coverage. Most teams won’t pay the type of Top 3 ILB money that Brown is reportedly seeking, which is $10 + million a year. Fingers crossed he comes back to the Skins Brass and accepts the offer, but teams like Cleveland and the Jets have money to burn and need a tone setting ILB.
Will Compton– Let him walk, he’s not a startIng caliber ILB at this point. They need more speed/athleticism from the position. Players like Maryrell Spaight have made Compton expendable as a backup.
Bashaud Breeland– Will cost $8-$12 million a year and both parties need a change of scenery. The Skins extended Dunbar and have high hopes for Moreau and Holsey. A second tier FA would cost far less and the Draft is another option. After trading away Fuller, a FA and a drafted CB might be their play.
Junior Galette– I really like Galette, but I feel he’s another player that might have priced himself out of the Skins budget. At this point Junior is a third down pass rush specialist, rumor is the KC Chiefs have him in their sites for $6- $8 + million per year. Personally I’d pay that if Brown walks because Galette impacts the most important down in football, which of course is Third Down!
Trent Murphy-Coming of a knee injury as well as a 4 game PED Suspension. Some fans including me thought we could resign Trent on the cheap, but word is at least 5-6 teams have interest in the former second rounder. Also early indications are he’ll demand $5-$7 million a year. I’d rather the Skins use that money to extend Preston Smith because I see a a big year ahead with more D-line upgrades on the horizon.
Ryan Grant– Gruden’s Player Crush, enough with this guy already! I do admire his blocking ability, but the same caliber receiver can be found in the Draft’s Late Rounds.
Spencer Long G/C- Resigning Long seems like a no brainer. The Redskkns currently have no depth to speak of at Guard/Center and Long plays both positions. Word is he wants to stick to playing Center, but second year Center Chase Roullier seems to have locked down the starting position for now. I would offer Long $5-$6 million a year deal, which includes at least $2 million in playing time incentives. Otherwise I’m comfortable with the Redskins finding their next starting Left Guard in the Draft
Possible Offensive Free Agent Targets
Allen Robinson JAX WR- Robinson is an intriguing prospect. He registered over 2000 yards receiving in his first two seasons in JAX, before tearing is ACL in Week 1 of the 2017 season. Based on the time table of his injury and recovery, Robinson should be available by OTA’s. He should draw a ton of interest and a possible bidding war. Allen and the Skins will not particpate, so he will not be a Redskin.
******UPDATE***************Robinson Intends to sign with Bears per reports
Paul Richardson WR Seattle– I’m a Richardson fan and at only 26 the speedster would be a good fit in Washington. He can play multiple receiver positions and not just the slot, like some fans seem to believe based on his size. He’s got great speed and athleticism. He’s a plug and play across from Josh Doctson and could also contribute as a returner. He had a chance to be really good with Alex Smith as his potential QB. Reports are he could demand close to $10 million a year, so he could price himself out of the Redskins plans early on unless they go all in.
****UPDATE *****************The Redskins and Richardson have agreed to a 5 Year 40 million Deal with $20 million in guaranteed money
Albert Wilson KC WR– Wilson is my Top FA target for the Redskins on offense! His familiarity with Alex Smith can not be understated. His claim to fame is his speed and ability to find open seems on the sidelines. He should come relatively cheap considering he was the Chiefs 4th-5th receiving option in 2017, but still registered over 500 yards receiving. Wilson is also a plug & play Special Teams Returner as well.
****UPDATE ***************Signing with Dolphins
Taylor Gabriel WR ATL– Gabriel could be the speedster that Alex Smith needs and play the role of the full time Skins Kick/Punt Returner, helping to stop the return woes in D.C. at only 5’8 165, that could be asking too much though. I’d be on board with Gabriel if they fail to land Wilson or Richardson.
Dion Lewis RB NE– Chris Cooley fromThe Team 980 has been promoting Lewis as a good fit in Gruden’s offense. After watching tape I tend to agree, but I think the best route for the Redskins is to Draft a back. This year is extremely deep at the position and another FA RB is not the answer in The Nations Capital.
Isiah Crowell RB CLEV– Again I’m a proponent of fixing the Skins run game issues with a Draft pick, but Crowell is only 25 years old with minimal wear & tear. I like what he could bring to the Skins backfield though, but I just think he’s comparable to current Skins back Samaje Perine and they need a more versatile back
Zach Fulton G/C KC- Fulton isn’t an houshould name, but he really stepped up when the injury bug hit KC last year. Fulton played at a high level at Guard, as well as Center. At only 26 his best years are ahead of him. He would be a valuable addition, considering his working relationship with new Redskins QB Alex Smith, which can’t be understated. I doubt KC let’s him walk, but if I’m Washington I’d make a strong push to sign him or former Giant T/G Justin Pugh.
Justin Pugh T/G Giants-Above I previously mentioned the former Syracuse Tackle. It was quickly realized that his best fit in the NFL would be at Guard. As previously mentioned, I’m a fan of Pugh and he is in my Top Free Agent priority list. Pugh should be in the $5-$6 million dollar range and the Redskins need to jump at the chance to sign the former Giant.
Tyler Eifert TE CIN– Reports have surfaced that the former Bengal Tight End, could be a target of his former Offensive Coordinator Jay Gruden. His history of back issues makes this an emphatic NO!
Possible Defensive Free Agents Targets
Muhammad Wilkerson DT Jets– Wilkerson is an intriguing prospect and I was high on him a few years ago, before he signed his long term deal and went all Fat Al in NY! Since then however, reports have surfaced that the former Temple product showed up late to meetings and walk throughs, which led to his benching towards the end of the 2017 season. Reports state that Mo arrived in D.C. last night and is due to have a walk through at Redskins Park today. I do believe Defensive Line Coach Jim Tomsula could get the best out of Wilkerson, but I’m against the signing if it breaks the bank, in the $8-$10 million dollar a year range.
Dontario Poe DT ATL– I really like Poe’s burst to the ball and strength. He even scored a few TD’s in KC a few years ago, as a goal line back. I do believe he’s looking to get a huge contract though, after playing on a one year $8 million deal last year. This is the deepest Draft in years in regards to D-line prospects and they simply can’t pay big money to another Free Agent DT.
Ndamukong Suh DT MIA– I felt I had to bring Suh up, simply based on so many fans clamoring to sign the former “Stomp Artist”. I’m sorry, but I just see too many similarities to Albert Haynesworth. The fact that he’s a 4-3 DT is the first warning sign. I’ll say it again, this Draft is where the Skins should and will find their next DT/NT.
Benson Mayowa DE/OLB DAL– Honestly Mayowa would have never been on the B&G Report Radar, if it wasn’t for his scheduled visit to Redskins Park today. If they sign him to a CAP friendly deal as a rotational player, I could get on board, but not $5 million plus a year. From my limited research he was a DE ,who rarely played with his hand off the ground, the Skins don’t need another pass rusher who’s played DE in the NFL. I’ll go on the record, that I don’t like any of the FA Outside Linebackers on the market and the Skins should use the Draft, but not their early round picks to find one. They’ve shown that they tend to reach on pass rushers, instead of developing them in house. Most fans have already given up on OLB Ryan Anderson, I for one love his fire and hope he gets more snaps to show what he can do, but rumor is he might switch to ILB.
Trumaine Johnson CB LA RAMS– Many Redskins fans believe the Skins should release/Trade Josh Norman and give the big money to the younger Johnson. I’m just not as down as others are on Norman, I believe we need to utilize the in house candidates at the position.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie CBGiants– DRC wasn’t on The B&G Report Radar what so ever, but he’s visiting Redskins Park today. At 32 years old, there is reason for pause. His age goes against the youth movement in D.C. Although DRC had no interceptions last year, he had six in 2016. Bottom line, if DRC will take a friendly “get back at NY” type of CAP friendly 1 year deal, I’d bring him aboard and let him compete.
Malcolm Butler DB NE– After being demoted in the Patriots Super Bowl loss, there is reason to believe that Butler is no longer the playmaker he once was. I know this is what the patriots do when their own players are due a big pay day(Chandler Jones traded to ARZ), but I just don’t believe Butler would make any meaningful contributions going forward. He was a good story, snagging the Super Bowl winning goal line interception a few years ago, but I think he’s overrated and not a fit in D.C.
Tyrann “The Honey Badger” Mathieu CB ARI– After the Alex Smith trade, it seemed that the Redskins would most likely be done until the FA and the Draft. Well recent news has come out that the Arizona Cardinals, want Mathieu to take a significant pay cut. Cardinals GM Steve Keim is apparently not keen on paying big money to safeties and The HoneyBadger could be a cut as a result. This is a rare opportunity to throw a fishing line out and see what happens. If I’m Redskins, I offer the Cardinals Sua Cravens + a ‘17 4th Round & ‘19 Draft picks for the former LSU Tiger. I believe they’ll seek a 1st/2nd pick this year if they decide to move on from the talented DB. As Skins fans we can only hope they see this as a golden opportunity and make s move.
Thanks for checking out The B&G Report and stay Tuned because the fiery pace of Free Agents will continue!