The Washington Redskins may be in the sweepstakes for both Peyton Manning and Robert Griffin III at quarterback, but there is no greater need on their roster heading into the 2012 NFL season than at the wide receiver position. There is no better player to fill that hole on the free agent market than former New Orleans Saints superstar Marques Colston.
The Washington Post is reporting that the Redskins plan to pursue the elite receiver, amongst other high-profile receivers, when NFL free agency begins on March 13.
Colston, 28, has been a major contributor over the last six seasons in the Saints offense, and would be an impactful addition to an otherwise floundering Redskins receiving corps.
With Washington’s top receiver, long-time Redskin Santana Moss, on the wrong side of 30 with a poor 2011 season in the books, changes must be made. Here’s why Colston is easily the best fit for the Redskins and their lackluster receivers group.
While the Washington Redskins’ salary cap space has been cited as a reason for their ability to pick up the recently released Peyton Manning, their lack of cap woes will enable them to go after other targets, most notably, Marques Colston.
The Redskins are in desperate need of a big receiver to help their passing game, with or without Manning, and they have the cash to make it happen.
The same cannot be said for Colston’s former team, who have shown their refusal to deliver quarterback Drew Brees with the hefty deal he desires. If the Saints aren’t willing to give their franchise player what he wants, the likelihood of Colston getting the big contract he will demand appears much less likely.
With $36.5 million in cap space, owner Dan Snyder and the Redskins have the capabilities to make some large acquisitions this offseason. Colston would be a good place to start.
Whomever the Washington Redskins are able to acquire this offseason at the quarterback position, they must give him some targets to work with in order to be successful.
Heading into free agency, there is not a better player on the market than Marques Colston.
Santana Moss showing signs of age in a dismal 2011 campaign, posting just 544 receiving yards and four touchdowns in 12 games.
Since the Redskins have little to be optimistic about at the receiver position, adding Colston could infuse some youth and a talented spark to their offense.
At 6’4” and 225 pounds, Colston is a big, sure-handed receiver that opposing defenses are forced to game plan around. He has the speed and quickness to blow defenders off the line of scrimmage, and easily outsizes everyone down the field.
Colston’s ability will also open up opportunities for fellow receivers Moss, Anthony Armstrong and Jabar Gaffney, giving the Redskins quarterback all kinds of options.
In the past, Mike Shanahan’s teams have mostly been run-first teams. The Washington Redskins are very similar, utilizing a running back-by-committee much like Shanahan loved to use with the Denver Broncos.
Unfortunately, that ground game wasn’t quite as successful in 2011 as he would have liked. The Redskins finished ranked 25th in rushing yards, scoring just eight touchdowns on the ground.
Those struggles will be alleviated just by placing Marques Colston on the field. The possibility of a pass is much more likely when you have a guy spread out wide capable of catching eight passes a game.
Teams will be forced to keep an eye on Colston, enabling Roy Helu, Tim Hightower and Evan Royster more opportunities to run rampant on opposing defenses.
Marques Colston is one of the NFL’s best wide receivers. He demands attention on every play and has the ability to take the football to the house anytime it is in his hands.
In six seasons, Colston has recorded five seasons with 1,000 yards receiving or better—he played just 11 games in 2008.
In 2011, the Hofstra product caught 80 passes for 1,143 yards and eight touchdown. The Redskins, meanwhile, did not have a single player within the top 25 in receiving yards—Jabar Gaffney was 26th with 947 yards.
Colston has also tallied 48 touchdowns in his career, being a consistent red zone threat for Drew Brees and the Saints offense. That number is lesser than only two receivers since 2006—Greg Jennings and Calvin Johnson each have 49 touchdowns.
His presence on the field would be a big boost for the Redskins offense, giving opposing defenses something to worry about when they have the football in their hands.
The Redskins will try to score the talented free agent wide receiver this offseason. The addition would be a positive indication of things to come for Hog Nation.