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Jairus Byrd is due to become a free agent next year and the Redskins should consider making a move.
Brandon Meriweather was impressive during the first half of the 31-6 victory over Philadelphia, but that lone half only illustrated how much the team was lacking at safety.
Tanard Jackson was scheduled to start alongside Meriweather, but his promising preseason performances gave way to disappointment as he was suspended for yet another substance abuse violation.
Meriweather will remain on the roster for next year, but the pressure on him to perform rises even higher after such a promising start. The two-time Pro Bowler needs to return to this form immediately in order to justify his selection.
DeJon Gomes has been better this year, but relying on him, Madieu Williams and Reed Doughty to get the job done is risky at best. Williams redeemed himself slightly last week with a big hit to deny Dez Bryant a late touchdown, but his play this year has been poor.
Williams is weak in coverage and likes to play close to the line of scrimmage, so naturally he gets beat over the top a lot. Telling him he is not a linebacker by shouting at the television doesn’t seem to work, so other means are necessary.
Doughty isn’t a starter at NFL level and was never supposed to be. He has a similar style to Williams, which again makes him an easy target in space.
Ability in coverage is sorely lacking across the whole of the secondary, which is reflected in the yardage totals. Washington gives up 390.5 yards of total offense per game, of which 301.4 yards are through the air.
The lack of draft picks means Shanahan is limited with his options, but Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro would be a valuable addition to the roster. He’s versatile enough to play both safety positions and reads the play well, enabling him to get ahead of the offense and force interceptions.
If Shanahan elects to go elsewhere in the second round, free agency may be the answer here, excluding late-round gambles like Ray Ray Armstrong, of course.
Buffalo safety Jairus Byrd is a free agent next year, and if the Bills don’t make him their franchise player, the Redskins could make a move.
Byrd has had his struggles, but this season has marked the end of his development and the emergence of a real talent. Given the standard of the Bills defense, his play has been all the more impressive and he has four interceptions and three forced fumble so far this year, along with 50 tackles.
This year, we’ve seen that when the Redskins win the turnover battle, they win games. Their new offense has the ability to gloss over the defensive deficiencies, so an improvement in that area would immediately make them more threatening.