On the offensive side of the ball, Chris Chester has been a solid and durable right guard while Pierre Garcon is proving his worth over the past month.
On the defensive side of the ball, Barry Cofield and Stephen Bowen have fortified the defensive front three.
Mike Shanahan’s free agent targets, aren’t what the Redskins are used to. In years past, we could have expected Nnamdi Asomugha in a Redskins uniform as well as someone like Vincent Jackson. Shanny targets younger players who are under-the-radar.
They are athletes that haven’t peaked yet, but show high potential.
Going into the 2013 season, the Redskins have some holes to fill. Below is our free agent wish list.
After the Dolphins traded away Vontae Davis, Sean Smith became their number one cornerback. At 6’3", Smith is not your average defensive back.
Built like a safety, Smith has flashed Antonio Cromartie type of comparisons with his physicality and aggressiveness.
Signing Smith immediately pencils him as a starter, but here is where it could get complicated.
DeAngelo Hall is due a big signing bonus this offseason ($8 million) and given the Skins financial situation and Hall’s inconsistent play, it is highly unlikely they will honor his contract.
So there’s a few options: One is to release him. He’s obviously not the same dominant corner he once was in Atlanta and has been nuisance with his behavior.
The second option is to restructure his contract. He appears committed to being a Redskin and considers himself a leader.
Lastly, the Redskins coaching staff should entertain the idea of converting him to free safety. I trust his abilities as a tackler and putting him at safety can set him up to create turnovers, which is his specialty.
Hall is entering the second half of his career and transitioning to that position could prolong his career as well.
Goldson is going to want top dollar for his position and rightfully so. Given the Redskins recent strategy, I doubt they will be willing to pay Goldson that much, especially with the salary cap penalties.
On the other hand, there can be specific financial stipulations that could make this a possibility, where a back-loaded contract could potentially work.
He’s 28 so he should have some years ahead of him and already plays in an attacking 3-4 defense. That’s the main reason why I want Goldson. The Redskins are not going after the best player, they are going after the best player that fits their system.
Transitioning to a similar scheme could only make this easier for a ball-hawking safety like him.
At times, Rodgers-Cromartie has shown the ability to cover anyone. By contrast, he has succumbed to the Eagles disaster season and has been inconsistent in coverage.
Is there a way that the defense can have DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson and Rodgers-Cromartie? Financially it seems unrealistic to keep all three unless Hall takes a pay cut at the minimum.
Either way, there’s going to be a high demand for cornerbacks this offseason.
At 7-6, the Redskins are in a good position, however, they could be even in a better position if their secondary could help.
Continuity on the offensive line is imperative to any offense out there. The chemistry that is developed between linemen can take a long time to master.
Given the circumstances, Tyler Polumbus has done a good job. He’s effective as a run blocker, but has constantly struggled in pass protection.
An upgrade will be needed at right tackle, something long term too.
Phil Loadholt is one of the most respected right tackles in the league. He’s clearly been effective as a run blocker with the season Adrian Peterson is having and is more athletic than the mammoth Polumbus.
At 26-years-old, Loadholt will have plenty left in the tank for at least five years.
Vollmer has the higher ceiling in comparison to Phil Loadholt, however, injury woes have proven to be a concern during his tenure in New England.
With the season he’s currently having in New England, his asking price may be too high for the Redskins to gather interest.
If at all possible, this would be a significant upgrade over Polumbus.
I hate to break it to you Fred Davis, but you aren’t going to receive top dollar. After last year’s suspension and this year’s torn Achilles, your potential contract drastically reduced.
Despite those unfortunate circumstances for the talented tight end, this puts the Redskins in position to bring back Davis and further developing him in this offense.
Prior to his injury, Davis’ production as a blocker substantially improved and appeared to establish chemistry with his quarterback.
Logan Paulsen has filled in admirably since then, but he is not the long term answer at the position. Niles Paul who has flashed potential at times, still cannot be relied upon in a full-time duty and sadly Chris Cooley has been used primarily in goal line situations.
So with that said, this puts Fred Davis in a position to regain his starting role. Don’t expect the Redskins to break the bank for him, but at least include him in their future plans.
I’m not stupid; I know we won’t be able to afford Mike Wallace. Just hear me out for a second and let me go into my hypothetical rant.
Let’s say Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen decide to get rid of DeAngelo Hall’s contract so that will clear obvious cap space.
In addition to that, let’s release Josh Morgan. This isn’t a major indictment on Morgan either, but he’s never going to “wow” you with his performances. He hasn’t even topped 70 yards receiving in a game and only one touchdown catch on the season.
He’s like the Andrew Walter of the Redskins. (Walter is the complimentary receiver to Andre Johnson in Houston) Morgan is a blue collar type of receiver, who is a great downfield blocker and does all the little things.
If we can take Morgan off the books that will obviously clear more space for the front office to examine other possibilities.
The combination of Mike Wallace and Pierre Garcon split out wide with Robert Griffin III distributing them the ball is downright scary. At 26-years-old, Wallace is still in the prime of his career and gives the Redskins even more options vertically.
They could keep Santana Moss in limited duty where he has excelled this year and keep Leonard Hankerson and Aldrick Robinson for depth purposes.
I know this is a long shot, but if for some reason this can remain fiscally responsible how can the Redskins not entertain the idea?
Talented wide receivers like Wallace will be itching to play with a quarterback of Griffin’s caliber, where coming to DC can become more than just a payday.
The same can be applied for Hartline. Letting Josh Morgan go can put the Redskins in position to acquire a superior receiver.
Based on statistics alone, Hartline proves to be an upgrade. He’s 26 years old and has the body type of a possession-type receiver (6’2" and 199 lbs).
This signing clearly won’t be as outlandish, as Brian Hartline is not going to receive Mike Wallace type of money.
Either way, Hartline has improved in each of his four seasons in Miami and is the type of free agent that Mike Shanahan has coveted in the past.