Best Offensive Free Agents the Cash-Strapped Washington Redskins Should Consider
Despite a sterling 2012 season that saw the Washington Redskins finish fourth in points and fifth in yards, they could still use help on offense.
Particular positions of concern are right tackle and tight end. This is due to poor play from the incumbents, or pending free agency issues.
There are a number of intriguing, low-coast options on the free agent market for the cash-strapped Redskins to consider. Here are the best five.
5. Jared Cook, TE, Tennessee Titans
Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports
Jared Cook is a hugely underrated player who could produce big plays from a position that suffered in the absence of Fred Davis. Cook has been severely underused by the Tennessee Titans, but could perfectly fit Mike and Kyle Shanahan's offense.
The 25-year-old is tall and fleet-footed, possessing the ability to truly stretch the field. The 6'5", 248-pounder would thrive running the crossing patterns the Shanahans design for their tight ends.
With Davis coming back from injury and set to hit the open market, the Redskins need a dynamic receiver at the position. Cook would be the smartest choice.
4. Ryan Harris, OT, Houston Texans
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images
It was surprising that Mike Shanahan didn't acquire Ryan Harris last offseason. After all, he drafted the player while with the Denver Broncos and knows how effective he can be in a zone-blocking system.
The Redskins also have a major need at right tackle. Jammal Brown has been a disaster since arriving in 2010. Tyler Polumbus has filled in, but doesn't inspire a great deal of confidence as a long-term option.
Harris has had his share of injury problems. But when healthy, he is a savvy and nimble-footed blocker. With both the Broncos and Houston Texans, he played in the same scheme the Redskins run.
The Redskins should gamble on Harris and finally solve their issues at a long-standing problem position.
3. Justin Forsett, RB, Houston Texans
Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images
Unless they are prepared to gamble on the fitness of Roy Helu Jr., the Redskins need another running back. Justin Forsett could be a worthy option to consider.
He spent the 2012 season with the Houston Texans in the same zone-running game the Redskins use. He gained 374 yards on 63 carries while backing up the prolific Arian Foster.
Forsett's 5.9-yard average per carry shows he know how to excel in the system. At only 5'8" and 194 pounds, he has the kind speed that could provide a nice complement to the power of Alfred Morris.
The Redskins currently only have Evan Royster as depth at running back. They must guard against a dip in performance from Morris in his second season and boost a thin rotation at the most important position on their offense.
2. Kevin Boothe, G/T, New York Giants
Al Bello/Getty Images
Versatile enough to play tackle or either guard position, Kevin Boothe would be a useful addition to the Redskins. He would bring more size along the interior, but is still mobile enough to get out into space and attack the second level of a defense.
Boothe's presence could help improve pass protection along Washington's offensive front. Thanks to the running threat of Alfred Morris and Robert Griffin III off the read option, the Redskins' line was rarely tested in straight pass-rush situations.
Signing Boothe would be cost-effective way of curing those ills. He has steadily refined his craft with the New York Giants and was a 16-game starter for Big Blue in 2012.
Left guard Kory Lichtensteiger is set to test free agency and rarely manages to play a full season injury free. Depth is also sparse, so a player as versatile as Boothe could make a real difference in 2013.
1. Devery Henderson, WR, New Orleans Saints
USA TODAY Sports
If Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen seek a bargain buy at wide receiver, they won't do better than Devery Henderson. The experienced New Orleans Saints pass-catcher boasts the size and speed Shanahan loves at the position.
2012 was a bit of a down year for the quick 30-year-old. He only hauled in 22 catches for 316 yards and a single touchdown.
However, Henderson can still stretch the field as well as anyone. That's a valuable trait in the Redskins' vertical-based, play-action passing attack.
The aging Santana Moss is carrying a high cap figure, while youngster Leonard Hankerson remains maddeningly inconsistent.
Nominal starters Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan battled injuries during their debut seasons in D.C. Adding a receiver as capable as Henderson would be a smart move.
The more weapons at receiver to start 2013, the better equipped the Redskins will be to defend their division crown.