Players the Redskins Must Re-Sign This Offseason
Expect a vanilla offseason for the Redskins, where Mike Shanahan will have his young team ready to continue to develop as winners, and of course pay close attention to Robert Griffin III’s recovery.
Despite having an anti-climatic offseason, the Redskins' front office is still going to have some tough decisions to make.
Are they going to revamp the safety positions? Will veterans like Santana Moss, DeAngelo Hall and London Fletcher return?
Will second or third year players like Niles Paul, Maurice Hurt, Aldrick Robinson and Josh LeRibeus become starters?
Lastly, Mike Shanahan and company need to make evaluations on their pending free agents. Below are those specific players that need to be retained.
A player of Alexander’s caliber is hard to come by. He has done everything that has been asked of him and then some.
He has played offensive line, defensive tackle and outside and inside linebacker, while also becoming one of the best special teams players in the NFL.
Lorenzo is due to be a free agent this offseason. As beloved as Alexander is amongst his teammates, coaches and fans, Alexander’s role in Washington does not include being a regular starter.
Given Alexander’s work ethic and versatility, he deserves to be a starter somewhere in this league. However, his value on this team is far more than just statistics.
Mike Shanahan and General Manager Bruce Allen need to find a way to keep Alexander a Redskin for the duration of his career.
Re-signing Lorenzo Alexander should be a top priority for the organization, and assuming he’s not asking for a hefty contract, this shouldn’t be a major issue.
After Davis’ Achilles injury in New York, the offense continued to roll without relying on a productive tight end for the rest of the season.
That being said, Fred Davis is a complete player. He’s got great hands, a reliable target in the red zone and familiarity with the offense. He has also tremendously improved as a blocker.
With the combination of last year’s suspension and this year’s injury, Fred’s price tag is not going to be high.
Re-signing Fred Davis to a moderate contract (something like three years for $12 million) gives Robert Griffin an extra weapon in his arsenal and finally gives Davis the opportunity to be the Pro Bowl tight end that he’s capable of being.
Because he is one of the longest tenured Redskins on the team, re-signing Kedric Golston goes beyond his productivity as a rotational defensive end. He’s another leader on this team.
He’s well-respected amongst his peers and coaches and can contribute on special teams, too. Experienced reserves like Golston can get the defense out of a jam in case of injuries.
Giving Golston one more year in Washington gives the Redskins solid depth at the defensive end position in Stephen Bowen, Adam Carriker, Jarvis Jenkins and Kedric Golston.
With that combination, you have two ends that are that good at rushing the passer (Bowen and Carriker) and two players who are effective against the run (Jenkins and Golston).
This is the biggest debate of the offseason. What do we do with Rob Jackson?
During the Redskins' stretch run, it can be argued that Rob Jackson was the biggest playmaker on the defense. Whether it was his timely interceptions or sacks, Jackson became an integral part of Jim Haslett’s defense.
I’ve stated this before in previous articles, but here’s what we should do: Let’s find a way to incorporate all of our talented linebackers.
On third downs, Jim Haslett can mix in a 1-5-5 formation with Barry Cofield as the one down lineman and use five linebackers scattered throughout the line of scrimmage (Rob Jackson, Perry Riley, London Fletcher, Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan).
This will confuse the quarterback and also still gives our nickel corner to get on the field. Mixing up blitzes and stunts will only add to the confusion.
However, similar to Lorenzo Alexander, Rob Jackson deserves to look for a place to become a regular starter. Either way, his value in Washington is greater than anywhere else.
Even though Robert Griffin has stated that he will be ready for Week 1 of the 2013 season, the Redskins still need to plan for Kirk Cousins as the starting quarterback to begin with.
So if Griffin starts the season on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list, then Kirk Cousins needs to get as many reps with the first team as possible.
That’s where Rex Grossman comes in. Given our injury woes at quarterback, we’re going to need a third one anyways.
Despite Grossman’s erratic play, he’s clearly familiar with the offense and has plenty of experience to share with Kirk Cousins.
Of course, Grossman’s contract won’t be anything major, just another one-year deal to keep with the organization.
While you have to root for a player like Logan Paulsen, realistically he is not the answer at tight end. He’s best suited as a blocker or as a player to be used rotationally.
Given the Redskins' run-heavy offense, he’s still highly valued.
Paulsen is due to become a restricted free agent. That being the case, other teams throughout the league will not be interested in providing compensation for his services.