Four Free Agents the Washington Redskins Should Consider Chasing
The Washington Redskins are still dealing with league-imposed cap sanctions and thus don't have much money to spend in free agency. The focus, instead, will likely be on re-signing some of their own key free agents, such as Rob Jackson, Fred Davis, Kory Lichtensteiger and Lorenzo Alexander, as well as wrapping up Brian Orakpo long term.
But with Washington's top positions of need in mind and financial restrictions noted, I've identified four impending free agents the 'Skins should consider trying to sign come March 12.
1. Gosder Cherilus (OT, Lions)
The Redskins need to continue to ramp up their pass protection, and Cherilus, whom the Lions might not be keeping him around, was the top-rated pass-blocking right tackle in the NFL last season, according to Pro Football Focus.
The 28-year-old is probably the best candidate to replace the underachieving Tyler Polumbus on the right side. And he could come at a reasonable price because there might be enough free-agent offensive tackles to water down the market a tad.
2. Chris Clemons (S, Dolphins)
Which position should take precedence in free agency?
The 'Skins won't be able to afford Jairus Byrd, and if they do land a starting right tackle like Cherilus they'll likely have trouble signing any other starting-caliber free agents. But a safety has to be their next priority, and Clemons is the type of player the Redskins need at that position.
He might not be a superstar, but the 2009 fifth-round pick started all 16 games for the Dolphins last season and has become a very reliable safety. Reliability is the key here. Washington needs a safety who is strong in coverage and won't make big gaffes. The 27-year-old Clemons is that kind of guy, and he's probably affordable.
It's not easy to get starting-caliber cornerbacks on the free-agent market without giving up an arm and a leg, but Toler might be flying under the radar a little bit. He's just the type of strong cover corner who can compete to steal reps from Cedric Griffin and Josh Wilson.
The 28-year-old former fourth-round pick was beaten on only 41.5 percent of the passes thrown his way in 2012, which was the best percentage in the league, per PFF. He's a bit of a risky signing because of his injury history, but that could give the 'Skins a chance to take advantage of a potential discount.
4. Victor Butler (OLB, Cowboys)
The Redskins could use a quality backup pass-rushing specialist behind Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan, and Butler would be perfect for that role. He's young and very talented, but he's flown under the radar backing up DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer in Dallas the last four years.
If the 'Boys let him walk while converting to a 3-4, the 'Skins should see if they can swoop the 25-year-old up while the rest of the league focuses on guys like Spencer, Israel Idonije and Paul Kruger.
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