Redskins Rumors: Analyzing Hottest Reports from Beginning of the New NFL Year

John RozumCorrespondent IMarch 13, 2013

Oct 7, 2012; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins linebacker Lorenzo Alexander (97) on the bench against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half at FedEX Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

With NFL free agency now at full go, the Washington Redskins will be an interesting team to watch after winning the NFC East in 2012.

We know the offense can score, but what about the defense?

Needing to field better coverage and stuff more consistently against the run, Washington won't make a Super Bowl run until the defense improves: Despite averaging 27.3 points per game, the Redskins also allowed an average of 24.3.

Unsurprisingly, the following reports involve the defensive side.


DeAngelo Hall Released

This was not surprising. DeAngelo Hall may have defended 14 passes, recorded four picks and made 95 tackles last season, but he wasn't dominant in man-to-man.

So, Hall was released according to Mike Jones of the Washington Post:

That was a key reason why the Redskins allowed 31 passing touchdowns and a 61.8 completion percentage. Too many yards were allowed after the catch and the Redskins then couldn't disguise coverage at a consistent rate.

As a result, expect Washington to try and upgrade its secondary via free agency or the draft. Talented depth is needed, and one of those also may occur before March concludes.


Aqib Talib

Mike Garafolo of USA Today reported on Monday of Washington's interest in Aqib Talib:

The Washington Redskins have expressed an interest in Talib and will be making a push to sign the New England Patriots' cornerback if and when he becomes available on Tuesday, according to a person informed of the negotiations between the sides.

This is a smart idea by the Redskins as Talib brings the size capable of jamming receivers at the line and walling off in zone.

His field awareness can also allow for occasional contributions at safety when needed. The ultimate result will be forcing more punts by getting off the field on third down—the Redskins ranked No. 32 in allowing a 44.2 third-down conversion rate.

There's also a link to the team as Mark Maske of the Washington Post wrote:

Talib has a connection to the Redskins because he formerly played for secondary coach Raheem Morris with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Chemistry between a coach and player never hurts, and especially since the Redskins ranked No. 30 in pass defense last season.


Lorenzo Alexander

Lorenzo Alexander brings experience and decent production to Washington.

He logged 47 tackles and 2.5 sacks in 2012 and also possesses impressive versatility. Also, coach Mike Shanahan stated via Mike Jones of the Washington Post:

Presenting the size and athleticism to line up as an outside or inside 'backer, Alexander's mobility will pay dividends. He's also only turning 30 years old before the season and has plenty left in the tank to contribute.

Washington needs experience on defense, and after struggling with consistency against the run and pass, retaining Lorenzo would be key.