The main objective of Washington’s offseason has been to keep as many pieces in place as it can, and the Redskins have done a pretty good job. The Redskins re-signed several key players from their 2012 team—guys like Darrel Young and Kedric Golston.
They made their biggest splash of the offseason with the signing of cornerback E.J. Biggers, an economic move that will prove to be beneficial down the road.
Given the abysmal history of the Redskins and big-name, free-agent signings, the cap penalties could be a blessing in disguise. The short leash that Washington has when it comes to free-agent spending has added up to a quiet, yet solid, offseason to date.
That is not to say that there hasn’t been plenty of setbacks, though.
There have been highlights, and there have been lowlights, but it has all added up to an interesting offseason for Washington so far.
Santana Moss reels in a big catch against the Seahawks.
Adam Carriker has been one of the better Redskins defenders since he was signed by the team in 2010.
After missing the majority of 2012 with injury, Carriker was set to count about $4.75 million against the cap, but restructured his contract about a week ago as the Redskins work through their cap-room struggles.
Carriker wasn't the only one to restructure his deal as wide receiver Santana Moss also re-worked his contract with Washington.
These moves are smart for many reasons; one of which being that Washington now has more breathing room when it comes to free agency. They still cannot go out and sign players to huge contracts; however they can now work in manageable contracts with guys who fill a need.
The Redskins have a little more room to flirt with free agents, and they are certainly doing so. Aside from Fred Davis, Washington is set to meet with (per Mike Jones of The Washington Post) cornerback Antoine Winfield on Wednesday, a player who would benefit the team greatly.
Restructuring a couple of contracts certainly won’t solve everything for the Redskins, but it opens doors that wouldn’t otherwise be there.
Lichtensteiger prepares to block for RG3 and Co.
The 27-year-old lineman surely wasn’t a terrible player in 2012, but only time will tell whether it was a smart move to lock him up on a multi-year deal or not.
Washington spent a third round pick on guard Josh LeRibeus in last year’s draft and many thought he would get a chance to challenge Lichtensteiger for a starting spot. But, now, it’s not so likely.
It is understandable to want continuity on the offensive front, but this would have been a good, safe time to shake things up a bit. Inserting a younger, talented guy like LeRibeus into Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme may pay off sooner than later for the Skins.
Lichtensteiger is a good option; he just might not be the best option.
Rob Jackson eyes down Eli Manning as he goes in for the sack.
The five-year vet played rather well in place of Orakpo, having the best season of his career. While he is no Sam Huff, he is dependable. Jackson tallied 4.5 sacks last year along with four interceptions and 37 tackles.
On some level, he is a jack of all trades. He can pressure the quarterback, plays well against run and is competent in coverage.
Jackson certainly isn’t the best player on the Redskins defense, but is definitely a good insurance policy should another player go down with injury. At the very least, he is a solid rotational pass-rusher.
Hall walks off the field after the Redskins lose to the Seahawks during Wild Card Weekend.
DeAngelo Hall is an interesting case. There is no denying the decline he’s had in recent years, but Washington should have kept him on the team. Hall was disappointing in many instances last season, but compared to the other options the Redskins have, he’s pretty good.
Hall said he was willing to take a pay cut as he was set to count $8 million against the cap, but was released earlier this month.
Although he had an inconsistent season in 2012, he did improve down the stretch. Perhaps, his best game was the regular-season finale vs. the Dallas Cowboys in which he limited Dez Bryant to only four catches on eight targets and 71 yards.
While he is past his prime, Hall is still better than most of what the Redskins have on their roster. Depending on how things play out in the draft and during training camp, the Redskins may bring back Hall (per Brian Tinsman of Redskins.com) on a small, one-year contract if he is still available.
It’s not popular opinion, but keeping him on with a minimized contract would’ve been prudent of the Redskins, at least for one more year.
Hall was the fourth-leading tackler on the team in 2012, and his presence as a veteran was a definite aid for the younger guys in the locker room.
Biggers lays a hit on former Falcons running back Michael Turner.
E.J. Biggers spent his first three seasons in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was one of their most consistent defensive players. Biggers will surely boost a weak and inexperienced Redskins secondary.
The risk-reward with the former Buc is definitely favorable; At best, he will be a solid player across from Josh Wilson; at worst, he’ll be a pretty good nickel corner. At 25 years of age, Biggers is a young guy who is quickly approaching his prime.
He not only keeps with Shanahan’s youth movement but also has the potential to develop into a pretty good starter for the Burgundy and Gold.
While he is not much of a ball-hawk, he is a sound tackler and solid in run support. In fact, Biggers has had more tackles (145) in the past three years than the incumbent Wilson (139).
This isn’t the sexiest free-agent corner that Washington could have signed, but he is definitely a quality pickup.
Lorenzo Alexander pumps up the crowd.
The “One Man Gang” Lorenzo Alexander has been one of the pillars of the Redskins defensive and special teams units for years.
Alexander was very well-respected by his now ex-teammates and also players around the league. He is the consummate professional and was a veteran leader for the Redskins. Alexander has also played almost every position on the defensive front for the Skins, from defensive tackle to middle linebacker.
He was even voted to this past Pro Bowl following his best year statistically in 2012 (47 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and a fumble recovery).
Signing him to a respectable contract given Washington’s cap restraints would have been tough but doable.
Shanahan and general manager Bruce Allen are usually against restructuring contracts in order to re-sign a player, but this would’ve been a good time to make an exception.