The Washington Redskins entered the 2013 free-agency period with a certain expectation for loss. With another $18 million of lost cap space, the team was pressed for cash and would be forced to part ways with notable starters.
Miraculously, the Redskins' front office has done an underrated job of keeping a significant portion of the team's free agents. Players like Kedric Golston, Rob Jackson and Darrel Young were re-signed despite the salary-cap concerns, and the Redskins also managed to add outside talent in offensive tackle Jeremy Trueblood and cornerback E.J. Biggers.
Nevertheless, the offseason gods demanded sacrifice from the burgundy and gold and some hometown favorites are no longer present. Here, we will discuss three offseason losses that will hurt the Redskins the most in 2013. Keep in mind throughout this piece that some players are still free agents and others may be re-signed.
Lorenzo Alexander is far and away the biggest loss for the Redskins at this point in the offseason. After six years of service with Washington, Alexander signed a three-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals. While Alexander was not a consistent starter on defense, the Redskins fanbase knows how much this loss will be felt.
Alexander was the consistent unsung hero in Washington, filling in at any position and always dominating on special teams. He was finally recognized in 2012 and received an invitation to the Pro Bowl as a special teams player. Without Alexander, the Redskins defense becomes significantly more shallow.
Hall is one of the most polarizing players from the Washington defense after receiving a monster contract the same year as Albert Haynesworth. Hall’s coverage skills have been up and down ever since that signing, and it was clear that the former Virginia Tech standout was overpaid. With a scheduled base salary of $7.5 million due in 2013, the Redskins cut Hall and brought in E.J. Biggers.
Despite the massive contract, DeAngelo Hall was the best corner on the Redskins' roster in 2012. His play was hardly consistent, but in big moments, Hall stepped up with top-flight coverage ability (see Week 17 against Dallas). If Hall is not re-signed, the Redskins' secondary will need to be filled with players through the draft if they hope to not fall further.
Madieu Williams is not the first name that comes to mind for players that will be missed in Washington, but the Redskins' secondary is in no place to be picky. Williams delivered the most reliable safety play for the Redskins with Tanard Jackson’s suspension and Brandon Meriweather’s injury.
In 2012, Williams was one of the unheralded standouts, delivering 99 tackles, six passes defended and one interception. Heading into the 2013 season, it is clear that the Redskins will need to address the safety position in the NFL draft. In either case, without an immediate upgrade at safety, the loss of Madieu Williams will be felt by the Washington secondary.