Ranking the 2014 Impact of Redskins' Free Agent Signings So Far
Free agency isn't over yet, but the Washington Redskins have made their fair share of moves in an attempt to improve a 3-13 roster from a season ago.
While the recent signings in Washington haven't necessarily been headline material, they appear to be quiet steps in the right direction, ones that might spawn fan optimism for the remainder of the offseason.
Here's a look at the top free-agency additions for the Redskins so far.
8. Tracy Porter
The Redskins needed help throughout their secondary, and Tracy Porter is an inexpensive addition to help fill the void left by free agent Josh Wilson.
While Porter's 2013 season wasn't anything worthy of praise, the 27-year-old brings valuable experience and the ability to play over the slot, allowing veteran DeAngelo Hall and sophomore David Amerson to control the outside.
7. Brandon Meriweather
Sexy? No. But fitting? Yes.
With top safety prospects getting overly generous deals, and others seemingly choosing cities like Pittsburgh instead of Washington, the already-gaping hole at safety was growing more and more concerning for the Redskins.
Re-signing Brandon Meriweather might now be the team's best option before entering the draft.
While the criticism of Meriweather is warranted, Redskins fans can attest for his improved play toward the end of last season. Hopefully that play carries over into 2014, and Meriweather's experience in Jim Haslett's system makes for seamless plug and play.
6. Akeem Jordan
Following the end of last season, the Redskins had nothing more than the inexperienced Keenan Robinson at inside linebacker.
In addition to re-signing Perry Riley, the Redskins acquired a veteran inside 'backer in Akeem Jordan whose ability in pass coverage should help him compete for a starting spot in camp.
At the very least, the Redskins add a reliable special teams contributor and depth at linebacker.
5. Perry Riley
Before free agency began, when there was talk of Perry Riley possibly wanting a contract in the range of $7 million a year, re-signing the 25-year-old inside linebacker seemed like a bad buy. But given the Redskins were able to retain Riley on a fair, three-year deal worth $13 million, the team checks an offseason priority off the list without breaking the bank.
He may not be spectacular, but Riley fills a major role in the Redskins defense.
4. Shawn Lauvao
In need of an upgrade all along the offensive line, the Redskins added guard Shawn Lauvao in order to help shore up the interior. And since his signing, the Redskins have released center Will Montgomery and expressed interest in either moving guard Kory Lichtensteiger to center, or adding a new name to man the middle.
The 26-year-old Lauvao didn't come to Washington with much hype, but he's a big body (6'3", 315 lbs) with good years ahead of him and was clearly well regarded by the Redskins brass.
3. Jason Hatcher
Arguably the most exciting signing for the Redskins so far has been defensive end Jason Hatcher.
Despite turning 32 in July, Hatcher is coming off an 11-sack season and has put together a productive career during his previous eight years with the Dallas Cowboys. At 6'6", 300 pounds, Hatcher is an imposing figure on the edge and should have no trouble earning a starting spot at defensive end.
In addition to wins and big plays on both sides of the ball last season, the Redskins also lacked a pass rush. Although his 11 sacks last year came while playing in a 4-3, Hatcher's natural pass-rushing ability and the Redskins' plans to move to a one-gap scheme should pair nicely to increase pressure up front.
2. Andre Roberts
In contention with Hatcher for the most exciting free-agent signing this offseason would be Andre Roberts, with the receiver earning the nod simply because he plays on the side of the ball that should be Washington's most exciting unit.
The Redskins desperately needed to improve their receiving corps and increase their team speed. Roberts meets both criteria, as he's a receiver who can do damage from the slot with his quickness and reliable hands. Yet he still is effective outside the numbers.
Surrounding Robert Griffin III with weapons is a requirement after what the team has invested in their franchise quarterback. Roberts is a piece of the plan, and he's inclined to have a productive season in 2014.
1. DeAngelo Hall
Based on an unofficial gauge on Twitter mentions, DeAngelo Hall's new contract in Washington didn't make much sense to those outside of the Redskins fanbase. But if you happen to root for the burgundy and gold and tune in regularly, you know that re-signing Hall—despite him turning 31 in November—was a great move.
In addition to Hall always reminding us that he wants to play in Washington, he fits the Redskins' defensive scheme, and his on-field performance is much better than advertised (or graded, depending on what site you read). He's always the guy responsible for covering the opposition's best wideout; he brings a fiery attitude to the field, and he's a proven playmaker—all of which is needed on this team.
Re-signing Hall was a no-brainer for the Redskins and the best fit they've achieved all offseason. If history is any indication, Hall's good for at least four interceptions and a score in 2014.
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