The Washington Redskins have made strides this offseason in an effort to hopefully bounce back from a difficult 2013 season.
In free agency, they signed receivers DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts, defensive end Jason Hatcher, linebackers Darryl Sharpton and Akeem Jordan as well as safety Ryan Clark. And in the draft, the team added another talented linebacker in Trent Murphy, some offensive line help in the way of Morgan Moses and Spencer Long, as well as change-of-pace back Lache Seastrunk.
While the team has also lost some players this offseason (London Fletcher, Nick Barnett, Fred Davis and Reed Doughty headline the list), the Redskins roster certainly looks deeper and more well-rounded than it did at this point last offseason. But in the always-competitive NFC East, could Washington look to make one more move that could put them over the top?
As the Houston Chronicle's Brian T. Smith reported (via CBSSports.com's John Breech), veteran Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson has expressed his discontent with the current state of his team, and despite his captain status, he didn't show up at the team's voluntary workouts last week.
While Johnson is certainly one of the Texans' most marketable and talented players at this point, he also won't be a huge contributor next season if the team can't sort out its quarterback situation. Houston elected not to take a quarterback in the first round of last week's draft and ultimately waited until the fourth round to do so when they selected Pittsburgh's Tom Savage.
So while he is one of their best players, it's certainly logical that the Texans could look to deal Johnson in an effort to move some salary and acquire more young talent. And the Redskins might have exactly what Houston is looking for.
Other than 2013 first-round pick DeAndre Hopkins, the Texans don't have much in the way of quality young receivers outside of Johnson. The Redskins, on the other hand, have the likes of Andre Roberts, Aldrick Robinson and Leonard Hankerson that are all expendable, with Jackson and Pierre Garcon figuring to be Washington's starting two receivers.
While Washington would lose some depth, they'd also be bringing a receiver back in Johnson, giving the Redskins one of the best (if not the best) groups of receivers in the league.
Washington also has backup quarterback Kirk Cousins that they could potentially move in a deal for Johnson, which would go a long way in solving Houston's quarterback situation. Cousins will be 26 when the 2014 season begins and, despite his backup status, has performed admirably in the action he's seen during his two seasons in Washington.
On Dec. 15 of last year, Cousins threw for 381 yards and three touchdowns against the Atlanta Falcons, demonstrating to all 32 teams that he can be a capable starter when given the opportunity.
According to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, the Redskins reportedly turned down an offer from the Cleveland Browns that would have sent Cousins to Cleveland in exchange for a fourth-round pick, signaling that they're obviously not desperate to move the quarterback. However, the opportunity to acquire a veteran playmaker like Johnson would surely prove far more tempting for Bruce Allen and company than a fourth-round pick.
Between Cousins, the Redskins' receiving depth and future draft picks, Washington certainly has the necessary chips to go out and acquire Johnson. Doing so would give the team an elite core of receivers and would add a much more physical receiver to what is currently a speed-reliant passing attack.
As Robert Griffin III goes into his third year, it's time for him to establish himself as one of the top quarterbacks in the game, and the Redskins need to give him every opportunity to do so. What better way than by acquiring the best potentially available receiver on the market?
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