News just broke out that the Washington Redskins have just released defensive lineman Adam Carriker and punter Sav Rocca. Carriker was battling injuries during his tenure with the Redskins and never saw the field that much, while Rocca was a big disappointment at punter. This was the first big step for the Redskins towards the time of free agency. The other one was franchise tag Brian Orakpo for next season. Keeping him on the team was a major priority for Washington and now that it has been taken care of, they can focus on other issues at hand. As a die-hard Redskins fan, I am very intrigued with what they do during the offseason to make their team better. They are obviously moving in a different direction with new head coach Jay Gruden at the helm, so all fans can do is wait and see. Before the free agent market hits, let’s look at some needs for the Redskins this offseason:
Quarterback: Kirk Cousins plans to be traded and wants to start for another team, but the Redskins won’t say for sure whether or not they will trade him. Knowing that Robert Griffin III is prone to injury, Washington needs to find a backup quarterback soon. Rex Grossman will be gone to free agency and the future is up in the air for Cousins. I think the Redskins should bring in a quarterback from free agency, someone with experience and does not plan to start. Personally, I think it would be really cool to see the Redskins sign Tim Tebow to help RG3 run the option! The question isn’t whether Washington will sign a free agent quarterback, it’s who.
Wide Receiver: Pierre Garcon broke the franchise-record for most receptions in a single season last year. However, you can’t win a championship with one great receiver (ask the Detroit Lions and the Arizona Cardinals). The Redskins need to draft a young player that will take some pressure off Garcon. The best option would be Brandin Cooks of Oregon State. He is crazy fast and can also be used as a great kick-returner (which is also something that Washington drastically needs). There’s also the big Kelvin Benjamin from Florida State. The Redskins could use a big possession receiver to draw coverage away from other players. The free agent market isn’t very deep in receivers, so if the Redskins do get another target for RG3 to throw to, it would be in the draft.
Offensive Line: The Redskins used to be known for having one of the greatest offensive lines in NFL history. Now, they are a joke. Trent Williams is the only good lineman they have. If I were in charge of the Redskins, I would cut the entire offensive line roster and start over. Sign guys like Rodger Saffold, Tyson Clabo, Travelle Wharton, Zane Beadles and maybe a guy like Jonathan Goodwin and then Washington would be set. The Redskins could also go into the draft and get a guy like David Yankey from Stanford. He could make big blocks in the run game and also do a good job of protecting a mobile quarterback like RG3. If the Redskins can protect RG3, then their offense will be in great shape.
Defensive Line: This isn’t a huge concern for the Redskins, but it’s still one of the main priorities on defense. With Carriker gone and Barry Cofield getting older, Washington is going to have to bulk up the run defense. Justin Tuck’s name keeps coming up, but the Redskins would have to spend a lot of money to get him. There’s also guys like Kevin Williams and Ryan Pickett to go after, but the Redskins will probably have a better chance of building their roster through the draft.
Cornerback and Safety: The Redskins secondary last year was just awful. The opponent’s wide receivers kept getting open on every single play. Josh Wilson was disappointing and Brandon Merriweather kept getting suspended and injured after every game. The Redskins will have to build this part of their game through the draft unless they get really lucky in the free agent market. Jairus Byrd and Vontae Davis are available, but will the Redskins have enough money to sign them while also filling other needs? This offseason must be planned out carefully, because if the Redskins go out and sign a big-time player in free agency, they won’t have enough money to sign another great player and the fans of Washington would have to wait another year for a great team. If I was Bruce Allen, I would get at least one superstar player in free agency and use the rest of the money to spend on promising draft picks.
Punter: Now that Rocca is gone, the Redskins could sign a much better replacement. Pat McAfee from the Indianapolis Colts would be a great pickup, but he’s probably the most expensive punter available. If the Redskins sign an undrafted free agent, they could save a ton of money, but also risk the fact that they just signed a horrible punter. I would play it safe and take someone who has proven to be worthy in the NFL as a good punter.
Well there you have it. The NFL offseason is a complicated task for most general managers. I feel sorry for Bruce Allen, because he is under a ton of pressure at Washington. He’s got to make sure he makes the right decisions and sign the right players. He also has to cut the right players and make sure he does not upset the chemistry of the team. I really hope the Redskins do well this offseason so that I can finally get a championship-winning team that I’ve been waiting for since 1991!