We're going to change this up for this edition of our round table. With defensive end Adam Carriker heading to unrestricted free agency off the back of a career best season in terms of sacks, I thought we should discuss the question facing the Washington Redskins, should we re-sign him?
UkRedskin: I absolutely want Carriker back. He was part of the best defensive line and front seven that we've had in years here in D.C. He wasn't as flashy as Bowen or even Cofield, but he still managed to rack up 34 total tackles and five and a half sacks from the 3-4 defensive end position. To put that in perspective, Houston Texans 3-4 defensive end Antonio Smith is in the Pro Bowl this week with 24 tackles and six and a half sacks. Carriker also takes some credit for Ryan Kerrigan's amazing rookie season. Carriker did his job inside, allowing Kerrigan one on one's on the outside against right tackles and occasionally tight ends. Why would you let that kind of production go?
Steve: Carriker as a 'sack artist' argument I think its been blown well out of proportion. Looking beyond the sacks Carriker managed just 2 QB hits and 7 pressures. To put that in context Stephen Bowen had twice as many of each category despite getting only 174 extra pass rushes. Further more Carriker beat up on weak offensive lines and disappeared the rest of the way. Carriker had 4.5 sacks in the first 8 games, but just 1 sack the rest of the way. I think considering the lack of hits and pressures (or track record of success), that Carriker is a major regression candidate. If you can resign him for about $2.5-3 million a season that is fine, but no way does he deserve $4-6 million a year.
Tiller: Carriker thinks he's due for that big contract, now that his play has dictated that he can contribute at a fairly high level, but wait.......................not so fast! This is no longer the Redskins way. There is no need to pay Carriker top dollar, when he's a slightly above average positional player at best. He doesn't have the athleticism, and pass rush skills that a guy like Bowen or even Cofield possess, and in my opinion, he has reached his NFL ceiling.
Ronnie: There are a lot of people on the fence with Carriker. Some say he will ask for a larger contract, some say they don't think he has room to improve. I, personally tend to agree with most of them. Although... Jarvis Jenkins is projected to return from a relatively serious injury. To throw Jenkins into the mix right away could be a recipe for disaster. That's where Carriker comes in. We know, in his four years in the league, what his capabilities are. He actually vastly improved on his ability to get to the QB (5.5 sacks in 2011, 1.5 in 2010). I think we need to hold on to Carriker (depending on the cost), and sort of ease Jarvis into the game. As a reminder, Jarvis has yet to play a regular season game at the pro-level. In my personal opinion, Carriker > Jarvis in terms of experience on the field. Don't get me wrong, Jarvis has the potential to be (and probably already is) a far better football player than Adam Carriker. But as for his experience on the field, he's only one step above a rookie. That's where I sway from everyone. I don't think it's a good idea to lose Carriker right now. Not until we are sure Jarvis' injury won't be hindering his play.
Parks: He's a guy I'd like to see stick around, to a certain extent. But Carriker has been very wishy-washy about staying in DC and I think he has one foot out the door. He is certainly a great asset to the DE rotation, but I have the feeling the big fella is going to be look for similar money to what we gave Stephen Bowen next year, and that's where I draw the line. Jarvis Jenkins will be coming back and we can likely find a comparable member to add to the rotation via free agency or the draft at a lesser price. I could be wrong, and I hope I am. Carriker may want to stay with Haslett, who basically resurrected his careeer. But I have a feeling that Carriker and his agent will look to capitalize from a career year and he will be heading elsewhere.
Steve: Carriker is a decent backup or rotational player, but shouldn't be a key target for the Redskins to resign this offseason. He's a player who is really limited to LE on a 3-4 defense, which gives him very limited versatility. With Jarvis Jenkins coming back the Redskins should want a primary back-up be able to help out at RE or NT in the 3-4, and either DT or DE in their 4 man sets. I think this puts Carriker at a distinct disadvantage, and why the Redskins should look else where. This is a strong Free agent and Draft class (throughout the draft) for the type of players the Redskins are looking for, so if Washington is going to spend resources I'd rather them do it on one of those areas.
Kevin: While some fools are advocating to move on from Carriker, I simply cannot buy into this realm. It's like the anti-Vinny. We need continuity dammit. 3-4 DEs do not grow on trees, and the fact that Carriker knows this system extremely well makes a big difference. Look at the Giants. Depth at DLine is crucial. We simply cannot throw away Carriker and assume Jenkins and some other free agent can hold down that left side. Loads of youth is being injected into this roster and now is exactly the time to keep guys like Carriker who can transfer knowledge. Week three, when Jenkins is out with a tweaked knee and we have <
Steve: Well again Campbell is the extreme example. Signing someone like Langford or Redding would take the same number of snaps as Carriker (actually more since Carriker doesn't play as much inside or RE) and play at a higher level. Honestly I think Carriker is just a step above Golston, and it comes down to money. Let's say he's looking for in the neighborhood of Bowen's deal (5 yrs, $27.5 million), that contract should easily get any of the other guys I've mentioned and they are better players (and in some cases younger).
Tiller: I like what Steve said about how Jenkins can fit at both DE and NT. He can be in the rotation at both right DE and NT (along with Neild). He's really that valuable. I don't think it would stunt his development. I think it could only help his situation for playing time being he's not totally one-dimensional. Haslett doesn't use his defensive linemen like typical 3-4 defenses do anyways. He like to mix things up. With Carriker, there is really no mixing things up. You know what your getting each and every play. With Jenkins, and say Campbell...........well, that's a hell of a lot to throw at an offense.
Ronnie: I think we went from Carriker, to Jenkins, to Campbell, to Redding, and probably everywhere in-between. Well done, ADHD...
Thanks again to Ken, Kevin, Parks, Steve, Tiller and Ronnie for their input.