FanPost

Grading the Redskins Free Agency

So far in free agency, the Washington Redskins have signed 22 free agents, seven of which were resigned by the team. Those 22 players include Brian Orakpo who was given the franchise tag, Santana Moss, Perry Riley, Deangelo Hall, Brandon Merriweather, EJ Biggers, Chris Baker, Andre Roberts, Shawn Lauvao, Adam Hayward, Clifton Geathers, Darryl Sharpton, Jake Rodgers, Jason Hatcher, Tracy Porter, Akeem Jordan, Brandon Moore, Mike McGlynn, Ryan Clark, Desean Jackson, Colt McCoy, and Rob Jackson. Below is an analysis of each player and the grade for their signing:
Brian Orakpo-Franchise Tag Cap Number: $11.45 Million Orakpo was given the franchise tag rather than the long term deal that he was looking for. With this Orakpo will be even another season to prove that he can stay healthy and produce at a high level deserving of the type of long term deal that he was looking for. Washington didn't want to lose this home grown talent and surely didn't want to leave a void on a defense where there are already so many holes. However, given Orakpo's injury history, an $11 million cap hit is a steep price to pay this season. This is going to be a high risk high reward deal for Washington. Grade: B+
Santana Moss- 1 year deal $875,000 Cap Number: $620,000 only $65,000 guaranteed This is a very cap friendly deal for Washington as they get a veteran leader to return to their team and they know what they are getting in Moss. A slot receiver who is accomplished and can provide good depth and a reliable weapon for RG3. This is extremely low risk and possible high reward for Washington. Grade: B
Perry Riley- 3 year deal $12 Million Cap Number: $3 million Riley has improved each and every season in Washington after learning under London Fletcher. This past season Riley led the team in tackles and appeared ready to take over for Fletcher. Inside linebacker was a glaring need for Washington this offseason and they couldn't afford to let someone like Riley go. Riley is by no means perfect and will make some mistakes but is an overall solid linebacker and always seems to make the tackle. Given the overall worth of the deal and the value that Riley gives Washington, this was a no brainer in resigning Perry. Grade: A
Deangelo Hall- 4 year deal $16 million Cap number: $2 Million This past season, Hall was often given the assignment of shadowing the opposing team's number one receiver all game long. Hall went up against the likes of Calvin Johnson, Demaryius Thomas, Dez Bryant twice, and Brandon Marshall. Hall did a good job limiting Calvin Johnson as best as any corner possibly could and even recorded an interception that game and Hall was able to contain Bryant both times the teams played each other. Although Hall is starting to age he hasn't shown any signs of slowing down and his performance this past season was deserving of another contract. The question remains though, will Hall be able to keep up this kind of play for another four years? Grade B+
Brandon Merriweather: 1 year deal $1 million Cap number: $1 million The safety spot has been a glaring weakness in Washington's secondary the past few seasons due to injuries, lack of experience or depth, or in Merriweather's case, suspensions and dangerous hits. Merriweather was suspended for two games this past season for an illegal hit after being fined multiple times throughout his career. Merriweather was able to get his suspension reduced to one game but point of the matter is Merriweather is one illegal hit away from an even longer suspension. Throw that in with his inconsistent play and his age, and this resigning by Washington doesn't make much sense other than that it is a one year deal for $1 million. Washington definitely could have used a bigger upgrade in free agency like Chris Clemons or Mike Mitchell but Merriweather still provides a better option than someone like Baccari Rambo. Grade C+
EJ Biggers: 1 year deal $635,000 Cap Number: $635,000 Biggers was brought in last season to provide depth for Washington and compete for the number three corner spot. Biggers is versatile enough to play safety as well as both corner positions but doesn't necessarily mean he should. This was nothing more than a depth resigning for Washington as they appear set with Hall, Amerson, and Tracy Porter as well as the possibility of a draft pick. Biggers comes cheap too which is something beneficial for Washington. Grade C
Chris Baker: 3 year deal $9 million Cap number: $2 million Washington viewed the defensive line as a priority this off season as they felt that upgrading the pass rush was something that needed to be done to make up for their suspect secondary. Baker had a strong finish to the end of last season finishing as a starter and appears to be a player on the rise and could help out Washington's pass rush. Baker is also young and given his potential and size, this was a good resigning for Washington. Look for Baker to compete for a starting job this season. Grade: B+
Andre Roberts: 4 year deal $16 million Cap number: $2.25 million One of Washington's biggest needs this off season was to improve their receiving corps and give RG3 more weapons to throw to. As it currently stood, Washington had Garcon, they resigned Moss, Robinson, Nick Williams, and Leonard Hankerson who is recovering from an ACL injury. Washington needed a number two receiver and potentially a slot receiver in case they were to cut Moss in preseason. Roberts was an under the radar receiver in Arizona who has a high upside and can play in the slot or on the outside. He has shown reliable hands and isn't afraid to make the catch. Another plus with Roberts is that in his career against the NFC East, the Dallas Cowboys in particular, Roberts has torched them recording two games with 100+receiving yards in each and a touchdown in each as well. Roberts has breakout potential and should be a reliable weapon for Griffin. Grade: A-
Shawn Lauvao: 4 year deal $17 million Cap number: $3 million Another glaring need for Washington this off season was to improve the offensive line and add depth to it. Coming out of Cincinnati, Coach Jay Gruden was a fan of bigger lineman. Coming into Washington, he was going to be dealing with one of the smallest offensive lines in the league. Washington is set with Trent Williams at left tackle and could potentially make changes at the other four spots. In comes Lauvao. Lauvao was the right guard for the Cleveland Browns and plays with a bit of a mean streak. He is bigger but plays inconsistent. His hands aren't the best and could use some work. Given his showings, Lauvao was not worth the amount of money that Washington gave him as they could have gone out and signed someone more proven for that kind of money. Lauvao was a question mark signing. Grade: C
Adam Hayward: 3 year deal $3 million Cap Number: $955,000 With Perry Riley resigned and Keenan Robinson recovering from a torn pectoral muscle, Washington needed to add depth to their inside line backer position. Hayward does just that as he provides depth. He will most likely not be the starter next to Riley but where Hayward really contributes is on special teams. One of the better special teams players in the league, Hayward plays hard and makes tackles. Washington had one of the worst units in the league last year in every aspect of special teams and felt that adding line backers who were quick getting down the field and could make tackles would help. Look for Hayward to contribute on special teams. Grade: B
Clifton Geathers: 2 year deal $3.2 million Cap Number: $1.35 million Washington added some depth to their defensive by adding Geathers. Geathers will most likely not start and will probably battle players like Kedric Golston for a spot on the roster. Geathers is young only playing in the league for three years and is massive standing at 6'8. This is strictly a depth signing here for Washington as Geathers is inexperienced. Grade: C
Darryl Sharpton: 1 year deal $1.75 million Cap Number: $1,862,500 Needing someone to pair with Riley at the inside linebacker spot, Sharpton was brought in to compete for the starting job. He was a starter for the Houston Texans for 8 games last year and is solid against the run. He is underrated and is someone who Chris Cooley said to keep an eye on. It wouldn't be a surprise if Sharpton was a starter although his lack of experience may hinder that. Grade B
Jake Rodgers: Terms of contract were not disclosed While kicker Kai Forbath has been pretty reliable for the Redskins in his tenure, Fortbath has often times struggled on kick offs. Rodgers was the all time scoring leader for the University of Cincinnati and has bounced around the NFL from the Cowboys, Saints, and Giants after not being drafted. This is nothing more than some training camp competition for Forbath. Grade: D
Jason Hatcher: 4 year deal $27.5 million Cap Number: $3.75 million Coach Haslett stressed the need to improve the pass rush this off season for his plan to set his pass rushers loose this coming season. In comes Jason Hatcher. He was selected to the pro bowl this past season after recording 11 sacks. At 6'6 and 299 pounds, Hatcher provides good size coming off the end and should free up some of the pressure that is applied to Orakpo and Kerrigan rushing off the edges. Look for Haslett to get creative in how he rushes the quarterback this season. Grade: A
Tracy Porter: 2 year deal $6 million Cap Number: $2.8 million Washington's secondary is in desperate need of a play maker and needs upgrades all around. Last year Josh Wilson couldn't get it done. Although he wasn't afraid to make a tackle, he was often burned in coverage. Tracy Porter will likely be the nickel corner with Hall and Amerson on the outside. Porter is known for taking risks. He has made some big plays throughout his career like his interception of Peyton Manning in the Super Bowl. He has also been burned a lot throughout his career as well. Porter is still relatively young and will be one to watch this season. Grade: B-
Akeem Jordan: 1 year deal $920,000 Cap Number: $635,000 This was another signing to provide some competition at the inside linebacker position. Jordan has experience as a starter, starting ten games last season for the Kansas City Chiefs. He recorded 67 tackles and two forced fumbles last season. He can also help out on special teams as well. He will likely compete with Sharpton as the other starting inside linebacker. Grade: B
Brandon Moore: Claimed off waivers from Kansas city Cap Number: No Cap hit This was a waiver claim by Washington after Moore's rookie season in Kansas City. He played college football at Texas and was signed by San Diego after the draft last season. He had stints with San Diego and Denver's practice squads before being let go by Kansas City. At 6'5 and 320 pounds, Moore provides good size for a defensive lineman. He will be a project and will most likely be a practice squad candidate if anything. Grade: C

Mike McGlynn: 2 year deal $2.7 million Cap Number: $1.15 million After the amount of pressure Griffin took this past season, Washington needed to improve their offensive line and add depth. After the Redskins released Will Montgomery, it was assumed Lichtensteiger would slide over to the center spot. McGlynn is a big body who is capable playing center after spending the last two seasons at center for the Colts. McGlynn is also versatile enough to play guard as well. At 6'4 325 pounds, McGlynn is significantly bigger than Lichtensteiger. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in training camp but for now it appears that McGlynn is more of a depth signing. Grade B-
Ryan Clark: 1 year deal $1.02 million Cap Number: $635,000 After resigning Brandon Merriweather, it appeared that either Baccari Rambo or Phillip Thomas would get the other starting safety spot. Either combination of safeties is not good for Washington and safety remained a glaring weakness on the Washington defense. In comes veteran Ryan Clark. Clark is a good signing for Washington as he addresses a need to an extent and is only a stop gap. While it remains to be seen how much Clark has left in the tank, you cannot question his toughness and leadership both on and off the field. From that standpoint, Clark is a great acquisition for Washington. Look for Clark to be a starter and to help mentor the young safeties in Washington. Grade B
Desean Jackson: 3 year deal $24 million Cap Number: $4.25 million After signing Andre Roberts and no other news circulating about Washington's interest in another receiver other than Kenny Britt, it appeared Washington would look to the draft for a receiver. While that is still a possibility, Washington went out and got a deadly receiver to pair with Pierre Garcon in division rival, Desean Jackson. Jackson was released by the Eagles due to alleged gang affiliations, attitude problems, and poor work ethic. Jackson however is a three time pro bowler and is coming off a career year. As soon as he was released, RG3 and Trent Williams both contacted Jackson lobbying for him to come to DC. Jackson provides Griffin with a home run threat to help stretch the field. Jackson will also help take some of the pressure off of Garcon and open up the middle of the field for Jordan Reed and Andre Roberts. Jackson's signing makes this offense more explosive on paper and gives Griffin plenty of weapons. The question is though, can the offensive line hold up and can Griffin get his receivers the ball? Grade: A+
Colt McCoy: 1 year deal $795,000 Cap Number: $635,000 Let the Kirk Cousins trade rumors resume. Colt McCoy is the likely replacement for the third quarterback spot left open by Rex Grossman. McCoy has starting experience and is still relatively young. While in the past, Gruden's teams have only kept two quarterbacks, with Griffin's health, it wouldn't hurt to keep a third one around. There remains a chance that Cousins could be traded on draft day but appears unlikely. This is a safety net signing for Washington. Grade: C+
Rob Jackson: 1 year deal $795,000 Cap Number: $635,000 With Orakpo back as the starting outside linebacker next to Ryan Kerrigan, that leaves Washington now with only three outside linebackers on the roster with second year player, Brandon Jenkins. Jenkins played a minimal amount of snaps last season and still has a lot of work to do. With Orakpo's injury history, Washington needed a capable back up. Washington resigned Rob Jackson to a very cap friendly deal. Jackson is a great back up who can step in and make a play when needed. Just remember the Dallas game two years ago. Although he was suspended four games last season and didn't produce as much, Jackson still boasts starting potential. Grade: B

Overall Grade for the Redskins Off season: B+
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