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Chris in Manassas
With free agency scheduled to start on 14 March, I’d like to continue to look at potential free agents that could help the Redskins in 2018. Recently, I extended an invitation for readers to get involved by writing profiles for players they think may be good targets for the Redskin front office.
Of course, free agency isn’t the only avenue for the Redskins to strengthen their positional units. Yesterday, Cadillactica published a great profile on an early-round TE draft prospect.
But before we get to the draft, the Redskins will have a crack at free agency. Recently, Chris in Manassas provided me with three free agent targets at Tight End that he thinks are worth pursuing. Let’s see who he has in mind.
Trey Burton - Eagles
We looked at Trey Burton individually back on the 10th of January, but Chris in Manassas wanted to go to that well one more time, so here’s his bonus sales pitch on Burton:
When I think of potential offensive upgrades for the Redskins, I try and think of someone who has a lot of talent but is not necessarily getting the full workload that they might want. The Redskins are no longer the franchise people want to come to, even if it’s for a huge payday.
The Redskins have relied on their tight ends a lot in the Jay Gruden era, and overall in the NFL the tight end has emerged as an important weapon for top offenses; the size and athleticism of elite tight ends create all kinds of match-up problems.
The Redskins of course have pro-bowler-when-healthy Jordan Reed and old man Vernon Davis, who’s still a gamer. Burton and Reed share a similar pedigree, recruited to Florida as quarterbacks before converting to receiver/tight end, and they are both athletic freaks. Burton right now is part of a three-headed tight end monster in Philadelphia, but it’s unlikely he’ll ever get past Zach Ertz on the depth chart.
Yet in his limited time Burton still had five touchdowns and was beginning to develop as a key target for Carson Wentz.
He’s 26 years old, 6”2’ 260 pounds, and would be a great fit with Washington and could not only step in for the oft-injured Reed but would be an incredible compliment to Reed over the middle that could open up the rest of the passing game.
Virgil Green - Broncos
Weight: 255 pounds
Draft status: 7th round of the 2011 draft
Here’s what Chris in Manassas had to say about Virgil Green:
The free agent tight ends aren’t a deep pool this season and Virgil Green’s stats don’t pop out at you, but with Denver he was a good blocker and this could be a place where getting real action could increase his value.
Green is an athlete and his numbers at his combine performance got him drafted, but that early potential has never been realized in the NFL. He’s been buried on the depth chart in Denver, and this kind of signing would be similar to McGee and McClain last year, hoping that giving a guy a chance to get some real snaps could bear fruit.
The Broncos are tight on cap space, and Virgil Green could well end up being a salary cap casualty for Denver. A 29-year-old veteran blocking tight end would probably slot nicely into the tight end group that the Redskins have right now. Green would be a fairly thrifty signing in terms of cap dollars. The Redskins could probably pick him up for around $3.5m per year.
Crockett Gillmore - Ravens
Weight: 266 pounds
College: Colorado State
Draft status: 3rd round of the 2014 draft (99th overall)
Here’s what Chris in Manassas had to say about Gillmore:
Gillmore looked to just about to be bursting out for the Ravens in 2015, averaging 12 yards a catch on 33 grabs for 412 yards and 5 touchdowns.
A back injury finished his ‘15 season and then he lost half of 2016 to a thigh injury before missing the entire 2017 campaign with an MCL injury.
Like Virgil Green, a Crockett Gillmore signing will be about potential, and Gillmore has shown more as an NFL player than Green. He has the potential to be a red zone threat at 6”6 and showed several years ago that he had the chance of becoming a real productive player.
The Redskins showed two years ago, with Reed and Davis, how good the offense could be with two tight ends on the field. Gillmore and Reed could be great!
With only 32 games and 51 receptions in a 4-year career, there’s not much to get excited about statistically with Gillmore. The Ravens have Ben Watson, Nick Boyle and Max Williams, so I don’t think they’ll make any real effort to hold onto Gillmore.
He put up some nice stats in his 10 games in 2015, so maybe the Redskins would feel he’s worth bringing to training camp. He should be dirt cheap, but do the Redskins need another tight end made of glass?
Which of the three tight ends discussed in this article would be the best addition to the Redskins?
This poll is closed
What should the Redskins do at the TE position this season?
This poll is closed
Stand pat with Reed, Davis & Sprinkle
Draft a rookie TE to add to the mix
Re-sign Niles Paul and bring 4 TEs to camp
Sign a veteran free agent from another team and bring 4 TEs to camp
Trade Jordan Reed and re-structure the TE group