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NFL Free Agency: What are the Redskins doing with their top free agents?

There hasn’t been a lot of action at Redskins Park, yet...

Washington Redskins v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The NFL’s legal tampering period opens today at 12pm and goes until 4pm Wednesday when free agency officially begins. All trades that have been made, including the Redskins trade with the Broncos for QB Case Keenum, will take effect when the new league year, and FA begins.

The Redskins have 22 free agents hitting free agency this year, and there have been no re-signings at this point. The big names on their list are OLB Preston Smith, WR Jamison Crowder, and RB Adrian Peterson. Smith and Crowder are expected to hit free agency and get lucrative contract offers that Washington won’t match. The Redskins have been trying to sign Peterson for weeks, but can’t the numbers right.

There are also players like RG Brandon Scherff and DT Matt Ioannidis who are going into their final contract year’s with the Redskins and could get extended. Scherff will be playing on his 5th year option in 2019 for ~$12.5 million, but the Redskins would like to get him signed long-term. This move could free up cap space this year. Ioannidis has been solid on the defensive line the last two years, but has also dealt with injuries. The Redskins also have two first round studs on the DL(Jonathan Allen and DaRon Payne) who will need to be paid within the next few years.

Where do negotiations stand with these players as free agency starts?

Preston Smith

If they retain Preston Smith, they wouldn’t need to seek another starting outside linebacker. But the Redskins have yet to engage in any meaningful contract discussions to bring him back. As of a week ago, there were none. The team has publicly and privately stated it would like him back, but has long known he’d be costly to keep around.

The Redskins drafted Ryan Anderson two years ago, so he could possibly have an increased role if Smith leaves. Anderson blows up the edge with force and provides a physical demeanor and mindset, but he hasn’t yet shown he can be a dynamic pass-rusher. He can definitely help, but to what extent remains to be seen.

Teams I’ve talked to see Smith as having been a tough scheme fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker—and he still wound up with 24.5 sacks over four years as a Redskin. As such, the feeling is there’s a boatload of untapped potential in the 26-year-old, and a payday probably between $10 million and $12 million per waiting for him.

Jamison Crowder

Based on what I’ve heard he’s turned down, it wouldn’t shock me to see him land somewhere between $8 million and $10 million per. Slots are more important, and more valued, than ever, which is good news for Crowder, Adam Humphries and Cole Beasley, as well as third-contract candidates Golden Tate and Randall Cobb

Adrian Peterson

That’s why they’ve already started talks with running back Adrian Peterson about returning. He can have a big role if Derrius Guice, who missed last season with a torn ACL, isn’t yet ready for one. Or Peterson can be terrific insurance. If Guice is healthy, he could become a playmaker.

I wouldn’t rule out Adrian Peterson re-signing with the Redskins as soon as this week. A couple of teams have shown preliminary interest in the veteran who turns 34 later this month, which is what could push things along and get Jay Gruden and company some insurance for the returning Derrius Guice early in the offseason.

Brandon Scherff

If they’re not going to take a quarterback in the first round, then they’d better invest a bit more to enhance the run game. That means finding a solid left guard. They can’t pay a lot for one anyway, not with big deals already at both tackle spots -- and with right guard Brandon Scherff engaged in talks about an extension.

Matt Ioannidis