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List of free agents by position (with a bit of Redskins-specific commentary)

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The new league year starts on 13 March

NFL: Washington Redskins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

NFL.com recently published a list of key free agents (not an exhaustive list) by position. I thought it would be useful to have such a list handy, and I added a few thoughts about most of the positions listed.

Quarterbacks

  • Teddy Bridgewater
  • Matt Cassel
  • Austin Davis
  • David Fales
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick
  • Nick Foles
  • Robert Griffin III
  • Ryan Griffin
  • Brett Hundley
  • Josh Johnson
  • Sean Mannion
  • Josh McCown
  • Brock Osweiler
  • Tom Savage
  • Matt Schaub
  • Trevor Siemian
  • Geno Smith
  • Tyrod Taylor
  • Joe Webb
  • Brandon Weeden

It’s funny (sort of). After the Alex Smith trade last season, I think I made the comment somewhere (I certainly had the thought) that it would be nice to have an off-season in 2019 with no quarterback drama — a year where the starter was locked in and the team could just concentrate on getting better.

That seems laughable now. The Kirk Cousins will-he-or-won’t-he drama with the back-to-back franchise tags on the heels of the RG3 5th year option drama, following the quarterback musical chairs of 2014, following the All-in-for-Week-1 drama of 2013 all seems so manageable compared to this off-season where the Redskins, with Alex Smith under contract and unable to part ways for at least two years, are looking for a marriage of convenience at quarterback. Not just any quarterback. A cheap quarterback.

The smoke billowing out from under the door jam and out the windows has, this week, been all about trading for Josh Rosen, who would be replaced in Arizona by Kyler Murray, drafted first overall by the team that finished at the bottom of the 32—team league last season.

If the trade for Rosen happens, the entire complexion of the Redskins situation changes.

If, however, a trade doesn’t come together, then the draft option may be the best choice.

BUT - if the front office wants to go into the draft with the idea of selecting a rookie signal caller, the Redskins probably would be wise to get a veteran QB under contract during the March free agency period so that they don’t put themselves in a position of having to take a first-round quarterback in the draft because that’s how panic sets in and bad decisions get made.

The list of free agent QBs above isn’t inspiring, but then, with so much uncertainty surrounding Alex Smith’s future, I’m not sure the Redskins want to be making any long-term plans at the position right now.

Of the names above, the one that I would prioritize would be Ryan Fitzpatrick. I think he fits the team’s needs perfectly. Veteran. Probably cheap. One-year contract, no problem. He’ll win some, he’ll lose some, but it’s usually fun to watch him play. I think of him as the corollary to Alex Smith.

The other guy who seems to have legitimate starter potential is Teddy Bridgewater. My concern with him is that he needs to be looking for a stable home and a team that will pay him some money, or at least give him the chance to make some money. It just feels like “Square peg, meet round hole” to try to put Teddy and the Redskins together.

Tyrod Taylor is also interesting, and probably fits the Alex Smith mold — mobile, low-turnover, leader. I wouldn’t be unhappy to see the Redskins sign Tyrod to a 2-year or 3-year contract that fit the team’s salary cap position.

And, while I understand all the reasons why it won’t happen, I would put RG3 on the list as the next best guy.

Personally, I also hope they’ll bring Josh Johnson in to camp to compete for a job this season. I wouldn’t mind seeing him carried as the 3rd QB on the team. I’ve always liked him better than other people do, and I didn’t really blame him for the way things ended in Week 17 last year.

Bottom line — barring a trade for Josh Rosen — I’d like to see either Ryan Fitzpatrick or Tyrod Taylor signed to a low-cost contract to give the Redskins front office some certainty ahead of the draft. Of course, Tyrod Taylor saw that movie last year, and may not be anxious to put him in the same situation again.

Running Backs

  • Ameer Abdullah
  • Javorius Allen
  • Jay Ajayi
  • C.J. Anderson
  • Cameron Artis-Payne
  • Kenjon Barner
  • Le’Veon Bell
  • LeGarrette Blount
  • Alfred Blue
  • Brandon Bolden
  • Tevin Coleman
  • Benny Cunningham
  • Mike Davis
  • Frank Gore
  • Corey Grant
  • Jeremy Hill
  • Mark Ingram
  • Marshawn Lynch
  • Doug Martin
  • Ty Montgomery
  • Alfred Morris
  • Latavius Murray
  • Bilal Powell
  • Adrian Peterson
  • Jacquizz Rodgers
  • Rod Smith
  • Darren Sproles
  • Spencer Ware
  • T.J. Yeldon
  • Zach Zenner

I just don’t see any scenario in which the Redskins pursue a veteran free agent running back between now and the end of March, outside of re-signing Adrian Peterson.

Still, there could be some value in picking up some leftovers post-draft. Someone with some talent is likely to be standing around without a seat after the music stops. I’m looking at names like Spencer Ware, Jay Ajayi, CJ Anderson, Tevin Coleman, and Latavius Murray and thinking that a quality back may be available and willing to sign a very cheap deal ahead of training camp (or after) if the team doesn’t bring AD back in 2019.

Wide Receivers

  • Tavon Austin
  • Cole Beasley
  • Kelvin Benjamin
  • John Brown
  • Dez Bryant
  • Randall Cobb
  • Chris Conley
  • Jamison Crowder
  • Phillip Dorsett
  • Bruce Ellington
  • Michael Floyd
  • Devin Funchess
  • Ryan Grant
  • Justin Hardy
  • Chris Hogan
  • Adam Humphries
  • Justin Hunter
  • Dontrelle Inman
  • Jermaine Kearse
  • Cody Latimer
  • Rishard Matthews
  • Jordan Matthews
  • Donte Moncrief
  • J.J. Nelson
  • Cordarrelle Patterson
  • Breshad Perriman
  • Aldrick Robinson
  • Eli Rogers
  • Russell Shepard
  • Golden Tate
  • De’Anthony Thomas
  • Demaryius Thomas
  • Deonte Thompson
  • Mike Wallace
  • Tyrell Williams

Man, that’s a long list of names, and the Redskins could use some talent and some depth.

Aldrick Robinson and Ryan Grant have both been Redskins before. I wouldn’t mind seeing either one return.

There are speed receivers on the list, possession receivers, guys with size, and guys with tons of experience. The Redskins should probably add a veteran via free agency or trade (just say ‘no’ to AB), but the team needs to draft a young receiver with some talent as well.

Similar to the running back position, but for different reasons, I wouldn’t mind seeing the team wait and add a vet wide receiver in May or June. The two main reasons why I would wait at this position would be (i) to choose a complement to whomever the team drafts in April; and (ii) to keep the contract amount low. The Redskins signed Richardson early in free agency last year. If they don’t spend the money to bring Crowder back, then I figure they ought to work the budget end of free agency for wideouts this off-season.

Tight Ends

  • Jared Cook
  • Tyler Eifert
  • Austin Seferian-Jenkins
  • C.J. Uzomah

Tight end should probably be filled via draft rather than free agency. The team can save money by releasing Vernon Davis, but there’s no reason at all to turn around and pay that money to anyone from this list.

Tackles

  • Trent Brown
  • Ja’Wuan James
  • Donovan Smith
  • Daryl Williams

The Redskins should probably double-down on the selection of Christian last year by using one of their 9 draft picks to take a mid-round OT developmental prospect this season if they see one they like in the 5th or 6th round. If they don’t add anyone, they can probably afford to wait until 2020 to seriously address the position with a higher round pick. The team needs youth more than veteran experience at the OT position. That means no veteran free agent tackles this off season.

Guards/Centers

  • Ramon Foster
  • Mitch Morse
  • Matt Paradis
  • Rodger Saffold

The only guard that I had much interest in was Glowinski, and he re-signed with the Colts. This needs to be a draft priority, not a free agency move.

Defensive Linemen

  • Henry Anderson
  • Christian Covington
  • Mario Edwards
  • Margus Hunt
  • David Irving
  • Grady Jarrett
  • Darius Philon
  • Sheldon Richardson
  • Ndamukong Suh
  • Muhammad Wilkerson

The Redskins are loaded at Defensive line after using two consecutive first-round picks at the position, and getting a great result on the 5th round pick, Matt Ioannidis. The team definitely doesn’t need to spend any money on a veteran free agent at this position in 2019.

Edge Defenders

  • Ezekiel Ansah
  • Shaquil Barret
  • Frank Clark
  • Vinny Curry
  • Trey Flowers
  • Dee Ford
  • Dante Fowler Jr.
  • Markus Golden
  • Brandon Graham
  • Clay Matthews
  • Derrick Morgan
  • Alex Okafor
  • Shane Ray
  • John Simon
  • Preston Smith
  • Za’Darius Smith
  • Terrell Suggs
  • Cameron Wake

If the team lets Preston Smith walk, as it appears they will do, they’ll need at least one new OLB. Pernell McPhee is also a free agent, so the team may need to add two players.

One of them will almost certainly come in the draft, and likely with a premium pick in the first three rounds. The Redskins have 4 picks in the top-100 players, so it should be realistic to get a talented player in the draft.

A skilled veteran between 26-28 years old would probably be welcome. Normally, Preston Smith would fit perfectly into the mold of the guy you are looking for, but — sort of like Baushaud Breeland’s situation in free agency — you get the feeling that Smith and the Redskins just don’t like each other very much.

The Redskins could use some speed here. I keep focusing on the name Dante Fowler, but then I read articles like this, and I get nervous.

4-3 Off-Ball Linebackers

  • Anthony Barr
  • Thomas Davis
  • K.J. Wright

Inside Linebackers

  • Kwon Alexander
  • Preston Brown
  • Deone Bucannon
  • L.J. Fort
  • Jordan Hicks
  • Gerald Hodges
  • C.J. Mosley
  • Denzel Perryman
  • Jake Ryan
  • Adarius Taylor

Washington has a very odd situation at inside linebacker in 2019. Until told otherwise, Foster & Brown are the returning incumbent starters. Josh Harvey-Clemons seemed to stake his claim as the nickel-back in ‘18. The team seemed to have high hopes for Shaun Dion Hamilton, and he may be poised to ‘make the leap’ this season. And, of course, the team holds the rights to Reuben Foster, who is probably an instant starter for the Redskins if he is eligible to play.

All of this adds up to a position with a lot of questions that probably won’t be answered by signing any veteran free agents. The Redskins might draft for depth, but I don’t see them bringing an ILB from another team this off-season.

Still, my opinion may not count for much. I’m seeing a ton of reports suggesting that the Redskins could target C.J. Mosely since the Baltimore Colts Ravens didn’t franchise tag him.

Cornerbacks

  • Bashaud Breeland
  • Bryce Callahan
  • Morris Claiborne
  • Justin Coleman
  • Ronald Darby
  • Darqueze Dennard
  • Pierre Desir
  • E.J. Gaines
  • Brent Grimes
  • Davon House
  • Kareem Jackson
  • Jason McCourty
  • Rashaan Melvin
  • Steven Nelson
  • Bradley Roby
  • Eric Rowe
  • Buster Skrine
  • Jason Verrett
  • B.W. Webb
  • P.J. Williams

The Redskins tried to bring in Orlando Scandrick last season to add some veteran depth. It didn’t work.

I could see them doing the same thing this off-season.

A lot will depend on Quinton Dunbar in 2019. If he is healthy, then Dunbar, Josh Norman, Fabian Moreau, Adonis Alexander and Greg Stroman offer a unit that is functional. Without Dunbar, it’s pretty damned thin, as we saw in ‘18.

The team will probably draft a CB in April, but there are probably a half-dozen players off the list above that would really help secure the depth the Redskins need to guard against injury. My top free agent choice for the Redskins might be Morris Claiborne, but I’d be thrilled if the Skins can use one of their top-4 draft picks to get a quality CB from the draft and save the cap space they would have spent here.

Look for an article on Wednesday morning looking in some detail at many of the names on the list above.

Safeties

  • Mike Adams
  • Adrian Amos
  • Tre Boston
  • Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
  • Landon Collins
  • Clayton Geathers
  • George Iloka
  • Lamarcus Joyner
  • Tyrann Mathieu
  • Mike Mitchell
  • Adrian Phillips
  • Curtis Riley
  • Earl Thomas
  • Kenny Vaccaro
  • Jimmie Ward

Personally, I don’t think there’s a choice — the Redskins have to sign at least one free agent safety this off-season.

The obvious move is Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. The Redskins got 9 games out of him in return for a 2019 4th round pick. Having cut DJ Swearinger at the end of the season, if they let HHCD walk, then there’s a huge hole in the back of the defense... again. You can see from the list that there will be no shortage of safeties available in free agency this off-season; the Redskins just need to find the guy that is the right fit.

Personally, with the Giants deciding not to tag their veteran safety, I’d really like to see Landon Collins lined up in burgundy & gold on opening day. I know he’ll need a contract, but if the front office wants to sign him, they can make it happen.

Then, of course, they still have to draft another guy with starting potential in case Nicholson doesn’t make it back on the field.

Restricted Free Agents

Poll

At which position do the Redskins have the greatest need to sign a veteran free agent in March?

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    quarterback
    (210 votes)
  • 8%
    wide receiver
    (99 votes)
  • 6%
    guard
    (82 votes)
  • 2%
    outside linebacker/edge
    (31 votes)
  • 2%
    cornerback
    (24 votes)
  • 62%
    safety
    (739 votes)
1185 votes total Vote Now

Poll

If the Redskins could make ONE ‘splash’ move this off-season, which one would you support the most?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    Sign C.J. Mosely
    (87 votes)
  • 76%
    Sign Landon Collins
    (896 votes)
  • 3%
    Trade for Antonio Brown
    (40 votes)
  • 0%
    Sign Le’veon Bell
    (6 votes)
  • 3%
    trade up in the draft to get the QB they want
    (41 votes)
  • 4%
    Sign Teddy Bridgewater
    (54 votes)
  • 2%
    Sign Dante Fowler
    (26 votes)
  • 1%
    Sign Dez Bryant
    (17 votes)
1167 votes total Vote Now