Redskins Wish List: Five Things
Are you ready for some football? The National Football League’s goal of a year round league works, at least for me. Over the next ten weeks, we will move through the scouting combine, free agency and the NFL draft. With 21 free agents, General Manager Bruce Allen has plenty of work to do. Here is my list of the top five priorities for Washington. It is a tall order, but start your wish list high and work from there.
1) Franchise Brian Orakpo (4pm March 3 deadline)
2) Re-sign Perry Riley and Rob Jackson
3) Sign WR Eric Decker and Jairus Byrd or T.J. Ward in free agency (FA begins March 11th)
4) Trade Kirk Cousins for 2nd round pick in THIS draft
5) Make every draft pick count (May 8th-10th)
The Redskins really like Orakpo, but Allen says they haven’t decided if they’ll use the franchise tag yet. Although the ‘Skins have a healthy amount of cap space, $11 million is a lot to spend on one player for one season. With 20 free agents to consider, the Redskins would prefer a long term, cap friendly deal. Allen is hoping for dialogue with Orakpo’s agent over the weekend.
PERRY RILEY AND ROB JACKSON
With London Fletcher retiring, the need to re-sign Perry Riley is pressing. If he were to depart, the Redskins would need to replace both inside linebackers. Rob Jackson had a breakout season in 2012, but never really got untracked in 2013 after returning from a four game suspension. A solid tackler, Jackson is insurance for Orakpo and might be tried in the middle, especially if Riley walks. Jackson is an affordable veteran and Washington could be facing as many as three new starters.
— John Keim (@john_keim) February 21, 2014
DECKER AND A VETERAN SAFETY
Eric Decker is going to be one of the most hotly contested free agents, as it appears fairly clear he will not be returning to Denver. Washington needs to take some pressure off Pierre Garcon and the Broncos receiver is clearly the best option, coming off a breakout season at age 26. The Seahawks are reportedly releasing Sidney Rice, who signed a $40+ million dollar deal with Seattle in 2011. Still only 27, Rice will need to prove that he can return to form. Allen could take a flyer on Darrius Heyward-Bey and see if the former first round pick has a resurgence, returning to Maryland.
As the team continues to evaluate the draft picks at safety from a year ago, the position is badly in need of an upgrade. It would be a surprise to see Brandon Meriweather and Reed Doughty return, so we believe the team should pursue one of the two high profile free agents at the position. Buffalo’s Jairus Byrd is already rumored to a possible reunion with Cleveland coach Mike Pettine, but like the Skins with Orakpo, the Bills could franchise Byrd. Hopefully Pettine falls in love with Byrd and allows T.J. Ward to walk. If Byrd is No.1 among free agents at the position, Ward is 1B. Other options.. would Ryan Clark return? Would Charles Woodson be a good investment to tutor the second year safeties? I still believe Taylor Mays has a combination of size and speed that cannot be ignored and with the proper motivation and coaching could be a special player.
Still runnin' your mouth huh? pic.twitter.com/ulcRp82574
— Lizzuendo (@Lizzs_Lockeroom) February 21, 2014
TRADE KIRK COUSINS
Let me preface this by stressing that you cannot believe what is said by anyone, moving forward when it pertains to backup quarterback Kirk Cousins. There is a perfect storm for Allen to move Cousins BEFORE this draft. The draft is certainly very deep and the teams that need a signal caller all have picks near the top of the second round (Oakland, Jacksonville, Cleveland, Minnesota). With the Redskins without a first rounder, picking up a high second round pick would virtually return them to a full bevy of picks. Cousins has stressed that he wants to honor his four-year contract and while he is OK with a deal, he isn’t demanding anything. Mixed messages coming from the experts in Indianapolis. ESPN’s Bill Polian believes teams are receptive to trading a second round pick for Cousins, while Adam Schefter insists the team has no interest or plans to trade him. As for Allen, he says he hasn’t initiated, nor received any trade offers. My feeling remains that this franchise is so invested in Robert Griffin III that it doesn’t matter who the backup is, as they need a healthy RG3 to have a post season chance.
COMBINE VIEWING AIDS AND DCPRO MOCK DRAFT
As you watch the NFL Scouting Combine over the next four days, we have some material to help you follow along.
-The Bleacher Report with a guide to the combine tailored to the Redskins needs.
-NFL Draft Blitz with their value board, listing players by position, by round.
-How did the Redskins do a year ago? A look back to how Fox Sports graded it.
-Mock draft done via Fanspeak’s simulator, complete with 2nd round pick for Cousins.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS GUIDE TO THE 2014 NFL SCOUTING COMBINE
Washington Redskins' Guide to the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine http://t.co/Hzgbd8VqwG
— Shayne Skov (@ShayneSkovNews) February 19, 2014
NFL DRAFT VALUE BOARD
— NFL Draft Blitz (@NFLDraftBlitz) February 16, 2014
FOX SPORTS REVIEW OF 2013 NFL DRAFT
Flashback Friday: Fox Sports review of Redskins selections in 2013 NFL Draft. http://t.co/whzeNBSXDs
— DCProSportsTom (@DCProSportsTom) February 21, 2014
2014 NFL MOCK DRAFT Via Fanspeak’s ON THE CLOCK Mock Draft Simulator
34 DL STEPHON TUITT NOTRE DAME 6’6″ 312 4.92
36 ILB SHAYNE SKOV STANFORD 6’2″ 245 4.95
66 WR JARVIS LANDRY LSU 6’0″ 195 4.49
98 SS AHMAD DIXON BAYLOR 6’0″ 205 4.55
130 CB KEITH MCGILL UTAH 6’3″ 214 4.49
162 OT CORNELIUS LUCAS KANSAS STATE 6’8″ 329 5.29
194 CB WALT AIKENS LIBERTY 6’1″ 205 4.57
LIVE exclusive coverage of the 2014 NFL scouting combine begins Saturday running thru Tuesday @ 9am daily
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