Willie Parker and Larry Foote are both scheduled to meet with Redskins officials today. Though, not major players in the free agent buzz, these two would arguably the most noteable visits to Redskins Park so far this offseason.
The only free agent signing over the weekend came in the form of offensive lineman, Artis Hicks. The other two notable, Chad Clifton and Tony Paschos, left the park, and signed elsewhere. Clifton re-signed with the Green Bay Packers and Pashos signed with the Cleveland Browns. Were the Skins out-bid? Or did they not see the value in the talent being presented? I would like to believe the latter was the case. The knock on Hicks is he has not played significant gime time the last few seasons. He is also known to be capable of playing serveral positions. That can be identified as an asset, or you are that good so they try you out elsewhere. Nonetheless that is for the coaches to decide. What does that mean for today’s meetings with Parker and Foote? The Redskins released veterans Ladell Betts and Rock Cartwright. They have been the number 2 and 3 spell backs since 2004. Both have been quite busy on special teams, with Cartwright bearing the load the last 4 seasons. In one evening, you lose your immediate back up and special teams captain. I am not suggesting Parker be brought in to play special teams, but that should be considered when bringing in a running back. Should Darren Sproles have been available to consider, he would have been a marvelous replacement as your spell back and special teams ace. That was not the case as it appears he will remain in San Diego.
If the Skins offer a contract and sign Willie Parker, that should be a good depth securing move. If he has even 9/10ths of the speed he had at his peak, he will be a dangerous weapon out of the back field. His experience makes him valuable in key spots, and his ability should be able to at least challenge Clinton Portis for his starting role, if not depose him. I do not believe Parker will come at a high price, as he has not been offered any other contract at this time. Though, I cannot firmly be sure if Artis Hicks will be a starter in September, his signing begins the addressing of the area with most need: the offensive line and that bodes well for whoever is going to carry the ball.
As for Larry Foote, this gives more starting depth to the linebacker position, which is now thin with the change to the 3-4 base formation. Is Rocky McIntosh ready to start along side London Fletcher in the middle? Signing Foote would be a great move to sure up the starting linebacker spots, with Andre Carter and Brian Orakpo sure locks for the outside spots.
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