The Washington Redskins face uncertainty at inside linebacker in 2014. Long-time team leader London Fletcher has retired, leaving only veteran Perry Riley as the one known commodity at the position. The Redskins have signed some free agents and have some young players they can look at this offseason, but the question remains of what can be expected at inside linebacker?
Riley has emerged as a solid player over the past few seasons, and more will be expected from him this year. He’s had over 100 tackles and 3 sacks in both 2012 and 2013, and will be counted upon to provide at least that in 2014. So what Perry Riley brings to the table won’t be the problem. The problem will be who will replace London Fletcher at the other ILB spot?
The Redskins signed free agents Darryl Sharpton, Akeem Jordan, and Adam Hayward to provide depth inside. Each of these players have starting experience, but none have really established themselves as consistent starters up to this point. And while none will be expected to replace Fletcher as a team leader, at least one of them must step up and become a solid starting player.
The Redskins also have the talented Keenan Robinson, who has an outside chance to move to the top of the depth chart. But my guess at this point would be that Sharpton has the inside track to start. And Fletcher struggled at times last season, but his stature with the team more than likely prevented Mike Shanahan from replacing him in the lineup.
However, it not that as though there were many other options to turn to. But that won’t be the case this season, as the talent is a lot deeper at inside linebacker, and if the starters struggle, I think others will be given a chance to see what they can do. So from a depth stand point, I think the inside linebacker will be stronger for the Redskins this season than last.