With a unit consisting of 3 sub-30 year old top ten picks, the defensive backfield seems like it should be a strong point of the Redskins defense. Unfortunately, it was just the opposite last year with the unit ranking 1 spot away from dead last in the entire NFL. To make things worse, Carlos Rogers will become a free agent on March 1. With an average set of hands, Rogers would most likely be one of the top cornerbacks in the league. Even with his sometimes comically bad set of hands, he has still been a very solid corner back for this team and remains a huge upgrade over both Kevin Barnes and Phillip Buchanon.
Rogers wants three things:
- Money – He just finished his rookie contract (+1 year) and is ready to cash in.
- Respect – People to focus on the positives, the coverage skills, the passes defended, not the lack of/dropped interceptions.
- A shot at #1 – A chance to be the guy, the number one corner on the team. He’s been behind someone his entire career here.
Unfortunately for both sides, these things are going to be very difficult for Rogers to get in DC. If Rogers leaves, this team is looking at a nickel package going into the draft that boasts DHall, Barnes, and Buchanon. Unfortunately for us, that combination would leave our pass defense in a similar position to where it was this year, one of the worst in the league.
I get just as mad, if not more upset than most people when Carlos drops a crucial interception, especially when he can see the end zone in front of him as it slips through his hands. However, if we don’t do something to keep Rogers here, cornerback immediately shoots to the top of our needs list. Even if it’s something none of us want; with so many problems in the trenches, at playmaking positions, and under center it’s something that we are going to need to address if we hope to make any sort of improvement and get out of the NFC east cellar next year.
There several good ones, though older, that will be free agents and could be signed if Carlos moves on to greener pastures. Champ Bailey, Nnamdi Asomugha, Antonio Cromartie will all be on the open market coming up in March, but is that really the road we want to go down again? Overpaying for a more marquee, older player who will inevitably never live up to his Redskin contract? Asomugha is really really good, but remember what happened when he and Dhall were on opposite sides in Oakland? Instead of becoming the best cornerback duo in the league, Dhall became a Redskin because he struggled so much with the added balls being thrown his way. He is a masterful man coverage corner, but we played a lot of zone (albeit unsuccessfully) throughout this season, would he be worth the big bucks?
If we can’t get our hands on any upgrades or resign Rogers, we are left with the draft, but we’ll try hold off on that conversation for at least a little bit longer… With so many other holes to fill, it will hopefully be a position that could wait until the later rounds. Unfortunately, if we’re looking at Barnes or Buchanon starting at CB, it might be hard to pass up LSU’s Patrick Peterson or Nebraska’s Prince Amukamara if they are still on the board at number 10. Let’s hope we are able to resign Carlos, he is the most consistent and reliable corner we have and it opens up the draft to focus on other need positions. Maybe he can practice with the wide-outs this offseason to work on those hands and take his game to the next level.
More to come on the DBs available throughout the draft later