Who will the Redskins target in free agency?


The Washington Redskins will look to have a stellar draft this year after an impressive draft last year. All problems cannot and probably will not be solved in April, so the Redskins will have to begin adding weapons in March. Washington will likely be well under the cap and have room to make some key signings. Let’s take a look at some realistic options and a few not-so-realistic. 

Washington spent the bulk of the focus last year on solidifying a defense that was ranked 31st. Last year the defense and specifically the front seven, has made strides in the right direction. This year the focus will be on the other side of the ball. The Redskins lack anybody on offense that absolutely puts fear in the hearts of an opposing team. They don’t have anybody, right now, that defenses have to game plan for (except for the guaranteed two turnovers by Rex Grossman). I believe that they will target several key players in free agency, so long as they are young enough and hungry enough. Here’s a list of targets (in no particular order) and what they could bring to the Redskins.

1. Marques Colston – Wide Receiver

Colston averages over 1,000 yards per season through his six-year career. He stands at 6′ 4″ 225 lbs and has proven to be a hard worker by amassing 80 receptions for 1,143 yards despite only starting seven of the 14 games he played in this regular season. Could he possibly be a product of his system and quarterback in New Orleans? Yes. Could he also just be that good? Yes. The Redskins have a potential threat developing in Leonard Hankerson, but they don’t know much yet. Colston would provide size and speed and possibly open up the underneath throws to Fred Davis and the slot receivers. There’s one more good thing about Colston; he’s only 28 years old.

2. Dwayne Bowe – Wide Receiver

Bowe had a breakout year in 2010, and a decent showing in 2011 despite having everybody but Joe Montana throw to him. I think Bowe could work well with a decent quarterback. He’s 6′ 2″ 221 lbs, which isn’t exactly Randy Moss, but it’s a good size. Bowe has been fairly consistent in his five years in the league, averaging 985 yards a season with 7 touchdowns. He’s different from Colston in that he’s proven his worth on the field in spite of who is or isn’t playing at quarterback. The Redskins should take a hard look at Bowe if Colston is already off the board. Oh, I forgot to mention he’s also just 27 years old.

3. Carl Nicks – Offensive Guard (Left)

Nicks wouldn’t be the sexiest of pick-up’s, but he’s definitely a need for this offense and any future quarterback to survive. He’s about as solid as can be, he holds down the interior blindside for Drew Brees and is only 26 years old with room to grow. There aren’t many stats to judge this guy by, other than starting 61 of his 64 games in his four years. He played in all 64. This guy is solid and durable. Four seasons, hasn’t missed a game? The Redskins should be talking to this guy now, even before the playoffs are over (nothing wrong with that, right?). Also, at 6′ 5″ tall and 343 lbs, he’s hard to beat up front.

4. Mike Wallace – Wide Receiver (Restricted Free Agent)

Although Wallace is a restricted free agent with the Steelers, should the Redskins get him, they’d immediately be able to stretch the field. Wallace runs about a three second forty yard dash and although only six feet tall, he would be a threat no matter where the Redskins offense would be lining up. Wallace is the youngest of the receiver prospects at age 25.

5. Vincent Jackson – Wide Receiver

Most people feel as though  V-Jax’s biggest issue is getting paid. The Redskins would love to oblige him. Jackson is a prototypical wide receiver at 6′ 5″ and 230 lbs. He’s 28 years old, which is about middle of the road for an NFL career. Jackson has averaged 679 yards per season over seven years in San Diego, but keep in mind he didn’t play most of his rookie and the 2010 season. If you factor out the two seasons in which he didn’t play in more than 8 games, his average jumps to 951 yards. Jax also has 37 touchdowns over his career, not going for more than nine in any single season. The Redskins could possibly make Jackson a number one priority this offseason. Remember, Washington was previously rumored of being close to signing Jackson last year.

Other possible options could include:

Mario Williams (LB), Cortland Finnegan (CB) [although most don’t believe his attitude would sit well with Shanahan], Ben Grubbs (G), Brent Grimes (CB), LaDarius Webb (CB), Michael Griffin (S) and Tyvon Branch (S).

Did we forget anybody? Ah yes. The second coming of Aaron Rodgers to some, the second coming of Matt Cassel to others. Mr. Matt Flynn.

Flynn has good size at 6′ 2″ and 225 lbs. He’s also relatively young at just 26 years old. This guy has the arm, as most of America saw with him just shredding the Lions for 480 yards and six (6) (seis) (VI) touchdowns. Some say that he’s unproven and may be a product of the system. The Redskins could possibly solidify the quarterback position a month before the draft and focus on other needs by signing this guy. There isn’t a “wrong” move here. Whether they go Flynn or draft, they should get somebody that is, at the least, serviceable.

This figures to be an eventful offseason for Washington unlike the last few. The Redskins will have some major opportunities to add weapons to their offense and solidify their defense. Hopefully Shanahan and Allen can agree on enough of these guys to really take some shots. So long as the team gets younger and there is a conscious effort to acquire more talent, not just warm bodies- the Redskins could add W’s to the schedule before it’s even released.

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