Washington Redskins Tender Restricted Free Agents Will Comtpon, Chris Thompson
The Washington Redskins are trying to take care of some of their own before the official free agent signing period begins. Both Will Compton and Chris Thompson have been tendered by the team.
The Washington Redskins had a couple of players that were set to hit restricted free agency in the coming days. Starting linebacker Will Comtpon and third down back Chris Thompson both were coming off of productive years for the team, but they were set to hit the market. Because of their status as restricted free agents, the Redskins had a chance to tender the duo with qualifying offers. They elected to do that on Wednesday in order to retain their rights.
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Thanks to the qualifying offers, the Redskins now hold leverage in terms of signing. While both Compton and Thompson are allowed to negotiate with other teams, they can only sign offer sheets. These are essentially contract offers that the Redskins will get a chance to match. If either player inks an offer sheet, the Redskins will have a week to decide whether or not they want to match. If they do match, then the player will sign that size contract with the team.
It seems likely that the team will want to bring back both Compton and Thompson. Compton spent most of the season as the team’s starting middle linebacker. While he has some deficiencies in run support, he is pretty good in coverage and is a leader off the field. Compton was a defensive captain for the team in 2016, and he missed only one full contest over the course of the season. In that game, the Redskins were in general disarray as they did not have the ability to get the plays correctly called in the defensive backfield.
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Compton will likely get a solid deal from the Redskins, but there are some questions about whether or not he is a long term starter. He would be better off in a platoon situation, playing mostly coverage downs while someone else took care of the run support. Regardless, the Redskins have to keep him because of his leadership abilities.
Of the two free agents, Thompson may actually have the bigger market. Thompson has played very well over the course of the past two seasons and really is a perfect third down back. Despite his 5-foot-8 stature, Thompson has been able to average a ridiculous 5.5 yards per carry over the course of his career. He has also put up stellar receiving numbers and could probably succeed as the No. 2 back in an offense.
The only question for any team that wants to sign Thompson is durability. Jay Gruden expressed some concerns about giving Thompson too many touches, as he was worried about wear and tear and possible injuries. Still, Thompson deserves a shot at playing a significant role in a teams offense. The Redskins should try to keep him, but if he signs too big of an offer sheet, they may have to let him go. After all, the 2017 NFL Draft class is very strong at running back, so they could land an equal or better player if he leaves.
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Overall, hitting Compton and Thompson with tenders makes a lot of sense. The Redskins now can pick and choose whether or not to keep them, and they should be able to make moves that will be constructive to the team.