Washington Redskins Should Not Make Another Major Free Agent Signing Unless The Price Is Right

Aug 20, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Giants defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (95) during the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 20, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Giants defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (95) during the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports /

The Washington Redskins have made a good amount of free agent acquisitions during the 2017 offseason. It is unlikely that they will make another major splash prior to the 2017 NFL Draft.

The Washington Redskins needed to make some big moves during the 2017 offseason. With a serious weakness on the defensive side of the ball and several key offensive free agents, the team was set to have some serious change. While there was little hope for fans after the loss of general manager Scot McCloughan, receivers Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson, and also the loss of defensive end Chris Baker, things got better for the team as the offseason wore on.

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The Redskins started off their signings by overpaying for the uninspiring duo of Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee. While both were solid run stuffers in 2016, they were both lower caliber players than the departed Baker. However, the two should upgrade the run defense, but the pass rush may suffer as a result.

After that, things got much better for the team. They added some younger players in safety D.J. Swearinger and high upside receiver Terrelle Pryor to help strengthen their team. Additionally, they re-signed Vernon Davis and Ziggy Hood to keep some of their depth players. Late in the free agency period, they may have struck gold when they agreed to a one year deal with Zach Brown. The linebacker was a Pro Bowler in 2016, and he should upgrade one of the team’s biggest weaknesses.

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There are still some quality free agents left on the market in the NFL. Most notably, linebacker Gerald Hodges and nose tackle Johnathan Hankins are still out there. Some have called for the Redskins to add another player, namely Hankins to fill the massive void they have at defensive tackle, but they really should not pursue any more big name signings.

While Hankins could be a solid addition for the team, he would come with a risk. He missed nearly half of the 2015 season with injuries, and never looked like he was at full speed in 2016. He is worth a lucrative deal, but the current market for nose tackles has been one where players are signing one year deals in the $7-$8 million range. Hankins is requesting a deal worth $10 million per yer, per Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk, so that would not be a wise investment for the Redskins, let alone any team.

Meanwhile, Hodges is a solid player, but the Redskins already added Brown and their other linebackers should be solid role players. I would wager that they would rather add a player on a rookie salary than pay Hodges on another one year deal.

Speaking of the rookies, the team has to make sure that they have enough money set aside to pay them. According to Spotrac.com, the Redskins will have just under $3 million in cap space once they draft and sign their rookies. This takes into account the top 51 earners on their roster as well as the draft picks they have. While the team could make extra room by releasing Shawn Lauvao or DeAngelo Hall, they would be more likely to save that cap space for next offseason. They have numerous free agents hitting the market in 2018, the most notable being Kirk Cousins.

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In short, the Redskins could make another big move in free agency if they so desired, but it would likely be better for them to stay the course. They can continue to round out their 90-man unit with high upside guys, but any of the top free agents left could be too pricey for their taste.