Washington Redskins: Three under-the-radar free agents to watch
By Ian Cummings
No. 2 – EDGE Jeremiah Attaochu – Los Angeles Chargers
The Redskins’ edge rushing department has the names. But they don’t always have the production to coincide with that. Ryan Kerrigan may have logged a career high in sacks this year, but too often, there isn’t enough pressure being generated from the outside. With more depth, and more rest, perhaps the starters could see an increase in their effectiveness.
The return of Trent Murphy will help, but with Junior Galette likely out the door, that roster fluctuation will be countered swiftly. In response, the Redskins should sign a low-risk player in free agency who will come at a cheap price. Jeremiah Attaochu of the Los Angeles Chargers sizes up to that description quite well.
Attaochu is not only a low-risk signing, but also provides the potential of exceptionally high returns. A former second round pick out of Georgia Tech, Attaochu got off to a promising start in his career. His rookie year was full of predictable ups and downs, and in his second year, he started for most of the season, recording six sacks.
Things were looking up for Attaochu’s third season, but injuries did him in. He would miss the first two weeks of the season, and after contributing as little more than a reserve player in Weeks 3 through 10, he was placed on injured reserve with a broken foot.
In 2017, Attaochu was little more than an afterthought in the Chargers’ new defensive scheme. He only played in four games, starting none, and more often than not, he was a healthy scratch, a low-value insurance policy that was never used.
Attaochu, a former second-round pick, will more than likely take his game elsewhere, discontent with his situation in Los Angeles. But due to his status for much of 2017, some teams might be hesitant to pick him up. That’s where the Washington Redskins can make their move.
Attaoachu projects well as an edge rusher who can also put his hand in the dirt. Like Galette, he has explosive burst, and standing at 6-foot-3, 253, he has the size to disrupt the lineman at the point of attack. His athleticism is his calling card, and while his strength was a big knock on him coming out of college, he has plenty of traits the Redskins can build upon. Coupled with the fact that he turns just 25 years old this year, and this signing makes a lot of sense for the Redskins.
Attaochu won’t break the bank with his demand. Some teams will be willing to take a risk on him, but his lack of production and inability to get on the field will scare many away. The Redskins can take a calculated risk with Attaochu and offer him a reasonable contract. He can then filter in behind Preston Smith at the right edge. Perhaps Attaochu only needs a change of scenery to make a comeback. The Washington Redskins can give him that, and more. At a nice price.