The Washington Redskins free agency period is entering the final phase of this offseason, but it is a process that never truly ends.
The 2018 NFL draft is now history as fans and pundits alike are assessing the eight picks made by the Washington Redskins. While it is highly unlikely that the team will add another marquee player or two anytime soon, free agency is a continual operation each and every month of the year. Despite that, let’s be honest. Big time free agents rarely, if ever, enter the market after the draft and during the summer.
NFL teams are finalizing their rosters for organized team activities (OTAs), minicamps, and training camp. Adding an ultra-expensive player to the Washington Redskins roster simply won’t happen, but adding a free agent is not entirely out of the ordinary at this time of the year. There are several reasons why a team will add a good free agent after the draft.
Injuries are often the headlining reason. It is something a team, coaches, players, and fans fear and, really don’t want to talk about before the camps and OTAs arrive. Injuries do happen at this time of the year, however, and that is why a front office keeps a list of available players to call. There is no current need for a Johnathan Hankins or a Kenny Vaccaro, but an untimely injury could alter that line of thinking.
Post-draft releases could also make their way onto the Washington Redskins’ radar. When a team surprisingly releases a good player after the draft, any number of teams are typically interested. One area of concern for the Redskins is left guard, and if a good player at that position suddenly enters the market, then serious consideration should be given to signing that free agent. Shedding players after the draft happens for a multiplicity of reasons, such as age, bloated contracts, injury history and talent added during the draft. If a reliable veteran at left guard becomes available, the Redskins should explore the possibility of adding him to the roster.
The Washington Redskins could release good players from their roster as this offseason continues. Evaluations of draftees and undrafted free agents could render a veteran or two as expendable. Players that could be vulnerable include defensive tackle Phil Taylor, defensive end Ziggy Hood and running back Rob Kelley. Although attractive free agents like Hankins, Vaccaro, Dez Bryant, and Eric Reid are currently available, don’t look for the Redskins to sign any of them.
After the season starts, injuries do happen and while good free agents are few and far between, the team must scramble to find the best players possible. This was evident in 2017 as injuries to key personnel mounted. The Washington Redskins added Kapri Bibbs, Tony Bergstrom, Zach Vigil, Byron Marshall, and featured the return of Arie Kouandjio. With the possible exception of Kouandjio, some of these players could be released in the coming months.
So while the first phase of free agency may be over, free agency never truly ends, and we are here to cover each transaction and discuss how it impacts the team. Let’s hope there will be no need to add a free agent during the season, as there was last year.