Predicting landing spots for the Redskins top-five pending free agents
At this point, it’s all but a foregone conclusion that Preston Smith will land elsewhere. Many of the top pass rushers in the NFL were slapped with the franchise tag, and Smith will capitalize on that via the open market.
While some may point to the franchise tags as benefitting the Redskins as there are fewer teams needing pass rushers now, the fact is that NFL teams are always looking to add pass rushing talent. And, they’re often willing to pay a premium to do that. So, all those franchise tag decisions actually hurt the Redskins’ chances of retaining Smith.
Smith and Trey Flowers are arguably the top two pass rushers currently available. Justin Houston can also be considered among the group, but Flowers and Smith are both just 26. Because of this, both are set to get big paydays. And with the Redskins lacking cap space, they simply won’t be able to keep up in the bidding war that will ensue for Smith.
There are a number of places that Smith could land, but it seems likely that a team armed with loads of cap space could target him. Two stand out in particular, and that’s the Jets and the Colts. Both teams need pass rushers and will be playoff contenders in the AFC. However, one is more ready to compete now, and that’s the team that I expect Smith to land on.