Five players the Redskins could target after NFL roster cuts
3. LB Malcolm Smith
The Redskins are young and thin at the linebacker position. Aside from Jon Bostic, all of their players have been in the league for three or fewer seasons. And two of them, Bostic and rookie Cole Holcomb, haven’t played with the Redskins previously.
That said, it could make sense for Washington to add a veteran just to provide some extra depth at linebacker. And Malcolm Smith is available.
Smith, the former Super Bowl 48 MVP, was released by the San Francisco 49ers prior to the roster cut deadline. Smith, 30, played in 12 games for the team last season and totaled 35 tackles while mostly serving as a backup.
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Smith’s tenure with the 49ers was marred by bad health, as he only played 12 of 32 possible games. That said, he’s still just a couple of seasons removed from a 103 tackle campaign with the Oakland Raiders. He always had good speed, so perhaps if he’s healthy, he could make an impact in a bit role.
The Redskins don’t necessarily need Smith. But, he could provide depth to the team as a fifth inside linebacker and could emerge as a spot starter if any of their young talent struggles out of the gate. Either way, he would provide depth at a solid-but-thin-looking position, so that could help the squad.
If the Redskins are looking more for a developmental depth candidate, 2018 third-round pick Malik Jefferson was released by the Cincinnati Bengals. He has intriguing athletic traits, so perhaps he would be a better fit to develop with the team’s young linebacker corps. But that also might be counterproductive to the development of some of their young pieces, so they may be better off targeting a veteran or putting a guy like BJ Blunt on the practice squad.