Top five linebackers for Redskins to target in 2020 free agency
If the Redskins are looking to add the best linebacker on the free-agent market to the fold, Cory Littleton should be their man. The Los Angeles Rams linebacker is the top option available and his skills in coverage are what separates him from the pack.
Littleton has great speed and is a fluid mover in space thanks to his lighter frame. He uses his 6-foot-3, 228-pound frame to body up bigger receiving options and should continue to find success in this area as he continues to improve. He can also attack downhill well and make tackles.
Littleton has been a full-time starter for the Rams in each of the past two seasons. He made the Pro Bowl in 2018 as a special teamer, and as a starter, he has averaged 129.5 tackles, 3.75 sacks, 2.5 interceptions, 11 pass defenses, and one forced fumble per season. That statistical production lines up with what he shows on the field, and he should have similar production wherever he lands.
The one concern with Littleton, as it pertains to the Redskins, is that he has found his success in a 3-4 scheme as a middle linebacker. He has the skills needed to effectively play in a 4-3 defense, but there may be an adjustment period for him having not played in that system since his rookie year in 2016.
Still, Littleton’s talent outweighs the minor concern. He should draw a lot of interest on the open market and may see himself become the third highest-paid stand-up linebacker in the league behind Bobby Wagner ($18 million AAV) and C.J. Mosley ($17 million AAV). Spotrac has his market value pegged at $12.2 million, but he should earn comfortably more than that given what Kwon Alexander made last offseason coming off a torn ACL ($13.5 million).