Previewing Redskins 2021 free agents targets: The pass catchers
By Jonathan Eig
If reports can be believed, the only position for which the Redskins pursued a premium free agent in 2020 was receiver. Though they missed out on Dallas’ Amari Cooper, the pursuit alone shows just how eager they are to give Dwayne Haskins more proven weapons to pair with rookie sensation Terry McLaurin.
I’m not sure that the standard designations of X, Z, and slot receivers matter very much these days. As Kansas City showed last year, you just want playmakers on the outside. It is nice to have one or two steady possession guys to move the chains on third and six, and it is nice to have burners who can stretch the field and scare the opposing secondary. You pay a premium for guys who can do both. There are a number of good options likely to be available to serve both roles.
The two top targets as of now are not likely to stay available. But if either Kenny Golladay or Chris Godwin are on the market, the Redskins need to consider filling in some of that salary cap room they will have in 2021. Both are premier talents just entering their prime.
More from Riggo's Rag
- What will Emmanuel Forbes bring to the Washington Commanders?
- Highlighting the best Commanders 2023 NFL Draft betting props
- 3 late Commanders rumors drawing buzz ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft
- 4 bold predictions for the Commanders 2023 NFL Draft
- Commanders News: Chase Young trade, draft day, CB riser and Sam Howell
Golladay is a big receiver who can get downfield and who has gotten better and better with experience. Godwin is as good a young receiver as there is in the league. It is impossible to predict how Tampa will handle him since they are already heavily invested in Mike Evans and also just paid a lot for some quarterback, but I assume they will do everything they can to hold onto him.
Looking beyond those two, both Keenan Allen and T.Y. Hilton are scheduled to be available. Though you would certainly like either on your team, I don’t see investing a lot of money in guys at 30 or beyond with a fair amount of mileage on them. The Redskins did not pursue Emmanuel Sanders this off-season, and though either Allen or Hilton would be a significant upgrade, I don’t see it happening.
Besides, you have several younger options available. Both Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson are scheduled to hit the market, and the Redskins need to keep their eyes on these players. They will still be pricey, though not in the Godwin/Golladay league.
I am very intrigued by Robinson. He has never failed to produce, and the key question about him is whether his significant drop-off in yardage coinciding with his move from Jacksonville to Chicago has more to do with him or more to do with the offense and quarterback play on the Bears. I suspect it is the latter, so I would be very interested in seeing what Robinson would look like playing opposite McLaurin.
If you are looking at a lower-price option, there are steady, productive young guys like Tajae Sharpe and Kendrick Bourne potentially available. But the one I like the best is Zach Pascal, a local product whose first pro contract was with the Redskins in 2017. He has trended up throughout his short career and though he lacks elite speed, he is a strong, fast-enough option who should continue to grow.
And if you want to go deep, both on the field and in terms of gambling on an unproven talent, keep an eye on Tennessee’s Kalif Raymond. He is the best one out there if you’re looking to take a flier.
Speaking of fliers – here’s the special Will Fuller V addendum. Fuller is a phenomenal talent. Someone will sign him. I doubt it will be Houston. And since he seems like a decent enough man, I hope he flourishes and his talent shines.
But the thing is, it shouldn’t be the Redskins who sign him. Fuller has averaged 10 games a year since he entered the league. He has a sprinter’s body, and those bodies are prone to injury. Those injuries don’t decrease as the player gets older. You can’t sign him. Thus endeth the addendum.