The big question surrounding the Redskins offseason is will RGIII be able to return the next season following his recent injury and surgery? The team also has other holes they need to worry about during this offseason.
The first problem is the decision of who should they keep. There are a few players with contracts up including Pro Bowl player Lorenzo Alexander and Rob Jackson, who filled in well at linebacker when the team had some early injuries. Their contracts, if renewed, could take up a lot of the salary cap and could hinder the Redskins in getting new players to fill other needs that the team has. This becomes an even bigger concern with 2013 being the last year the Redskins are facing an $18 million cap penalty. They also have to decide if DeAngelo Hall is worth the cap hit he has in the last two years of his contract.
After decided who they are going to keep they need to look at the holes they had from last season. Their biggest need is in the secondary especially in the Safety position. The team likes Brandon Meriweather in the strong safety spot but has a major injury concern after all the knee issues he had this year. They also need an upgrade over Madieu Williams at the free safety spot and could either look at cheaper options such as Ryan Mundy from Pittsburgh or even bringing back LaRon Landry who they let go due to injury concerns but was able to get through the season last year with the Jets. They could also put their hopes on Tanard Jackson, who was going to start at safety before being suspended for the season due to a positive drug test, if he can stay clean he could be an average starter and one who is likely to be cheap as a free agent due to his off field concerns and was good early in his career before suspensions have taken away any consistency. Another possible option is moving DeAngelo Hall to Safety, but he would have to agree to the move and also would almost have to agree to restructure his contract to lower his cap hit. They also could look at filling the position in the draft as it is considered a fairly good class of Safeties this year and could look at guys Tony Jefferson from Oklahoma if they feel that his off the field issues were a one-time thing. Another option who might be available later in the draft is Eric Reid from LSU who has excellent Free Safety instincts and recognition.
The team would also use upgrades in the Corner position and it becomes even more important if the team decides to move Hall to Safety or release him for cap relief. They could get someone in the draft such as Will Davis from Utah State who had a streak of five straight games with an interception this year. They could also look at Johnthan Banks from Mississippi State who not only is a strong Corner but also returned three of twelve punt returns for TDs and could give the team a return upgrade with the Brandon Banks experiment not working out last year and leading to Banks being inactive for several games this year.
The biggest need on the offensive side of the ball is right tackle. It was a position that was filled well this year by Tyler Polumbus who is a free agent and might be a possibility if the price is right and the Redskins can’t find an upgrade at a price they can afford. They like Jammal Brown, after he had a good season with the team in 2011, but he couldn’t play this year due to injury concerns and with Mike Shanahan crediting a lot of the offensive lines success this year to having the same five starters in 15 of the 16 games the team will probably want someone more reliable then Brown. The team could look to fill the position in the draft given they will be looking for a Tackle who is good in their zone blocking scheme and with a limited number of teams looking for that kind of player they may be able to find one that slips down to them since they do not have a first round pick due to the Robert Griffin III trade last year.
There are other things that could be improved but these are the biggest needs for the team. The other thing the team needs is Robert Griffin III to come back healthy sooner rather than later and with the same big play abilities he had before the injury. The team does have Kirk Cousins, who showed this year that he can fill in for the injured Griffin if needed with his comeback win against the Super Bowl bound Ravens and win in his start against the Browns.
The team did a good job improving last year with the cap penalty adding not only Griffin but also Pierre Garcon, who when healthy last year showed explosive big play ability and Alfred Morris. who they team uncovered in the sixth round of last year’s draft and ended the season second in the NFL in rushing and along with Griffin was the reason the Redskins led the NFL in team rushing. If they can be successful again in the later rounds of the draft this year this team could be the first team to repeat as NFC East Champions since the Eagles in 2004 and in the playoffs with a healthy Griffin would be a team no one will want to face.
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