Redskins: Who's staying, who's leaving -- defense

Redskins: Who's staying, who's leaving -- defense
February 10, 2011, 12:15 pm
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Thursday, February 10, 2011 7:15 AM

By Rich Tandler and Ryan O'Halloran

Change is a constant with the Redskins. As the offseason gets underway, it seems inevitable there will be a lot of new faces at Redskin Park for the 2011 season. An NFL roster is a zero sum game; for every new face added, a familiar one has to go. There are many options for finding new players and we will zero in on the draft and free agency over the next several months. This week, we predict who wont be back this season. Redskins beat writer Ryan OHalloran and blogger Rich Tandler take a crack at predicting what the roster will look like. Earlier this week we looked at the offense; today, the defense. Note: Although the labor situation makes the outlook rather cloudy, we are assuming here that there will be a free agent period even if it is brief. We also are assuming that the free agency rules will be similar to what they were prior to the uncapped 2010 season. Defensive line Whos here now: Adam Carriker, Phillip Daniels, Kedric Golston, Jeremy Jarmon, Darrion Scott, Vonnie Holliday, Anthony Bryant, Maake Kemoeatu, Albert Haynesworth Tandler: Haynesworth, Daniels, Scott and Kemoeatu will be out in 2011. It may come down to the Redskins taking a seventh-round pick in the 2013 draft for Albert, but he will be gone one way or another. Daniels is a good role player and a great locker room guy but there isnt a spot for a soon-to-be 38-year-old lineman in a youth movement. Scott was a late-season signee and the Redskins can find an upgrade in the draft or in free agency. Although Kemoeatu started 12 games at nose tackle he will be coming off of a shoulder injury and will be replaced by a draft choice. OHalloran: Daniels admitted late in the season he is one of the few players that could benefit from a long lockout a prolonged dispute would equal a mid-summer agreement and teams would need to fill their rosters with veteran players who stay in shape and know the system. From the above group, Ill go with Haynesworth and Kemoeatu not returning. I can surely imagine Mike Shanahan putting everybody through another year of Haynesworth drama simply out of sheer stubbornness. Kemoeatu wasnt very effective at nose tackle and a player the Redskins could have used at that spot but cut in training camp Howard Green ended up winning a Super Bowl ring. Linebackers Whos here now: Lorenzo Alexander, H. B. Blades, Andre Carter, London Fletcher, Robert Henson, Rob Jackson, Rocky McIntosh, Brian Orakpo, Perry Riley, Chris Wilson Tandler: Carter, Henson, McIntosh and Wilson will not be back. Carter is a fish out of water in the 3-4 defense and a large option bonus coming due in March will force the Redskins to release him. McIntosh is a free agent and he is likely to look to sign with a team that plays a 4-3 defense as he is much more comfortable in the traditional outside backer role. Henson and Wilson will be given chances to compete for jobs but both are likely to be beaten out. OHalloran: Expect a ton of turnover at this position as Jim Haslett continues to discard players who dont fit into a 3-4 scheme. My list would include Carter, McIntosh and Wilson. Carter, as Rich pointed out, simply isnt a fit for the system and played more defensive end than linebacker over the second half of the season. McIntosh is a free agent and I cant remember one big play he made last year. Wilson is a third-down pass rusher and the Redskins already have an elite pass rusher in Orakpo playing that same spot. Henson gets a shot in training camp to make the team. Defensive Backs Whos here now: Kevin Barnes, Phillip Buchanon, DeAngelo Hall, Carlos Rogers, Byron Westbrook, Reed Doughty, Macho Harris, Chris Horton, LaRon Landry, Kareem Moore Tandler: Rogers, Buchanon and Horton will be playing elsewhere in 2011. The team probably would like to keep Rogers who, for all of his problems catching the ball, is a very good cover corner. He is, however, an unrestricted free agent and the Redskins wont go too high to keep a corner who will turn 30 before the season starts. Buchanon, also a free agent, was an inexpensive stop-gap, veteran nickel cornerback and the Redskins will upgrade in free agency or the draft. Horton burst onto the scene as a rookie in 2008 but he seems to have lost his confidence and has proven to be injury prone. OHalloran: Ill go with Rogers, Harris, Westbrook and Horton. Even though Rogers heads into free agency for the first time in his career and the sense I got is that he accurately sees this as the only chance of his career to get a big-money contract and he doesnt care if its in Alaska or Atlanta. Harris was a late-season addition and he didnt see the field even with all the injuries and Horton was a non-factor before he was placed on injured reserve. Buchanon may benefit from the Redskins using the draft and their money to plug other holes and he was pretty serviceable in a nickel role. As for Westbrook, hes a guy that goes to camp but will miss out on a roster spot. You can reach Ryan by email at and you can write Rich