This morning, we examined the Redskins’ 2014 outlook at inside linebacker. Now, CSNWashington.com Insiders Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler will give their take on how to fix one of the team’s most glaring offseason needs: Replacing the retiring London Fletcher.
Tandler: Due to some bad luck and some bad drafting, the Redskins don’t have anyone ready to step in to Fletcher’s spot. That will force them into the free agent market to find a starting inside linebacker. Fortunately, this is not a high-dollar position. The Redskins should go after the best inside backer on the market, Donald Butler of the Chargers. The former third-round pick will turn 26 in October and he posted 85 tackles during the season. In the playoffs he forced a fumble against the Bengals and picked off Peyton Manning. He does have some issues with the injury bug as he missed four games with a strained groin. That should serve to keep his asking price down. If he’ll take something around $4 million per year, Bruce Allen should bring him in.
El-Bashir: As Rich correctly points out, Fletcher’s replacement is not on the roster. In 2012, the team had begun grooming Keenan Robinson to be that player, but after suffering season-ending pectoral tears in back-to-back years, he’ll need to prove he can stay healthy before rejoining the conversation. Without a first round pick, the answer will likely be found in free agency. The good news for the Redskins is that they should have options, both short and long term. For example, how about the Giants’ Jon Beason? The 29-year-old made 104 tackles in 15 games with the Giants and Panthers last season. He’s got an injury history, so it would be hard to imagine him earning more than $4 million per season. Karlos Dansby (Cardinals), Akeem Jordan (Chiefs), Daryl Smith (Ravens) and Wesley Woodyard (Broncos) are also due to become free agents. The answer is out there. Now it’s up to Bruce Allen and Co. to find the correct one.