Free safety market shrinking

Free safety market shrinking
March 17, 2013, 12:00 pm
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Although the Redskins are pressed up against their penalty-reduced salary cap, it’s possible the team will opt to create space by restructuring a contract or asking another player to take a pay cut. After all, they have holes to fill.

In addition to needing a veteran cornerback, which we discussed Saturday, another hole exists at safety. Assuming Brandon Meriweather (knee surgery) claims the starting strong safety position, the Redskins will need a free safety to replace Madieu Williams, who does not appear likely to return.

The team can address the void with an early round draft pick or in free agency. If Mike Shanahan and Co. choose the latter route, they’ve already missed out on most of the top available players. But there are some decent options remaining. Here’s a look at three of those possibilities (as of Sunday morning):

Name: Kerry Rhodes

Former team: Cardinals

The skinny: By most accounts, Rhodes had a solid 2012, starting 15 games at FS and recording 58 tackles, four INTs, two forced fumbles and a sack. The 30-year-old was due to earn $6 million in 2013 before being released, so money could be a stumbling block.


Name: Abram Elam

Former team: Chiefs

The skinny: Although injuries limited him to 12 games (and only seven starts) in 2012, Elam started 47 of 48 games from 2009-11 as a member of Browns and Cowboys. Described as intelligent and consistent, he could be a low-risk, short term solution for the Redskins. Elam’s brother, Matt, is a top safety prospect in next month’s draft.


Name: Michael Huff

Former team: Raiders

The skinny: Huff is a career free safety who was moved to a cornerback in 2012. The prevailing thought about the 30-year-old, though, is that he’ll return to free safety in 2013 – wherever he lands. Huff’s versatility could be intriguing to the Redskins, who need a free safety and at least one veteran cornerback.