A restrained, yet productive, start for Redskins

A restrained, yet productive, start for Redskins
March 11, 2014, 7:45 pm
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We're a few hours into free agency and the Redskins haven’t made they kind of flashy signing that’s been the franchise’s M.O. in past years. In fact, GM Bruce Allen has taken a prudent approach thus far, signing three role players and setting up visits with two more.

Here’s a recap of the moves they’ve completed as of 8 p.m. and what they could mean:

  • WR Santana Moss signed a one-year deal to return to Washington, where he's spent the past nine years. At 34, he’s lost a step but he’s a strong leader in the locker room and will be a good tutor for the young receivers.
  • WR Andre Roberts agreed to a four-year, $16 million deal after spending the last four seasons in Arizona, according to a source with knowledge of the deal. He’s 26, 5-foot-11, 192-pounds and hauled in 43 passes for 471 yards and two touchdowns last season. Roberts also has experience returning punts and kickoffs, though he was not used a returner last season.
  • OG Shawn Lauvao comes over from Cleveland on a reported four-year, $17 million deal. He’s 6-3, 301 pounds and was the Browns’ starting right guard the past three seasons. The question is where will he play in Washington. Will he simply replace Chris Chester, who struggled last season after a strong 2012? Or will there be some shuffling along the offensive line as one source suggested?
  • ILB Adam Hayward, formerly of the Buccaneers, will sign a three-year deal pending his physical on Wednesday, a source said. According to reports, the deal is for $3 million, including $300,000 guaranteed. He’ll be a backup on defense and will be counted upon to make a big impact on special teams – a role similar to the one filled by Bryan Kehl last season. Kehl is a free agent and coming off of ACL surgery.

The biggest moves, though, could still be to come.

[RELATED: Roberts excited to join Redskins]

The Redskins are scheduled to host 32-year-old defensive end Antonio Smith, formerly of the Texans. In 15 games last season, he produced five sacks. The entire Washington D-line produced 5.5. The interest in him is likely twofold: they need to get a better pass rush from their line and concern about Stephen Bowen, who is 29 and coming off microfracture knee surgery. 

Washington also has a visit scheduled with former Ravens CB Corey Graham. As for Graham, he would fit as the nickelback – the role he filled in Baltimore – with DeAngelo Hall and David Amerson holding down the No. 1 and No. 2 corner spots. If Graham were to sign, it would almost assuredly mean the end of Josh Wilson’s tenure here. 

Although the Redskins did not make an initial splash, they are clearly not finished. The No. 1 priority on their to-do list - safety - remains unresolved. Allen still must sign at least one, and possibly two, starters. (Brandon Meriweather and Reed Doughty are now free to sign with anyone, including Washington.) And one player the Redskins had expressed interest in, Carolina’s Mike Mitchell, is now off the market, having signed with Pittsburgh. Mitchell signed for a reported five years, $25 million.