This morning, we examined the Redskins’ 2014 outlook for the wide receiver corps. Now, CSNWashington.com Insiders Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler will give their take on the most pressing issue at the position: Should the Redskins go all-in for a No. 2 wide receiver?
Tandler: As you read in the outlook, Robert Griffin III sure could use another reliable target. But there are pitfalls in bringing in a receiver either in free agency or in the draft. They could spend their second-round draft pick on Kelvin Benjamin of Florida State or Jarvis Landry of LSU. They would probably wind up with a perfectly serviceable receiver—in 2015 or 2016. It takes even the best wide receivers a year or two to figure out the ropes in the NFL. That’s an option but it may not be of immediate help.
A veteran free agent might bring immediate returns but the better ones tend to be costly. Last year’s top receiver was Mike Wallace and it took a five-year, $60 million deal with $30 million guaranteed for the Dolphins to land him. Eric Decker, widely believed to be this year’s top free agent receiver, is unlikely to command a deal like that. But with Pierre Garçon taking up $9.7 million in cap space this year, the Redskins have to be careful about overspending at one position.
Perhaps the best solution is to get Benjamin with the 34th pick in the draft and then try to sign someone like Julian Edelman away from the Patriots. His contract should average about $6 million per year, a number that will fit quite comfortably into the Redskins’ cap.
El-Bashir: If you read my open thread this morning, you know that I consider upgrading the wide receiver corps to be the Redskins’ third most important priority in free agency this offseason (behind only secondary and inside linebacker).
GM Bruce Allen certainly could use the team’s second or third round selection on a wide out. Jordan Matthews (Vanderbilt), Robert Herron (Wyoming) and Jared Abbrederis (Wisconsin) stood out to me during Senior Bowl practices and could be options if higher rated players aren’t on the board. But it should be noted only three rookie wide receivers last season recorded more than 50 receptions.
What that means is this: immediate help will almost assuredly come via free agency. Here are the players who jump out to me: Decker, Golden Tate (Seattle), Hakeem Nicks (New York Giants), Emmanuel Sanders (Pittsburgh) and Dexter McCluster (Kansas City). McCluster could the Redskins' fill the need at punt returner, as well. Another possibility is Josh Morgan, who, in 2012, hauled in a team-leading 48 passes (mostly) from Robert Griffin III. Clearly there was a disconnect between the previous coaching staff and the DC native. Perhaps another chance (at a lower salary) could be a good fit for both sides.