This morning, we examined the Redskins’ 2014 outlook at offensive tackle. Now, CSNWashington.com Insiders Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler will give their take on they key 2014 question at the position: Do the Redskins need to replace right tackle Tyler Polumbus at right tackle and, if so, how?
Tandler: As noted in the outlook post, Polumbus allowed only four sacks in 2013 and he carries a very reasonable salary cap number of $1.6 million. Still, the Redskins need to look for an upgrade. Looking at his career track record it’s very risky to gamble that Polumbus can duplicate his 2013 perfromance. The free agent market is thin with the top players like the Raven’s Eugene Monroe likely to be franchise tagged or will be looking for the higher salary that comes with being a left tackle. Younger tackles like Michael Oher and Rodger Saffold have struggled mightily and may not represent much of an upgrade. The best solution might be to sign an older player to start immediately and then draft a tackle in the middle rounds to develop into the starter in 2015 or 2016. A good free agent target could be Eric Winston. He has been available each of the last two offseasons but due to the salary cap penalty the Redskins were never able to get into the game to acquire him. Then draft a player like JaWuan James of Tennessee in the third or fourth round. At 6-6, 315 is the perfect size for Gruden’s scheme. Next year or the year after, he’s your starter.
El-Bashir: Last offseason, the Redskins brought in veterans Tony Pashos and Jeremy Trueblood to compete with Polumbus, and Polumbus fended them off. This offseason, with the $36 million salary cap penalty lifted, the competition figures to be tougher. GM Bruce Allen could pursue a veteran such as Winston, Tyson Clabo, Anthony Collins, Eugene Monroe, Michael Oher or Branden Albert. And it wouldn’t surprise me at all if that’s what he did. But I’d personally like to see the Redskins take a long-term approach and invest a high draft pick in the position. Top prospects such as Jake Matthews (Texas A&M) and Zack Martin (Notre Dame) figure to be out of their reach because, of course, they don’t have a first round pick. But the Redskins might be able to get a player like Morgan Moses (Virginia) or Jack Mewhort (Ohio State) in the second round. The foundation for a successful offense is its line. And it’s past time for the Redskins to stop spending each offseason searching for a stopgap solution to line up across from two-time pro bowler Trent Williams.