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Don't hold your breath for big-name Redskins free agent signings

Don't hold your breath for big-name Redskins free agent signings

Redskins fans might not like the Albert Haynesworth jokes that come rolling out at the start of free agency each year, but for some, the desire to chase the biggest free agents on the marketplace still burns. Don't expect that to rub off on the franchise though.

"When you talk about free agency you never ever want to try to rely on a big core of free agents coming here," Washington head coach Jay Gruden said last week at the NFL Scouting Combine.

"It's about developing the people you have. I feel good about the players we have in house," he said.

True to his word, the Redskins could lose two starting wideouts in DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon via free agency. Gruden said he "won't blink" if that happens, and talked about the development of young players like Ryan Grant and Maurice Harris. 

Gruden's comments fall in line with previous assessments of free agency from Bruce Allen and Scot McCloughan. While plenty of questions exist about McCloughan's current role with the franchise, regardless, he and Allen feel the same way about free agency: They'd rather build through the draft.

Washington has 10 picks in the 2017 draft, but also plenty of cap space. Early in the open tampering period, the 'Skins haven't been connected with a single big-name on the market, of which there are plenty.

Even recent history suggests Redskins brass will largely skip the spending spree that occurs early in free agency. Last year's big acquisition, Josh Norman, was a unique scenario where he hit the market weeks later, after Carolina rescinded his franchise tag.

The 'Skins may well open up the checkbook for one player, but it would be their quarterback Kirk Cousins. Outside of that, listen to Gruden. Keep those expectations in check.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

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Redskins draft oft-injured Auburn CB Joshua Holsey with their final pick

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Redskins draft oft-injured Auburn CB Joshua Holsey with their final pick

The Redskins haven't shied away from using draft picks on players with an injury history, and that trend continued all the way to their final pick of the draft with Auburn CB Joshua Holsey.

Holsey missed parts of the 2013 and 2015 seasons at Auburn due to torn ACLs, but rebounded with a strong season in 2016. He had 30 tackles, three interceptions and 10 passes defended in his senior season.

RELATED: REDSKINS ROLL THE DICE ON 7TH ROUND SAFETY

He was overlooked through most of the draft process due to his injury history and was snubbed at the combine. 

The seventh round is a spot to take a flier on a guy who has some traits you like, and this certainly fits the bill with the pick of Joshua Holsey. 

MORE REDSKINS: ANOTHER TALL WR? 3 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ROBERT DAVIS

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All or nothing? Redskins roll dice on 7th-round safety with lots of talent

All or nothing? Redskins roll dice on 7th-round safety with lots of talent

With two picks in the seventh round, the Redskins rolled the dice and selected Josh Harvey-Clemons. A safety from Louisville that started his career at Georgia, Harvey-Clemons was a five star recruit out of high school that eventually left Georgia due to multiple positive drug tests.

His junior year at Louisville, however, was a breakout season for Harvey-Clemons. Here are three things to know:

  1. Testing - At Georgia, Harvey-Clemons dealt with multiple suspensions for marijuana. That had a major impact on his draft status, and will have the eyes of the NFL watching him on the next level.
  2. Size - Harvey-Clemons has the size to play safety in the NFL, or maybe even more of a hybrid role like Su'a Cravens as a rookie. He's listed at 6-foot-4 and 217 lbs. NFL.com describes him with an "alpha mentality."
  3. Keep it together - After sitting out a transfer year, Harvey-Clemons played well at Lousville for two seasons. He logged more than 140 tackles and took ACC conference honors in 2015 and 2016. Whatever problems he had early in his college career (cough pot cough) he controlled at Louisville. If that continues, Harvey Clemons could have a chance at making the Redskins roster.

Simply put? The Redskins rolled the dice on a kid with good size and tackling ability who had problems with marijuana early in his college career. A lot of college students have problems smoking marijuana early in their college career. In the 7th round, this seems like a good gamble.

<<<LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS>>>

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!