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Need to Know: Five free agent cornerback possibilities for the Redskins

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Need to Know: Five free agent cornerback possibilities for the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, January 28, 100 days before the NFL Draft.

Nickel coverage

With three of their top four cornerbacks set to become free agents the Redskins will almost certainly be in the market for a free agent corner. Here are five that may fit the Redskins’ needs and budget.

1. Alterraun Verner, TEN—The Redskins could go one of two routes at cornerback. They might sign an older corner for a year or two as a stopgap until a draft pick can play there or they could sign a younger player for the long term. Verner fits into the latter category. The Pro Bowler is 25 and won’t turn 26 until late this season and he’s gotten better every year.

2. Captain Munnerlyn, CAR—He’s would be another one in the younger, long-term category (turns 26 in April). The former seventh-round pick has worked his way into the Panthers’ starting lineup and, like Verner, he has improved every year. Last year he had two interception returns for touchdowns and three sacks.

3. Antoine Cason, ARIZ—We’re starting to get into the older, stopgap category here although Cason turns just 28 before training camp. The Chargers let their former first-round pick walk in free agency a year ago and there was plenty of talk of the Redskins picking him up. Instead he signed a one-year deal with the Cardinals so he’s back on the market again.

4. Mike Jenkins, OAK—The Cowboys’ former first-round pick is pretty good when he’s on the field. That wasn’t an issue last year when he played all 16 games after signing with the Raiders. But he missed games his last two seasons in Dallas with back, knee, and hamstring injuries. Jenkins turns 29 in March.

5. Richard Marshall, SD—He will turn 30 late in the season and if he doesn’t sign back with the Chargers he could be with his fifth team in five years. Marshall has stayed healthy for the most part, playing in 16 games in seven of his eight NFL seasons. Certainly he would be a stopgap but if the Redskins need a nickel back and a part-time starter Marshall could fill the bill.

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Timeline

—It’s been 30 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 222 days until they play another one.

—Days until: NFL Combine 22; NFL Free agency starts 42; Offseason workouts start 69; NFL Draft 100

In case you missed it

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Redskins promote CB Phillips from practice squad, waive Bruton Jr. and Clausell

Redskins promote CB Phillips from practice squad, waive Bruton Jr. and Clausell

The Redskins made a roster move just before departing for Arizona to play the Cardinals.

They signed cornerback Dashaun Phillips from the practice squad and cut offensive tackle Blaine Clausell. The Redskins also waived safety David Bruton Jr. off of injured reserve.

Phillips was the Redskins’ nickel corner for the first three games of the season, and he made four tackles and recovered a fumble. But they moved rookie Kendall Fuller up into the slot corner role in Week 4 and Phillips spent several weeks on the inactive list before being waived on November 12 and added to the practice squad three days later.

The moves became known after Redskins coach Jay Gruden had spoken to the media for the day so we can only speculate as to the reasoning behind them. Actually, the release of Clausell isn’t hard to figure out. He was signed after Trent Williams started his four-game suspension and with Williams set to return on Monday and the other options at backup tackle healthy there was no point in keeping him around.

Phillips is likely going to Arizona as an insurance policy. The Cardinals like to spread the field with a lot of wide receivers. They will want to have five cornerbacks active. They do have Josh Norman, Bashaud Breeland, Fuller, Quinton Dunbar, and Greg Toler. But Breeland is listed as questionable with an ankle injury and they Redskins don’t want to take any chance of being caught short-handed at cornerback if he suffers a setback. That’s especially true when they don’t need to bring an extra tackle along.

Depending on how things shake out injury-wise against the Cardinals there is a good chance that we could see Phillips on the waiver wire once again as a roster spot will be needed for Williams.

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Redskins-Cardinals injury report: Reed out, seven questionable

Redskins-Cardinals injury report: Reed out, seven questionable

Redskins

Out

TE Jordan Reed (shoulder)—The word heroic is thrown around too often when talking about what athletes do, in light if what, say, first responders do every day. But Reed playing in the second half out of the Dallas game with a third-degree AC joint sprain certainly was remarkable. But Gruden said that Reed won’t have sufficient range of motion in the shoulder or range of motion to be able to go against the Cardinals.

DE Anthony Lanier (leg)—The reserve lineman missed the second half of the Dallas game with a leg contusion. Gruden said he was kicked in the lower leg against the Cowboys and the swelling is still an issue.

Questionable

LS Nick Sundberg (back)—He tweaked his back in the weight room before the Packers game and missed that game and the one against the Cowboys. He was a full go in practice all week and will return against the Cardinals.

G Brandon Scherff (ankle)—He has been limited in practice during the week but it seems certain that he will go against the Cardinals.

T Ty Nsekhe (ankle)—Ditto comment on Scherff above.

CB Bashaud Breeland (ankle)—He suffered the injury in practice this week and he was limited in practice on Thursday.

RB Chris Thompson (illness)—He was limited in practice during the week but he said in the locker room he will have his usual role on Sunday.

Also questionable for the Redskins: ILB Terence Garvin (shoulder) and DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee)

Cardinals

Check back for the Cardinals injury update after they release their report later this afternoon.