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Need to Know: Five free agent wide receivers the Redskins could target

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Need to Know: Five free agent wide receivers the Redskins could target

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, January 21, 49 days before NFL free agency starts.

Nickel coverage

Let’s take a look at five receivers the Redskins could pursue in free agency:

1. Julian Edelman, NE (2013 stats 105 rec/1056 yds/6 TDs)—Santana Moss is unlikely to be back and Edelman is quite capable of playing Moss’ slot position. Jay Gruden’s Bengals generally employed bigger receivers and Edelman has decent height at 6-feet even (correction: most have Edelman listed at 5-10).

2. Jerome Simpson, MIN (48/726/1)—Jay Gruden has some good information on him as he was the Bengals’ offensive coordinator when Simpson was there. He has had some off-field issues running afoul of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy that might make some teams shy away. They also could drive down his asking price.

3. Golden Tate, SEA (64/898/5)—We can add punt returns to his stat line here as he brought back 51 punts for an average of 11.5 yards. That’s not a spectacular average but it would have represented a quantum leap in production from what the Redskins had in 2013. Tate may be a bit too costly for the Redskins this year but the return skills could justify overpaying for him.

4. James Jones, GB (59/817/3)—Jones will be 30 before the season starts and hemay have lost a step so he would have to come at a reduced rate. He certainly appears to have something left in the tank; he’s just a season removed from a 14-touchdown season in 2012.

5. Andrew Hawkins, CIN (12/199/0)—There are a few issues here—he wasn’t very productive last year, he’s only 5-7 and he’s a restricted free agent. But he does bring an element of speed, something the Redskins don’t have enough of. And he did have a very productive 2012 season (51/533/4) so he has demonstrated that he can get it done. If they tender him at a level that doesn’t require any compensation, Gruden may encourage Bruce Allen to make a bid for him.

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Timeline

—It’s been 23 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 229 days until they play another one.

—Days until: NFL Combine 29; Offseason workouts start 76; NFL Draft 107

In case you missed it

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#RedskinsTalk Podcast Episode 40 - Seriously, when will the Redskins pick a coordinator?

#RedskinsTalk Podcast Episode 40 - Seriously, when will the Redskins pick a coordinator?

As the Redskins settle into the offseason without both an offensive and defensive coordinator, JP Finlay and Rich Tandler debate who will get the jobs, and when they will be announced. 

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0: CORNERING THE MARKET

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Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Jason Tarver

Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Jason Tarver

The Redskins have interviewed some high-profile candidates for their open defensive coordinator position. When it was reported that they will meet with former Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver, the reaction among the fans was, “Who?”

Let’s take a look at what Tarver’s qualifications are to get the job of running the Redskins’ defense.

Before becoming a coordinator: At the age of 22, Tarver took a coaching job at West Valley College in California, and did that while earning his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Santa Clara. After that he was a graduate assistant at UCLA for three years before getting into the NFL in 2001, when the 49ers hired him as a quality control coach. Tarver worked his way up to outside linebackers coach in 2005 and did that job until 2010, when he was let go went Mike Singletary was fired as the head coach. After a year as the defensive coordinator at Stanford, Dennis Allen hired Tarver to run the Raiders defense in 2012.

More Redskins: Early first-round draft possibilities

Note: If you want more complete stats on Tarver’s defenses check out his page on Pro Football Reference. DVOA stats via Football Outsiders. A negative DVOA percentage is better than a positive number. Zero is average.

For players, * designates Pro Bowl selection, + designates first-team All-Pro

2012 Raiders (4-12)

Rankings: Yards 5,672 (18th), points 443 (28th), takeaways 19 (26th), 3rd down 39.1% (20th), DVOA 12.5% 29th
Notable players: DT Richard Seymour, DE Lamarr Houston

It should be noted that Allen had a defensive background so he had a hand in these numbers. This team just wasn’t very good as indicated by the fact that Seymour, at age 33, was one of their best defensive players.

2013 Raiders (4-12)

Rankings: Yards 5,918 (22nd), points 453 (29th), takeaways 22 (21st), 3rd down 43.1% (28th), DVOA 10.3% (26th)
Notable players: S Charles Woodson

They did make an effort to shore up the defense by bringing back Woodson and drafting cornerback D.J. Hayden in the first round. But Hayden only played in eight games and Woodson could only contribute so much at age 37. The pass defense struggled, ranking 29th in DVOA.

Related: Redskins offensive coordinator resume: Matt Cavanaugh

2014 Raiders (3-13)

Rankings: 5,721 (21st), points 452 (32nd), takeaways 14 (30th), 3rd down 38.5% (14th), DVOA 6.3% (26th)
Notable players: LB Khalil Mack, S Woodson

Allen was fired after an 0-4 start and Tony Sparano took over as interim head coach the rest of the way. Sparano has an offensive background so perhaps Tarver is more fully accountable for these results than those in other seasons. They did draft Mack with the fifth overall pick but his impact as a rookie was limited as recorded four sacks. Hayden again missed half of the season and, again, the defense was near the bottom of the NFL.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page www.Facebook.com/RealRedskins and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.