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Need to Know: Five free agents the Redskins should avoid

Need to Know: Five free agents the Redskins should avoid

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 8, three days before the start of NFL free agency.

Nickel coverage

Here are five free agents the Redskins should avoid signing:

WR Hakeem Nicks, NYG—There is always reason to be suspicious of free agents who had career years in their contract season. But what should you think about a guy like Nicks, who had his worst year since becoming a starter last year? He couldn’t find the end zone with a GPS; he was targeted over 100 times and scored zero touchdowns. Combine that with talk that he was fined multiple times last year for being late to meetings and for missing injury treatments and you don’t answer the phone when his agent’s caller ID pops up.

OL Michael Oher, BAL—Great guy, great story and he has started 80 out of 80 possible games since he’s been in the league. But he’s just not a very effective blocker. Pro Football Focus ranked him 68th out of 76 tackles in the NFL. That’s about 50 spots below the guy he would be replacing, Tyler Polumbus.

WR Julian Edelman, NE—If you take him out of New England’s system and get him away from Tom Brady does he come any where the 100-catch production you’d be paying for? Also, his 16-game season last year was the first of his career; is that the new normal for him or an exception?

ILB Brandon Spikes, NE—Everyone knows about his liabilities against the pass and the supposed solution there is to get him off the field on third down. That’s great but in a passing league don’t teams throw a lot on first and second down, too? There are injury red flags here, too, as knee and ankle injuries caused him to miss half of the 2011 season and his knee limited him last year.

S Chris Clemons, MIA—A safety should stumble into a few interceptions a year by sheer accident and Clemons has four in five seasons in the NFL. I suppose they could do worse as he is good playing as the last line of defense but in an defense that wants to emphasize turnovers they should look elsewhere.

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Timeline

—It’s been 69 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 183 days until they play another one.

—Days until: NFL Free agency starts 3; Offseason workouts start 30; NFL Draft 61

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.