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Need to Know: Five free agents the Redskins should pursue

Need to Know: Five free agents the Redskins should pursue

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, March 10, one day before the start of NFL free agency.

Nickel coverage

Here are five free agents the Redskins should sign, at five different areas of need:

S Mike Mitchell, Panthers—He has been the subject of some buzz this weekend with the Redskins being among the teams reportedly interested. Mitchell does have some tackling issues (18 missed last year) but he should come at a price that reflects his flaws.

ILB Arthur Moats, Bills—His role in the Bills’ defense increased last year as he logged 11 starts. Moats hasn’t make many big plays (no career sacks or interceptions) but he should come fairly cheap and he can serve as a good stopgap while Keenan Robinson or perhaps another draft pick can learn the position.

CB Captain Munnerlyn, Panthers—So why not bring another member of secondary of the Panthers’ second-ranked defense. He turned into a big-play guy in 2013 with three sacks and two interceptions, both returned for TD’s.

WR Andre Roberts, Cardinals—At 5-11 he doesn’t fit the Jay Gruden height profile but he’s still a pretty good option. When he started 15 games in 2012 he dealt with Arizona’s awful quartet of QB’s and still caught 64 passes for 759 yards and five touchdowns.

DL Lival Joseph, NYG—He should be the one big-money free agent the Redskins target and even at that he won’t break the bank. A rotation of him, Barry Cofield, Chris Baker and Jarvis Jenkins would be a solid group in the front of the Redskins’ 3-4 defense.

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—It’s been 71 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 181 days until they play another one.

—Days until: NFL Free agency starts 1; Offseason workouts start 28; NFL Draft 59

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. 


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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.