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Need to Know: The top five Redskins free agents

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Need to Know: The top five Redskins free agents

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, December 6, two days before the Washington Redskins host the Kansas City Chiefs.

Nickel coverage

With the meaningful part of the 2013 season over, it’s time to take a look ahead. Here are the five Redskins who are will be free agents that the team should want to bring back.

1. Brian Orakpo—If the organization is convinced that he can remain healthy, the Redskins will make a strong bid to give their 2009 top draft pick a contract that will keep him with the team for the rest of his career. But pass rushers are valuable commodities and he could get too pricey.

2. Perry Riley—The Redskins have been grooming Riley to replace London Fletcher as the defensive signal caller in the middle. He hasn’t had a great year but he’s certainly worth keeping and the relatively low price tag the inside linebacker spot commands should make it affordable.

3. DeAngelo Hall—He took a $6 million pay cut in order to return and he has been the rock and playmaker of the defensive backfield. Hall might give something of a hometown discount but he will want to recoup some of the cash he lost in 2013.

4. Rob Jackson—Whether Orakpo is back or not, Jackson is a good player to have around. His strength is in pass coverage and the team should bring him back and continue to try to find ways to utilize his skills.

5. Brandon Meriweather—He would definitely have to be on a one-year deal for the right price and he might need to be signed with the hope that he will be beaten out of his job by Phillip Thomas or Bacarri Rambo before the year is out. But for right now he is the one player who can strike any degree of fear into the hearts of receivers gong over the middle.

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Stat of the day

—The Redskins have not beaten the Chiefs since September 18, 1983. That was 11,038 days ago.

Timeline

—Days until: Chiefs @ Redskins 2; Redskins @ Falcons 9; Cowboys @ Redskins 16

—Today’s schedule: Practice 11:50; Mike Shanahan news conference and player availability after practice (approx. 1:30)

In case you missed it

Tandler and Tarik talk free agents

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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: NFL Mock Draft 1.0

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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.