Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, February 25, 13 days before the Washington Redskins and the rest of the NFL start free agency.
Question of the day
We’re going back to the NTK format we’ve been using since last month. Every day I’ll give an in-depth answer to a question submitted by a fan on my Twitter feed, via the Real Redskins Facebook page, or in the comments section here. On Twitter address the questions to me at @Rich_TandlerCSN with the #NTK hashtag. There will be a comment thread set up on the Facebook page and if you’re asking your question here, put “for NTK” at the start of the comment.
Today’s question is from the Real Redskins Facebook page.
First, note that this question was submitted over a month ago. I do hold on to questions for a while, so if you put one in a while ago you never know when it could pop up.
I’m answering it now because the time is right. Free agency starts in less than two weeks and the Redskins are nailing down their free agent strategy. They were a little bit behind the curve since they didn’t hire Scot McCloughan until almost two weeks after the season ended. But let’s take a look at the big picture here; there will be plenty of posts with details coming between now and March 10.
Please note that this is reading the tea leaves and looking at what makes sense; it is not based on inside info from Redskins Park. They have managed to keep a very tight lid on what is going on there.
The Redskins have 11 unrestricted free agents, not counting Ryan Clark, who retired. I think they will let the following players walk without putting up much of a fight: WR Santana Moss, OT Tyler Polumbus, CB E.J. Biggers, S Brandon Meriweather and DL Chris Neild.
For the right deals, they might be willing to bring back DL Jarvis Jenkins, WR Leonard Hankerson, RB Roy Helu, and TE Niles Paul.
I’m not sure about what they will do with LB Brian Orakpo and QB Colt McCoy. Perhaps they will make a cursory attempt to keep Orakpo on some sort of an incentive-laden deal with they won’t lose sleep if they get outbid, which they probably will. And although it’s doubtful that McCoy is the prototype of the type of QB that McCloughan wants, options are very limited. Wait and see on Colt.
You will note the lack of any "must have" free agents. There are some they would like to have back but none are close to warranting the franchise tag or any super-aggressive efforts to lock them up before the hit the open market.
As far as letting players go, I think there will be less of that than many think. I can’t see G Chris Chester staying at age 32with a $4.8 million cap number. His job goes to a younger and cheaper Spencer Long.
There is plenty of chatter in the fan base about Stephen Bowen, Barry Cofield, Tracy Porter, and some others. But the approach with them could be to negotiate pay cuts rather than letting them go and then getting a short-term replacement in free agency. When younger players are acquired through the draft and developed, they would be able to take their places.
—It’s been 59 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 200 days until they play another one.
—Days until: NFL free agency starts 13; Redskins offseason workouts start 54; 2015 NFL Draft 64
If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.
In case you missed it