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Options remain at safety for the Redskins

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Options remain at safety for the Redskins

There was a run on the safety position during the first hours of NFL free agency. Unfortunately the Redskins, who are in need of two starting caliber safeties, were not participants.

They were interested in Jairus Byrd of the Bills but not for anything close to the $54 million over six years he got from the Saints. They were probably shopping more in the neighborhood of New Orleans’ Malcolm Jenkins, who signed with the Eagles (3 yr./$15.5 mil) and Mike Mitchell. The Redskins were know to be very interested in the former Panther who went to the Steelers for $25 million over five years.

In all, eight of the top nine safeties in the rankings from our corporate cousins at Rotoworld signed contracts yesterday. Only former Dolphin Chris Clemons, ranked fifth, remains unsigned.

So Clemons, who is solid in coverage but has only four interceptions in his five NFL seasons, is an option for the Redskins. So is Nate Allen, who has started 54 games in four seasons with the Eagles and after some rocky times he appeared to improving last year. Allen, coincidentally, was the player that the Eagles drafted with the second-round pick that the Redskins sent to Philly in the Donovan McNabb deal.

Some other available safeties are the Bears’ Major Wright (9 interceptions in last 3 years with 3 TD returns), Thomas DeCoud, who was released by the Falcons yesterday (Pro Bowl in 2012, struggled along with the rest of the Falcons D last year), and Kendrick Lewis of the Chiefs (50 starts, 7 interceptions in four seasons).

There also is the option of re-signing Brandon Meriweather and Reed Doughty, last year’s starters. That would excite nobody—in fact, it would have the opposite effect with much of the fan base—but it could plug the hole until better solutions can be found in the draft, on the roster (perhaps Phillip Thomas can develop into a starter) or in free agency in 2015.

The Redskins could also sign a cornerback (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Antonio Cromartie are two top options there) and move DeAngelo Hall to safety. But they would rather keep Hall at corner at least this year so that is a back-burner option.

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Redskins interview another former Chargers defensive coordinator

Redskins interview another former Chargers defensive coordinator

The Redskins continue to cast a wide net in their search for a new defensive coordinator. On Thursday, they interviewed John Pagano, who was recently let go as the defensive coordinator of the Chargers.

Pagano, the brother of Colts head coach Chuck Pagano, has been coaching with the Chargers since 2002. That year he started as a quality control coach and then he was the linebackers coach from 2005-2011. The Chargers fired defensive coordinator Greg Manusky, a current Redskins coach and another candidate to run the defense in Washington, after the 2011 season and Pagano was promoted into that job.

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

In Pagano’s five seasons with the Chargers, the performance of the defense was respectable. In terms of total yards, San Diego was in the top 10 twice and only once were they ranked worse than 20th.

The Redskins fired defensive coordinator Joe Barry on January 5. The list of candidates they have interviewed includes Mike Pettine, Gus Bradley, Rob Ryan, Manusky, and Jason Tarver. They are expected to interview former Jets and Bills defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman on Friday.

More Redskins: Setting the odds on what will happen with Cousins

None of the candidates they have interviewed have accepted positions with other teams so they are all still in play. There is no timetable for the team to make a decision, although the sense is that the process is coming to a close and will be concluded in the near future.

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.

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Need to Know: How long is too long in the Redskins' defensive coordinator search?

Need to Know: How long is too long in the Redskins' defensive coordinator search?

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, January 20, 97 days before the NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 40
NFL free agency starts 48
First Sunday of 2017 season 233

Will Pleasant push the defensive coordinator search to a conclusion?

Is the Redskins’ search for a defensive coordinator taking too long? Joe Barry was fired two weeks ago yesterday. The Redskins have made it clear that they want to be very thorough in their search. But taking time creates problems and one just popped up. Assistant defensive back coach Aubrey Pleasant apparently has the option to follow Sean McVay to Los Angeles. But the Redskins want to hold on to him.

The problem is that they don’t want to sign Pleasant to be, say, the cornerbacks coach and tie the hands of the incoming defensive coordinator. They already would like the new guy to keep OLB coach Greg Manusky and ILB coach Kirk Olivadotti. Locking in a third position coach might made it very hard to persuade a quality coordinator to come on board.

Related: Projecting the Redskins' roster--defense

However, they can’t hold Pleasant, who is a young, energetic coach who relates well to the players, back indefinitely. Presumably McVay and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips have a bigger role in mind for him and they won’t wait forever for him to get things resolved in Washington.

But it’s not like the Pleasant situation will need to be resolved by the close of business today. We’re talking days, not hours. How many days? They could lose him due because of the Redskins’ deliberate process if it stretches into sometime early next week. I think the chances are strong that there will be a decision on the new defensive coordinator by, say, the close of business on Tuesday.

More Redskins: Setting the odds on what will happen with Cousins

I’ll wrap this up with a quick round of laying out the $100 in casino chips on the various defensive coordinator candidates. Things have changed since I did it on Monday. I’ll still make Greg Manusky the favorite but I’ll drop him down five bucks to $35. I’m downgrading Mike Pettine down to a $10 wager; I’ve heard that the organization was not impressed with his interview. I’m more than doubling the wager on Gus Bradley to $25. It’s been a few days since reports that the Chargers were pressing him for a decision and yet he remains in play. I’m going with $10 on Dennis Thurmon, who is from the school of the aggressive style of play that Jay Gruden is looking for. Rob Ryan gets not a cent and the remaining $20, including John Pagao, who interviewed yesterday, goes on the field.

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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.