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.