Two years ago the Redskins the Redskins went into free agency in need of two wide receivers. It was not a good year to need a wideout as the demand exceeded the supply. In the opening hours of free agency they landed Pierre Garçon for five years with a deal worth $42 million while Morgan got two years, $12 million with $7.5 million guaranteed.
Once again, Redskins are in need of at least two wide receivers to fill out their roster and to give Robert Griffin III additional targets so he can continue his development.
The good news is that it looks like it will be a great year to need a wide receiver as the laws of economics will work in favor of teams shopping for receivers with the supply exceeding the demand.
We have already discussed the upcoming buyer’s market for wide receivers in free agency. As of now there are over 50 veteran wideouts who are going to hit the market when free agency opens up on March 11. Pending the application of the franchise tag, an option until Friday of this week, the Redskins will be able to talk to receivers who have had some outstanding seasons, such as Eric Decker, Julian Edelman, and Hakeem Nicks, useful big-play vets like Jeremy Maclin and Jacoby Jones, and intriguing projects like Jacoby Ford and Dexter McCluster.
With so many options, the Redskins should not have to pay like they did in 2012 for Garçon and Morgan for comparable talent. And all of the options aren’t veterans. The draft is loaded at receiver. Mel Kiper said that teams will be able to get an immediate starter or at least a strong contributor at the position as late as the third or fourth round. Mike Mayock said that this is the deepest draft for receivers he’d ever seen.
So, if the Redskins or any other team looking for a receiver isn’t inclined to pay what a veteran free agent is asking for, they can simply wait until the draft and get a potentially productive player who will carry cap numbers of under $1 million per year for the next four years.
And if the Redskins should strike out in the draft for whatever reason, there will be plenty of unemployed veterans looking for work in mid May.
There are some who might say that the Redskins have greater needs than wide receiver and they should spend their free agent dollars and higher draft picks elsewhere this year. But the smart way to build a team is to take advantage of situations like this one and strengthen a position when the market is right.
MOBILE – Jay Gruden provided a glimmer of optimism for Redskins fans freaked out about Kirk Cousins' contract situation.
"I totally anticipate him coming back to the Washington Redskins," Gruden said.
The Redskins coach talked from the sidelines of the Senior Bowl where he and much of the team's staff were scouting college seniors.
Gruden explained he had texted back and forth with Cousins a few times this offseason and looked forward to watching him play in the Pro Bowl.
Since Gruden named Cousins starter in 2015, the quarterback had passed for more than 9,000 yards and twice broken Skins franchise passing records.
Some indications of a long term deal for Cousins land in the $120 million range, but the Washington organization also has the flexibility to use the franchise tag this season at a cost of nearly $24 million.
MORE REDSKINS: Who else might want to trade for Cousins?
As should be expected when a team goes 8-7-1, there were plenty of good moments and a lot of frustrating times during the Redskins’ 2016 season. Over the next couple of weeks, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take detailed looks at the 10 best plays of 2016 and, to present a more complete picture of the season, the 10 worst.
No. 5 worst play of 2016
Redskins at Lions Week 7
0:22 left in Q4, Lions ball at the Redskins 18, 3rd and 10, Redskins leading 17-13
Matthew Stafford pass short left to Anquan Boldin for 18 yards, TOUCHDOWN.
More Redskins: Podcast--All eyes now on Cousins
Tandler: The Redskins had just taken the lead on a nifty 19-yard option run by Kirk Cousins with 1:05 left to play. All they had to do was keep the Lions out of the end zone but the defense was not up to the task. In fact, it was laughably easy for Stafford. The first three times he dropped back he completed passes for 23, 14, and 20 yards and just like that the Lions were in the red zone. It looked for a minute like the Redskins might hang on as two passes went incomplete. But on third down Stafford found Boldin open inside the five and the defense couldn’t get there quickly enough to keep him out of the end zone.
Related: Gruden's fate hinges on Manusky
Finlay: 65 seconds was all the 'Skins defense needed to preserve a win by holding the Lions without a touchdown. 65 seconds away from a five-game win streak, and knowing what we do now, a playoff berth. The Redskins defense couldn't stop Stafford, or Boldin, and lost in Detroit. A gut wrenching loss as the momentum on the Washington sideline seemed incredibly high just minutes before when Cousins ran in what looked like the game-winning score.
10 best plays countdown
10 worst plays countdown
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