It looks like we may be starting football pretty soon, so it seemed prudent to knock out what I think are 10 great free agents for the Washington Redskins to target.
1. Aubrayo Franklin – NT – The 3-4 defense relies on a true nose tackle, and Franklin is the best available in free agency. He won’t come cheap which is a concern for any over 30 lineman, but his ability to free up linebackers Brian Orakpo and rookie Ryan Kerrigan, make adding him a must. The Redskins will have money to spend, and despite needing many pieces, settling for less than Franklin, will be just that, settling.
2. Marshal Yanda – OG – The Redskin offensive line struggled mightily last year, and it is probably the most important area to address. Yanda isn’t a spring chicken, but the fact that he could fill the right guard or tackle spot, makes him valuable. The Baltimore Ravens won’t let him go without a fight, so that may drive the demand up, but barring a ridiculous price tag, Yanda’s 42 career starts would add some much needed experience. He is likely a better fit at guard than at tackle, and that might also open the door to start grooming Will Montgomery to replace Casey Rabach at center.
3. Brent Grimes – CB – Unfortunately he’s coming off a great season for the Atlanta Falcons, so prying him from them will be tough, but he will be a lot more affordable than Nnamdi Asomugha, and likely no more expensive than Redskins free agent Carlos Rogers. Rogers has already stated that he’d like to test the open market, so why not go out and get a lunch pail type guy who was never drafted and got into the league with good old-fashioned hard work?
4. Santana Moss – WR – My priority re-sign. I know that there are reasons to not re-sign him and go in a different direction, but there are more reasons not to. Familiar with the system. Productive in the offense last year. Not cheap, but we wouldn’t likely get someone better for less. We can re-sign’ Tana quicker than we can sort out an import’s contract, and that has value in what will be an extremely abbreviated timeline.
5. Joseph Addai – RB – While Ryan Torain had a great campaign, he faltered slightly down the stretch after shouldering such a heavy workload. Addai heads my list of potential runnung backs because he is a good compliment to Torain, as well as still being good enough to be the feature back if Torain got injured. It isn’t a bumper crop of FA RB’s, so why not get a guy that will be useful regardless of what his role is? He can catch the ball out of the backfield, can be versatile on 3rd downs, he can block, and he is the prototypical one-cut back needed in Mike Shanahan’s offense.
6. Matt Hasselbeck – QB – I know that Mike Shanahan doesn’t mind having only two quarterbacks on the roster, and I know that he’s already said that he’s happy going with John Beck or Rex Grossman, but I just have this odd feeling that the Redskins 2011 quarterback of note is not yet on the roster. Enter Hasselbeck. it’s been a few years since Hasselbeck posted solid numbers, but surely some of that is due to dwindling talent around him in Seattle. I think he’s the best back-up on the market, he will come at a decent price, and he can push Grossman and Beck in training camp and beyond.
7. Jammal Brown – OL – While he struggled to recover from injury early on, he got better and better every week. He doesn’t have to come in and learn the system in a shortened time window. He is as good a FA option there is, without spending top tier money, which in my scenario we did on Yanda. He’s arguably the ONLY lineman on last year’s roster that we could run the ball behind. Why knock ourselves out looking for another piece of the puzzle when we can just make re-signing one of our own pretty high on our list of priorities?
8. Ricky Williams – Yeah I just picked a 30+ year old running back with a penchant for smoking marijuana. Somehow still effective, somehow still productive, and happy to fill a lesser role, Williams might just slip past the Dolphins radar while they’re replacing or re-signing Ronnie Brown. Often misunderstood, often under-valued on the football field, Williams ‘troubles’ have rarely been on the field. He’s kept his nose clean and been a good teammate for long enough to warrant mentioning. If we got someone like Addai, then this selection is moot. But if we don’t… gimme the Yoga Man.
9. Phillip Buchanon – Re-sign the guy, he had a great 2010 season. Not only can he step in if one of the top 2 cornerbacks go down, but you need a legitimate 3rd CB to properly defend some of the modern pass-happy offenses, a role that Buchanon served well last season. He defended more passes than DeAngelo Hall and Carlos Rogers last year, he had a career high 95 tackles, and he is an excellent depth player for the Redskins’ secondary.
10. Albert Haynesworth’s brain – DT – Confused? I had a dream that Big Al found a better attitude and somehow did a complete 180. I understand that we’re much more likely to see him come in and do a 360 – be on his best behavior – get traded – and then on his way out, belly ache like a 7-year old girl with her hair caught in a bike chain – but I had a dream. Thought it bore mentioning.