Like all NFL teams, the Redskins have some important decisions to make about both their restricted and unrestricted free agents.
Of the Redskins Restricted Free Agents, TE Zeron Flemister was the only player that needed to be retained and he was already re-signed. WR Chris Doering flashed some ability but was unable to assert himself as a stater. With WR Cliff Russell working his way back from a preseason injury, competition will be even tougher at WR in 2003. S David Terrell was asked to play safety after working as a CB in his first two years in the NFL, and playing CB in college. He has adapted poorly, blows assignments often, takes poor angles, and misses too many tackles. Terrell most certainly should not be retained, and has probably seen the extent of his NFL career.
The Skins have several Unrestricted Free Agents to ponder. Most importantly, DT Daryl Gardener should be retained. At press time, contract details are being negotiated. Gardener had an outstanding season in 2002 and should have been invited to the Pro Bowl. Gardener should be a Redskin for many years to come. DT Carl Powell is also in contract negotiations with the team. Powell shined in his limited opportunities and will no doubt become a better player in the seasons to come.
Derrius Thompson had some success in his first season as a starter. Thompson has good size and showed flashes of brilliance. Having invested a year in Spurrier’s system, Thompson should prove to be valuable for the team in years to come. Thompson’s downfall may be his inability to protect the football and dropping too many catchable balls. Thompson should be maintained, only if he demonstrates a better work ethic.
Special Teams have been a problem for the Redskins in the past. In 2002, the unit saw limited success, in part, because of LB Eddie Mason. Mason is an animal on special teams coverage units and does a good job of backing up all of the linebacking positions.
Mason should be retained as well.
Of the remaining players listed, QB Danny Wuerffel and Kipp Vickers are on the bubble. Both players have had injury problems and saw limited action in 2002. Wuerffel is practically a member of the Spurrier Family and has great knowledge of the offensive system. Wuerffel’s size may prevent him from enduring the punishment applied to NFL QB’s. Vickers plays very well, when he plays – which isn’t very often. Vickers has the ability to play either guard or, either tackle spot as a backup. However, Vickers knees have caused him problems for several seasons. If Vickers can condition himself properly and escape knee pain – he’s worth keeping.
Kevin Mitchell played well in his limited opportunity behind Trotter, and will seek employment elsewhere. Shane Matthews shouldn’t be allowed to keep any official Redskins gear – other than his mouthpiece. Santana Dotson was injured prior to the start of the ’02 season. Dotson may be able to recover adequately, but his return is questionable.