Washington Redskins Free Agents
With the NFL's free agency period fast approaching, there are a few Washington Redskins players that will be free agents unless contract settlements are reached or offers are tendered before the deadline. NFL teams have until March 1st to submit their offers.
The Redskins most important free agent to retain this off season is undoubtedly Derrick Dockery. Dockery is one of nine Washington unrestricted free agents (UFA), that will be free to sign with anyone once free agency begins (March 2nd) . Dockery may have been the most consistent performer on the offensive line last season and seemed to benefit greatly from slimming down a few pounds. It won't break the bank to re-sign him, and as long as fair market value is acceptable to both sides, then the deal should get done. Washington should be able to lock the big guard up for a few years, give him a decent signing bonus, and pro-rate some of the cap hit required to get ink on a contract. This should definitely be a priority for the Redskins so that they can go into the free agency period with it already done.
Mike Pucillo is a guy that saw the field a lot in 2006 for a backup lineman. The Redskins grew fond of sending him in (and having him report eligible) to give themselves an additional big blocker for Jason Campbell. Washington don't have a lot of options in their stable of offensive linemen, and were very fortunate to not suffer any major injuries last season. Pucillo already knows the offense, can play virtually any spot on the line, so unless he makes an unreasonable contract request, he should also be re-signed.
While it would be great to re-sign fellow lineman and UFA Todd Wade, it isn't going to happen. Wade told THN that he was looking to find a job starting next season, and knows that it won't happen in Washington without an injury. Too bad, because Wade looked great when he went in for an injured Jon Jansen late in the season. It's tough to blame a guy for wanting to play rather than sit on the bench.
Vernon Fox had a good season for the Redskins, but would he have seen so much playing time were it not for injuries, and the Adam Archuletta soap opera? Fox ostensibly filled the role that Pierson Prioleau couldn't due to injury, and Archuletta couldn't because his skills as a safety are not in covering receivers. If Shawn Springs is going to move over to safety next season, and Prioleau is returning, there's little need to re-sign Fox right away. The Redskins will presumably be looking for a top tier guy to take Springs' place at cornerback. That would shore up the Redskins' secondary immensely and allow Gregg Williams to do a lot of different things. It would also make Fox expendable.
Warrick Holdman seemed to take a lot of unnecessary criticism last year due to the poor season that he had the year before. Though he wasn't at all spectacular in 2006, he was very serviceable at linebacker for Washington, and came at a very affordable price. If he's willing to sign a contract that qualifies for the veteran league minimum rule again, there's no reason not to re-sign Holdman. The cost is so little both to sign him, and to cut him should better options present themselves, that not doing so seems irresponsible. If nothing else, he could be a dependable backup and play special teams.
If Holdman is re-signed, then fellow linebacker Jeff Posey need not be. Posey filled a special teams role almost exclusively last year, and the Redskins have other needs to fill first. Washington can go shopping for special teams' players in June.
Kenny Wright had a tough season in large part because he was thrust into starter duties early on, when Springs was injured. When he played what he was brought here to do, nickel and dime packages, he actually played quite well. With the aforementioned cornerback situation, Wright is not a priority until it sorts itself out. With cap dollars at a premium, it's tough to see the Redskins extending any type of offer to Wright until after the June 1st cuts.
The Redskins can use Ade Jimoh to fill that nickel role if they need to. Jimoh is also an unrestricted free agent, but it would seem that he's a lot more likely to be re-signed. He's not only a good special teams player, he has arguably been Washington's best special teams player. Unless Jimoh has a burning desire to do more for a team, or wants an unreasonable amount of money, he should be re-signed.
Washington's last UFA is tight end Todd Yoder. Yoder came to the Redskins last season and played quite well. He saw most of his action due to an injury to Christian Fauria, and with Fauria back, and Washington signing third-year tight end Eric Edwards at the end of the season, Yoder's return is questionable.
The Redskins also have five Exclusive Rights Free Agents (ERFA). An ERFA has less three years of NFL service, and must re-sign with their team if a qualifying offer is made.
Punter Derrick Frost is an ERFA that will undoubtedly be tendered a contract offer. Frost hasn't been spectacular, but he will be inexpensive, and that will probably be good enough. All the Redskins have to do to make a qualifying offer, is put the three year veteran minimum salary ($430,000) on the table.
Jim Molinaro (OT), Ryan Boschetti (DT), Vaka Manupuna (DT), and Manuel White Jr. (FB) round out the ERFA's. In all likelihood, all will have offers tendered to them for the sake of continuity and economics.
Ladell Betts and Ethan Albright would have also been free agents, but they have already negotiated new contracts with the Redskins.
This article was released on 2007-02-15.
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