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Need to Know: Five free agent safeties the Redskins could target

Jan 23, 2014, 4:51 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, January 23, 74 days before the Redskins start offseason workouts.

Nickel coverage

The Redskins likely will need to add at least one safety who can start for them this year in free agency. Here are five who might fit their needs and their budget:

1. Taylor Mays, CIN—He has been inconsistent and injured, including a shoulder injury that ended his 2013 season early. But Jay Gruden was in the building with him for three years in Cincinnati and although he didn’t coach him he likely has a good feel for him. At 6-3, 231 he could be a good, inexpensive way to start building that Seahawks-like secondary everyone wants.

2. Chris Clemons, MIA—Clemons almost got tagged by the Dolphins a year ago but they agreed to a one-year contract instead. Maybe he’s not the ball hawk the Redskins want (4 INT in four seasons) but he’s a solid tackler and smart player. Age is a bit of a drawback as he will be 29 shortly after the season starts. But for the right terms he could be a solid stopgap until the Redskins can draft and develop a starter.

3. Michael Mitchell, CAR—I can guarantee you that if the Redskins sign him, Twitter will explode with “Who’s he?” He’s not even a household name in the Mitchell household but he was a key member of the Panthers’ strong defense. Mitchell picked off four passes and recorded four sacks last year. This could be a moderate-term solution as he turns 27 in June.

4. Stevie Brown, NYG—After missing all of the 2013 season with an ACL tear suffered in a preseason game Brown could be something of a gamble. But he picked off eight passes in 2012, his only full season as a starter. Will turn 27 before the season starts.

5. Kendrick Lewis, KC—Started 15 games for the Chiefs. He’s not a player who is going to make highlight show appearances on a regular basis but he is solid and, at the right price, Lewis would be an upgrade.

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—It’s been 25 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 227 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL Combine 27; NFL Free agency starts; NFL Draft 105

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  1. ray - Jan 23, 2014 at 6:26 AM

    I like the prefer additions suchs as safety jairus byrd,CB vontae davis and sam shields.

    • Rich Tandler - Jan 23, 2014 at 6:29 AM

      I think most would prefer those players; however, there is a salary cap and other needs would go unmet if you spent on high-priced players like that.

  2. R. - Jan 23, 2014 at 8:02 AM

    What do you think about FS Malcolm Jenkins of NO or T.J. Ward of CLE?. (Even though Cle has some cap room and could tag him). I think Jenkins would be a very a good option and with the Saints over the cap and having to resign Jimmy Graham he’ll definently hit the market.

    • Rich Tandler - Jan 23, 2014 at 11:31 AM

      Ward probably too costly. Jenkins could be a fit.

      • kenlinkins - Jan 23, 2014 at 8:44 PM

        I saw a lot of Jenkins while he was at Ohio State, he could tackle well and didn’t mind run support assignments. He would be a very good fit for the Redskins with the way we have played our FS/SS. He was a number one draft pick but as a CB, so maybe the move to FS has moved his price down.

  3. nomaan78 - Jan 23, 2014 at 8:13 AM

    Hi Rich, With 30+ million in cap space, do you think the Redskins have enough cap space to go and get al of:

    Jared Veldeheer OT OAK
    Jon Asamoah OG KC
    Jarius Byrd FS BUF
    Darrius Heyward Bey WR IND ??

  4. Rich Tandler - Jan 23, 2014 at 8:42 AM

    DHB wouldn’t cost much of anything. Not sure why the Redskins would want any part of him.

    Need to look a little further into the OL, not sure what kind of money they can command.

    Byrd was not on the list here because I think he’s looking for much more money than the Redskins should pay.

  5. kenlinkins - Jan 23, 2014 at 10:38 AM

    Rich< How will the later NFL Draft effect the Redskins in signing Free Agents? You may not get the players targeted in the draft early (round 2,3,4) who should be able to start in 2014 sometime (O-Line RT, RG, 3rd WR, DT). Do we fill holes with the draft after signing free agents or the other way around this year. Which is smarter? Also, with a new coach the pressure to win now is a bit less and building a winner over the next 2 to 3 years becomes job one, do you see the Redskins staying away from big name, high price Free Agents and maybe even saving some Cap Space money for later years? (i.e. No Becker, Byrd, NE CB, or even Orakpo). I see the Redskins building with the draft over the next 2 to 3 years and will limit them self's to only one Big Free Agent signing in 2014 and 2015 (I would count Orkapo if we tag him as the one in 2014). Would an 8-8 Redskins team in 2014 with about $13 million in Cap Space bank be a success?

  6. Rich Tandler - Jan 23, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    Smart post. I think you have to go into the draft with 22 guys you can start the season with. If a draft pick or two can win a job, it’s a bonus.

    The Redskins are likely to do what you said and go with less expensive players, get in guys who are an upgrade and who can fill in until a draft pick is ready to take the job.

    And, yes, I think 8-8 and $10+ million in cap space to roll over would be a success.

    • kenlinkins - Jan 23, 2014 at 12:03 PM

      Just a quick follow up: Do you know how well Jay and Jon Gruden really get along? The reason I ask is that Jon must have a book of young guys who he has seen in training camp visits and his study for doing TV games of players who could be the type of up grades we might want. It seems players talk to Jon and we would have a lot of great inside stuff. Maybe we could find a few guys by giving just a little bit more than teams trying to keep these guys on the cheap due to Cap Space concerns. You never know about brothers. LOL

  7. timwillhidetimwillhide - Jan 23, 2014 at 7:23 PM

    I like the idea of both Taylor Mays and Michael Mitchell. I think our secondary Coach will be able to get the most out of him. I also wouldn’t mind seeing us sign a vet CB that is becoming a little too slow to play CB and move him to FS a few players extended their careers and exceled that way ie Rod Woodson Archives

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