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Did Haslett provide a blueprint for defensive free agency?

Jan 25, 2014, 1:55 PM EDT


Jim Haslett talked to reporters at the Senior Bowl yesterday and he had a few interesting things to say. The Redskins, he said, will stick with the 3-4 defense as their base. That is not surprising. Jay Gruden indicated that the 3-4 was here to stay during his introductory press conference.

Haslett also talked about the number of free agents the Redskins have on the roster and he named some of the players he’d like to keep. His “priorities” were linebackers Brian Orakpo and Perry Riley, cornerback DeAngelo Hall, and defensive lineman Chris Baker.

Of course, those aren’t the only free agents the Redskins have on defense. And while the Redskins could sign more of their own players than just the four on that list, let’s work on the assumption that they are willing to let the other defensive free agents walk. Let’s take a look at what they would need to acquire via free agency or the draft or through promoting from within.

Line: If Baker, who plays both end and nose tackle, returns the team will have its entire depth chart from last year back. That may not be a good thing as many would like to see more pass rush from the unit and perhaps see them get a bigger nose tackle.

Linebacker: If Orakpo and Riley stay, the Redskins still need to find another inside linebacker to replace the retiring London Fletcher. The only other inside linebackers they have under contract are Keenan Robinson, who missed all of last year with a torn pectoral muscle, and Josh Hull, a special teams player who got one snap on defense so they will need some depth signings. They will need the same on the outside as Ryan Kerrigan and Brandon Jenkins are the only players there who are signed for 2014. If Orakpo comes back they will need to re-sign or replace Rob Jackson and Darryl Tapp.

Secondary: Hall being back could leave the Redskins with, well, one starter back in the secondary. Word is that Brandon Meriweather has a player option in his contract so he could be signed for next year. If he does stay the Redskins still will need another safety as Reed Doughty and E. J. Biggers (who also played corner) are free agents. It’s possible that Phillip Thomas and/or Bacarri Rambo, both 2013 draft picks, could step into starting roles but that remains to be seen. Second-year corner David Amerson should be ready to start opposite Hall but someone would have to step up into the nickel role.

Here is a list of the Redskins’ defensive free agents

  • DL Chris Baker
  • ILB Brian Kehl
  • OLB Brian Orakpo
  • ILB Perry Riley
  • OLB Darryl Tapp
  • ILB Nick Barnett
  • OLB Rob Jackson
  • CB Josh Wilson
  • CB DeAngelo Hall
  • S Reed Doughty
  • CB/S E. J. Biggers
  1. Anthony - Jan 25, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    I would like to bring some of them back for the right price. Do not over pay for any of those players.

  2. sean - Jan 25, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    I would keep Chris Baker, Hall, Riley, Orakpo, Hall, Bigger, Doughty. Don’t over pay Orakpo and Rob Jackson

  3. colmac69 - Jan 25, 2014 at 3:18 PM

    Think cofield fine at nt…nd upgrade end positions (maybe carriker could help but he had two major ops and poss cap cut),,, said on another post resign riley.orapko…jackson(altho he maybe think he could have better chance starting elsewhere esp if rak resigns here)…hall, amerson….obviously upgrade safety (altho I think merriweather can do job at ss if he cuts out the daft stuff)…key in 3-4 is d-line…if we can upgrade that and get more pressure on qbs then other parts on def will fall into place…lbs will make more plays if o-line has to worry more bout def line and more pressure will lead to secondary getting more t/overs (here hoping!!!) Sounds easy….

  4. darrynhyman - Jan 25, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    We definitely need a true 3-4 NT, that would make such a difference in this defense. The NT is the key to a successful 3-4. Cofield to end, re-sign Baker as the other end; then shift the focus to ILB and S….we can’t address every position in one offseason with so many needs, but I think this is a good start. I agree with Anthony, none of these players are worth overpaying for, so if we need to break the bank to keep “okay” players like Rak…let him walk

  5. kenlinkins - Jan 25, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    Assuming we resign Baker, Orakpo, Riley, Jackson and Hall,(guessing that would cost us about $18million of the $32 million we have for Free Agents). I would like our draft to look something like this;
    OT A. Richardson Tenn, 6’6″ 332 (new starting RT for years to come)
    CB L Purifoy Fla 6’1″ 190 (Special teams stand out, nickel back and back up CB /FS in 2014)
    ILB Y Smallwood Conn 6″2″ 235 (Starting ILB next to Riley in 2014)
    FS T. Brooks Fla St 5’11” 197 (Special teams stand out, replaces Doughty in 2014, back up both SS/FS)
    WR M. Hazel Co Car 6’2″ 190 (could be 4th WR in 2014, also played Special teams sleeper pick)
    WR L. Washington Missouri 6’4″ 205 (Could be 2nd WR or a bust in 2014, gamble type pick, will not last on Practice Sqaud, needs a ton of coaching but could be something special).
    IMO we get 4 starters in 2014 with no double on our own Free Agents. Would make OG, C, WR, primary targets for Free Agents outside of DC (Oh yea and TE now that Fred Davis has failed another drug test).
    Looking back at this I do not like spending $18 million to get what he had in 2013. Drop Orakpo and this looks a ton better to me. Your comments are always welcome.

  6. deshackle - Jan 26, 2014 at 10:05 AM

    Ryan Kerrigan back to defensive end.

    • Roderick Wynn - Jan 27, 2014 at 4:45 AM

      Kerrick not big enough to play de in 3-4

  7. dcsportsfan2277 - Jan 26, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    Here are the 25-37 ranked players via

    CB 25 Lamarcus Joyner SR 5-8/193/- Florida State Fort Lauderdale, FL
    OT 26 Cyrus Kouandjio JR 6-6/322/- Alabama Hyattsville, MD
    DT 27 Aaron Donald SR 6-0/285/- Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA
    OLB 28 Kyle Van Noy SR 6-3/240/- BYU Reno, NV
    WR 29 Jordan Matthews SR 6-3/205/- Vanderbilt Madison, AL
    RB 30 Ka’Deem Carey JR 5-10/197/- Arizona Tucson, AZ
    TE 31 Jace Amaro JR 6-5/255/- Texas Tech San Antonio, TX
    RB 32 Tre Mason JR 5-10/198/- Auburn Lake Worth, FL
    DE 33 Kony Ealy SR 6-6/236/- Missouri New Madrid, MO
    OG 34 Cyril Richardson SR 6-4/305/- Baylor Fort Worth, TX
    CB 35 Bradley Roby JR 5-11/185/- Ohio State Suwanee, GA
    S 36 Calvin Pryor JR 6-2/210/- Louisville Port Saint Joe, FL
    DT 37 Dominique Easley SR 6-1/285/- Florida Staten Island, NY

    Some serious talent here! O-Line is the biggest need with S a close second, however do we dare pass on Jace Amaro should he be available? Reed and Amaro would give DC’s a major headache to plan for! Calvin Pryor fits just what we need in a S and Jordan Matthews in WR. I am not sold on Richardson yet but if Kouandjio were available dare we pass on him? Trade the pick down a couple of spots and pick up an extra pick?

    Aye, aye aye…so many questions :)! Archives

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