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With a buyer’s market at WR, will the Redskins take advantage?

Feb 24, 2014, 11:25 AM EDT


Two years ago the Redskins the Redskins went into free agency in need of two wide receivers. It was not a good year to need a wideout as the demand exceeded the supply. In the opening hours of free agency they landed Pierre Garçon for five years with a deal worth $42 million while Morgan got two years, $12 million with $7.5 million guaranteed.

Once again, Redskins are in need of at least two wide receivers to fill out their roster and to give Robert Griffin III additional targets so he can continue his development.

The good news is that it looks like it will be a great year to need a wide receiver as the laws of economics will work in favor of teams shopping for receivers with the supply exceeding the demand.

We have already discussed the upcoming buyer’s market for wide receivers in free agency. As of now there are over 50 veteran wideouts who are going to hit the market when free agency opens up on March 11. Pending the application of the franchise tag, an option until Friday of this week, the Redskins will be able to talk to receivers who have had some outstanding seasons, such as Eric Decker, Julian Edelman, and Hakeem Nicks, useful big-play vets like Jeremy Maclin and Jacoby Jones, and intriguing projects like Jacoby Ford and Dexter McCluster.

With so many options, the Redskins should not have to pay like they did in 2012 for Garçon and Morgan for comparable talent. And all of the options aren’t veterans. The draft is loaded at receiver. Mel Kiper said that teams will be able to get an immediate starter or at least a strong contributor at the position as late as the third or fourth round. Mike Mayock said that this is the deepest draft for receivers he’d ever seen.

So, if the Redskins or any other team looking for a receiver isn’t inclined to pay what a veteran free agent is asking for, they can simply wait until the draft and get a potentially productive player who will carry cap numbers of under $1 million per year for the next four years.

And if the Redskins should strike out in the draft for whatever reason, there will be plenty of unemployed veterans looking for work in mid May.

There are some who might say that the Redskins have greater needs than wide receiver and they should spend their free agent dollars and higher draft picks elsewhere this year. But the smart way to build a team is to take advantage of situations like this one and strengthen a position when the market is right.

  1. virgintothegame - Feb 24, 2014 at 12:39 PM

    Go through the draft IMO. The only FA WR that redskins should get is Maclin. Sign him to a one year deal. Nothing but good can come from. Minimum risk and high reward

    • shermanp79 - Feb 24, 2014 at 6:26 PM

      I agree that they need to draft one and I think if Mathews is there at 34 they take him. They could try to grab Moncrief later if he or Robinson are gone. I think they need to target a FA also. I think they could grab McCluster who probably will end up with a reasonable deal. That would take care of return issues. I think they need to draft a Tall WR so he would work well with the taller guy. I think Decker is going to get big money still so I’m sure he will go elsewhere. I would love for them to give Britt a one year prove it deal but that goes against what Allen is looking for and I’m not sure he can get his head on straight. I guess they could probably sign Ford for less and he could return kicks. I know he has potential but so does AR. I’m not sure how tall Ford is? I believe he is under 6 ft. I think getting guys with different skill sets makes the most sense. If Skins have a 3rd and 10 they put Garcon Reed AR or Drafted Guy McCluster and Helu on the field, I think that gives you a lot of options along with RG3’s ability. They can even put McCluster in the backfield. That could be one reason you may not need him there with Helu but they could use him in so many ways. He really isn’t a RB because he gets hurt. He can do a lot. There are so many guys out there and so many options but I don’t think that means they don’t Draft one. I assume Moss and Morgan don’t return. We also don’t know about Hank. I could see Briscoe taking his reps if he isn’t ready. He could get cut at the end of TC. I think it depends on that “type of Guy” Allen wants. Do AR and Hank posses those things? Since AR is here I assume he does. I guess we will find out real soon what they plan. I think a WR will be in their early signings. You know the Skins they will sign 3 or 4 and bring them out for the press!

      • Rio - Feb 24, 2014 at 6:30 PM

        I love everything that you just said

      • jaxjoe - Feb 24, 2014 at 9:23 PM

        Football Outsiders shows AR’s catch percentage as 38%; third lowest in the league. I know he’s resigned but he shouldn’t make the team with such poor hands

  2. Mario - Feb 24, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    The time is now!!! For the skins to go all out, find a wide receiver in free agent. In the Draft go after O.line

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Feb 24, 2014 at 1:13 PM

      Seems to me it’d be better to use the draft to take what’s there: a WR (or two) with skills that would not be available so late in a draft that wasn’t this deep at the position.

      • Rio - Feb 26, 2014 at 10:09 AM

        Who do you like for the Redskins to take with the 34th pick. How do you feel about trading Cousins

  3. kenlinkins - Feb 24, 2014 at 1:15 PM

    Rich, Almost every draft simulator that I run, I end up with two WR’s who could start in 2014. Guys like Matthews (Vandy 2nd) and Bryant (Clem 5th) could fall to us and they are just too good to past on. The good news is that we will be able to find 4 starters with our top picks and still find 2 guys who will improve our Special Teams late in the draft. After watching the Combine for 2 and half days I can say this draft is really deep. The bad news is that we will not be able to tell what the coach’s are thinking by the draft picks as the value of some players falling to us will be just too good not to pick at CB, WR, OT, and G. Teams like Cleveland with 10 draft picks could build out a very young but good team and make the play offs. Also this years waiver wire should have a ton of older Vet’s looking for one or two more years as Stop Gaps for very little cost. Getting on a 90 man roster this year is not going to be the cake walk it has been in years past. IMO we will also sign 9 or 10 undrafted free agents right after the draft. There is talent at most positions we require up grades all over the place (well maybe not OLB pass rush, NT) so we should not be targeting the high price Free Agents this year.

    • Rich Tandler - Feb 24, 2014 at 1:20 PM

      Four starters in rounds 2-5? I trust you don’t mean immediate starters. Not gonna happen. And even getting four who will eventually be starters is tough. If they can come out of this draft with one who starts at some point in year one, another who develops into a starter by 2015, and couple of good rotational players that will be a home run.

    • Rio - Feb 24, 2014 at 1:51 PM

      Morgan wasn’t a good look, your rgt you can find younger talent in the Draft. It’s all start with a O. Line and a D. Line

    • Jayo Valentine - Feb 24, 2014 at 1:56 PM

      In one simulator I got Kelvin Benjamin falling to us.

  4. kenlinkins - Feb 24, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    Not sure I agree, but the last simulator I ran had a big run on WR’s early and shot a hole in my plan. If your point is you just do not know how the draft will fall and counting on 4 starters is wishful thinking, then OK, but my point is that there is extra talent in this years draft and with such a talent poor roster guys I see at the Combine could push for starting time right away in the areas of RT, RG, ILB, WR, CB and Special Teams (OK, Special Teams is cheating trying to get to four as we both know that was not my first idea). If nothing else I see a lot of up grades coming our way.

  5. jorance72 - Feb 24, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    My vote if for Julian Edeman. I’ve only seen him play a few times, but was impressed each game. Not sure how hard N.E. is gonna push to get him re-signed, but would love to see him in Burgandy and Gold! Excellent weapon to go along with Garcon and Reed. I’m also hoping Briscoe gets a fresh start with the new Coaching Staff. He seems like the type of WR that we’re hearing Gruden prefers. Just had a couple bad drops last season that got him into Shanny’s Dog House.

  6. bertyboz - Feb 24, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    Rich isn’t it the supply exceeding the demand instead of the other way around? I think they should target a receiver in the 3rd or 4th round (or 2nd if they trade Cousins) but go for someone like Kenny Britt and give him a short term incentive laden deal. I’d also give Hakeem Nicks a similar type of deal. In the slot I think they could get by with Williams or if they decide to keep Moss one more year.

    • Stephfan - Feb 24, 2014 at 3:34 PM

      As far as nicks and Britt coming to town I don’t see that happing at all.. Yes they can contribute but in the past we have gone for decent wr in free agency and look where that has got us? Randell el, Morgan, Lloyd, the list goes on.. The only one I felt and knew in my heart would be a beast was pg because he has played that way every season he has been in the leauge. But the draft as far as wr goes has hurt us as well.. Both of zorns picks at wr hurt us bad.. The only decent wr we have drafted in a few years is Robinson.. If my production is right they will draft a we a wr or a cb first.. If they draft a wr they really better do homework on him. In the third another wr only if the one we want in the 2nd is gone.. 4th is oL and 5 and 6 should be dline and the last should be cb

      • Stephfan - Feb 24, 2014 at 3:35 PM

        What do you think rich

        • Rich Tandler - Feb 24, 2014 at 3:39 PM

          I think they’ll do their homework on whoever they pick.

          Before seeing the results of free agency really just guessing about that pick at 34. At this point, I wouldn’t rule out anything but QB and RB although a TE would surprise me.

          > >

      • jaxjoe - Feb 24, 2014 at 8:50 PM

        This is the topic I was hoping you’d write about. I feel better we can acquire at least one vet receiver and probably one in the draft; maybe 3rd or 4th round. I recall Casserly saying even a top-flight receiver needs a season or two to be effective. This reason is why I’d shy away from a 1st or 2nd round receiver. I have a man-crush on Moncrief.

      • captblood3000 - Feb 25, 2014 at 10:19 AM

        Thomas and Kelly were Vinny’s picks. Vinny and Matt Millen were in a class of their own.

        • Rio - Mar 2, 2014 at 9:53 AM

          I like britt, he’s a tall receiver that can go deep

  7. Stephfan - Feb 24, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    Rich you and tark are the most knowledgeable guys I know so I couldn’t agree with you.. I’m a big fan of yours and read you blog faithfully.. I may live in ga now but you have my dream job.. Keep doing what you do. And I think you for taking the time out of your day to respond to me it’s an honor
    #redskinsinsider #mydreamjob

  8. alextwrs - Feb 24, 2014 at 3:51 PM

    Invest heavily in O-line whether its the draft, free agency or both. I dont like any of the free agent wide outs either. I would like a couple late round Wrs and hope we hit on one of them. Its almost like how shanahan takes RBs later in the draft that fit his scheme. With Gruden being an ex QB I think he knows how to scout catching a ball and running routes.

  9. alextwrs - Feb 24, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    Am I crazy to think we are set at CB for now. I like D. Hall, and Amerson, is Josh Wilson on the roster and if so thats a solid nickel package. If Minnifield and Crawford can atleast get on the practice field to challenge Biggers I think we dont have to invest in a new CB, we can focus elsewhere. I understand if a Talib or someone proven is at the right price we bite on it, but I like what we have.

    • Rich Tandler - Feb 24, 2014 at 3:58 PM

      Wilson and Biggers are both free agents.

      > > >

    • Stephfan - Feb 24, 2014 at 4:24 PM

      We are not set at cb.. We need to draft one and then sign a good nickel in fa. Let hall n amerson be the starting two Crawford or fa as third.. Then who ever loses that battle becomes fourth and let the rest walk besides biggers maybe.. I didn’t see enough tape on him.. Let the rook get the final spot

    • jaxjoe - Feb 24, 2014 at 9:15 PM

      I’m a little uneasy about CB but I essentially agree that we go with Hall/Amerson. Meaning, I doubt we draft a CB with our 2nd rounder. I also doubt we draft SS at no. 2 as well. Phil Thomas is essentially a room and I can’t imagine pairing him with another rookie. So 2nd round is likely a OG, RT, or DT. Good news is there’s a starter in this draft in both the 2nd and 3rd rounds.

      • jaxjoe - Feb 24, 2014 at 9:16 PM

        ‘Rook’. Not ‘room’

  10. alextwrs - Feb 24, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    Any word whether we are resigning Wilson? Not a fan of Biggers

  11. alextwrs - Feb 24, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    Any word of a transition for Rambo to CB as he did not look comfortable as a safety in the league.

    • bertyboz - Feb 24, 2014 at 4:38 PM

      Rambo is a safety and a not very good one at that. He doesn’t have the speed to play corner in my opinion. If anything you’d see a CB convert to a safety (usually later in their career) not the other way around.

      • bertyboz - Feb 24, 2014 at 4:40 PM

        This of course does not mean he doesn’t have the coolest name in the league *Baccari Rambo*

        • dcsportsfan2277 - Feb 24, 2014 at 5:26 PM

          I thought CoCo Crisp held that title :)

  12. dcsportsfan2277 - Feb 24, 2014 at 4:47 PM

    We need to take a WR with our first pick and BPA (except QB & RB) in the draft. In FA, we need to stud up the RT, RG and possibly C if we cannot get one in draft! There are many safeties, WR and OL available in FA! Making the smart moves is our Achilles heel and I hope we have gotten better at it this year. I am glad Byrd is off the market. He is just the kind of player we CANNOT afford! Sign two good safeties instead of one stud! I hope you are listening BA & Co. NO RIDICULOUS CONTRACTS…PERIOD!

    Tag Rak and pay him next year if he earns it! Definitely sign Riley and Baker to fair but not crazy contracts. This is not a one year fix. More like 2-3 years to plug up everything so don’t spend all your money this year. Save a little for a rainy day If we normal people can do it so can you!

    Wouldn’t it be nice to feel Fedex field shaking like RFK used to? That place was da bomb! HTTR!

  13. Bill Mays - Feb 24, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    We have to solidify an experienced #2 WR because it takes a half of a season to get a rookie up to speed. RG3 needs to start the season off confident of WR he can trust. Use early picks for linemen, lbs, and safety.

  14. internetcareer - Feb 24, 2014 at 7:16 PM

    Lots and lots of dreamers posting here I see. Rookie Receivers are probably the least productive bunch of draft choices every single season. Tons of them drafted and yes, one or two will be productive and have a good to great season and then fans say “wow..we’re gonna draft TWO of them and get starters”. Truth? of all the receivers drafted by EVERYBODY this year…2 will probably be the total number to catch 40 balls or more. Even the Great Ashlon Jeffreys from Chicago only caught 24 balls his first season. Drafting pass rushers and Offensive linemen with the 34th pick will almost always get you more production that first season. I say grab an INTERIOR lineman like Cyril Richardson and then sign a veteran receiver who has been productive.

    • kenlinkins - Feb 24, 2014 at 8:05 PM

      Of the Top 50 rookies from the 2013 class, 9 were WR’s, 8 were CB’s (that leaves 33 players for all other positions on the field, yes even punter.) WR’s can be shown a few patterns out of just a few sets and be a starter, plus it seems that over the past few years the better players in HS are moving to WR just for that reason. If you are hoping to get a few starters you should go WR and CB early in the draft if you are roster poor. These are facts and not feelings (and it is why so many JR’s WR’s are jumping into this years draft class.

      • internetcareer - Feb 24, 2014 at 11:15 PM can make ANYBODY a starter. It just means you START. I think you’re missing the point that not everybody who starts is actually productive. Especially rookie wide receivers. THAT is just the fact.

        • kenlinkins - Feb 25, 2014 at 8:30 AM

          Point well taken, but I still think we will fine a few starters that will produce in 2014.

    • jaxjoe - Feb 24, 2014 at 9:19 PM

      Yes! This draft seems to fit our needs the most. I’d take an OG, DT, and ILB with my 2nd, 3rd, and 4th pick. Any combo.

  15. thankslittlebrandonbanks - Feb 24, 2014 at 7:20 PM

    Is Jeff Janis on anyone’s radar? Big time size, fast 40 at the combine, and seems to be a stand up guy. I realize he is from a division two school, but so was Woodhead and he’s pretty dynamic.

    • kenlinkins - Feb 24, 2014 at 7:50 PM

      He was on mine until I saw him run the gauntlet at the Combine, now I know why he started so far down in the WR ratings.

    • thankslittlebrandonbanks - Feb 24, 2014 at 7:58 PM

      Janis would probably be a late rounder too. I agree with internet career as far as immediate payoff, however value is value. If it is indeed the deepest draft at receiver, then why not capitalize by shoring up what is undeniably an area of need. Free agency and/or early draft rounds can be utilized for ilb, o line, and safety. I hate to say it, but we aren’t going to solve every issue this year. My grandpa used to say, ” Rome won’t built in no one day, boy “

      • kenlinkins - Feb 24, 2014 at 8:08 PM

        They say the knock on Janis is that he is Soft running the middle (gator arms) and does not fight for the ball. I have not seen any real tape on him yet so I do not know for sure.

  16. timwillhidetimwillhide - Feb 24, 2014 at 9:31 PM

    I would like to see us sign Emmanual Sanders and Jacoby Ford. Then Draft a WR in the Draft Archives

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