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Need to Know: Redskins top five 2015 free agents

Mar 7, 2014, 4:53 AM EST

Kerrigan-vs-Lions

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, March 7, four days before the start of NFL free agency.

Nickel coverage

Yes, it’s only 2014 but the way the NFL salary cap works you have to look into the future when deciding who to sign and how much to pay them. You also acquire players one year with an eye on who might be leaving the next year. Here are the Redskins’ top five free agents for 2015:

LB Brian Orakpo—After his one-year franchise tag he will be looking for a long-term contract. But the Redskins will have the option of tagging him again so they hold the upper hand (although the tag salary will be over $13 million).

LB Ryan Kerrigan—This is only a technicality, really. His rookie contract will be up but since he was a first-round draft pick the Redskins will have an option year they can exercise. It is almost certain that Kerrigan will be back for a salary of about $4-$5 million.

DE Jarvis Jenkins—Injury and a suspension have plagued Jenkins’ career. The 2011 second-round pick has not been anything special. If he plays like he has he’s probably someone the Redskins would like to have back but not a must-sign by any means.

WR Leonard Hankerson—His career has been somewhat similar to Jenkins’ although he hasn’t been suspended and his high moments have been a little bit higher. Still, he has yet to produce with any consistency and barring a major breakout he won’t be a priority signing a year from now.

RB Roy Helu Jr.—We will see how Helu fits into Jay Gruden’s offense. If he can find a role, he is the kind of guy the team would like to have back on a fairly inexpensive contract.

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Timeline

—It’s been 68 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 184 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL Free agency starts 4; Offseason workouts start 31; NFL Draft 62

In case you missed it

  1. kenlinkins - Mar 7, 2014 at 8:14 AM

    This is when many of the questions we have should be answered. In 2014, The Redskins have a DC and back field coach who are on the hot seat, so why would the Redskins commit to many long term deals now when there is a good chance that our DC will not be here in 2015? Tagging Orakpo only keeps him here a year. The Redskins drafted a CB, FS, SS, and DE last year. We resigned a starting CB, back up DB and DT. We CUT a DE and it looks like we will CUT another DE and NT to save Cap space. IMO we will draft 2 or 3 defense players in 2014 to help restock but not rebuild the defense, that will start in 2015 when we get an answer to the DC question. IMO 2014 will be more about rebuilding Special Teams and Offense. If our DC can get improvement with the above players with a few more Stop Gap guys, then GM Allen and coach Gruden will allow the DC to commit longer term ideas and players via Free Agents. There are questions about the DC that must be answered before we move on to a longer term rebuild of the D as a whole.

    • abanig - Mar 7, 2014 at 8:27 AM

      What DE did we draft last year that we drafted?

      And Has likes his young defensive players. Unlike the last regime – Gruden and Allen will allow has to keep who “HE” wants.

      Jarvis Jenkins will be back, as will Neild. Baker was re-signed. Unless he can’t play, Crawford will be back. Thomas will be back, Gumbs is back, Rambo and Trenton Robinson will be competing for one job as a reserve FS. Minnifield is back to compete for the #4 or 5 CB job with Crawford.Keenan Robinson will be back (and he’ll Compete for a starting ILB job but likely be our #3 ILB and pass coverage specialist. Will Compton is also back and will compete for the #4 ILB job (wouldn’t surprise me of he won it).

      • kenlinkins - Mar 7, 2014 at 9:59 AM

        Brandon Jenkins was a DE at Fla St and we drafted him in the 5th round in 2013. IMO he will have to count on the young guys you listed as I do not see the Redskins making major moves with Free Agents on defense, they will go into a bit of a holding pattern while they figure out if “HAS’ can coach or is the guy the new coach wants to go forward with. Tagging Orakpo fits that pattern, not meeting Riley’s price is another as is cutting Carrkier. If the Redskins also Cut Bowen and Cofield to gain Cap room this also fits the pattern. Do you feel that the young guns you listed are the answer to the Redskins defense concerns? Guys like Crawford, J. Jenkins, Nield, Baker, Thomas, Rambo, Gumbs, T and K Robinson, Minnifield, and Compton have all flashed a bit in preseason games but only Crawford and Jenkins have seen even spot duty in real games. If your point is that “HAS” has not been allowed to run his D with his players due to Shanahan being too involved I might agree, but that doesn’t make these young guys any better at Tackling and coverage. Is there talent in your list, yes, but to date it is a long list of draft picks that have not devolved yet and most have already had a major injury which hurts the odds of ever returning to full form.

        • abanig - Mar 7, 2014 at 4:01 PM

          Jenkins is an OLB

  2. abanig - Mar 7, 2014 at 8:21 AM

    “DE Jarvis Jenkins—Injury and a suspension have plagued Jenkins’ career. The 2011 second-round pick has not been anything special. If he plays like he has he’s probably someone the Redskins would like to have back but not a must-sign by any means.

    WR Leonard Hankerson—His career has been somewhat similar to Jenkins’ although he hasn’t been suspended and his high moments have been a little bit higher. Still, he has yet to produce with any consistency and barring a major breakout he won’t be a priority signing a year from now.

    RB Roy Helu Jr.—We will see how Helu fits into Jay Gruden’s offense. If he can find a role, he is the kind of guy the team would like to have back on a fairly inexpensive contract.”

    Agree, agree, agree! Seems my lobbying did some good! :-)

    • abanig - Mar 7, 2014 at 8:31 AM

      I think Roy Helu is our Giovani Bernard in Gruden’s offense. Wouldn’t surprise me to see him run for a few hundred yards again and then be a good pass receiver catching 30+ receptions for 250 YDs and a TD or 2

  3. internetcareer - Mar 7, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    its funny how all the offseason talk is about free agents coming and going. Not a word about RG3 and yet everything you can mention is dependent upon griffin. If he is sensational, it means the defense is on the field less. It makes the other team one dimensional because they are always passing and trying to come from behind. If Robert is Sensational…the Redskins are not punting from deep in their own territory therefore most punts will not be returned because the kicks will be downed inside the 10 or go into the endzone for a touch back. i could go on and on. Everything involving free agency next season and who is successful is dependent upon one guy. RG3. HE can make this team sizzle like nobody else.

    • abanig - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:41 PM

      I’d say Alfred Morris is pretty important also. Alfred has always made RG3’s job easier and I’d say vice versa as well.

      We need both players to be on top of their game for the rest of our offense to work at its peak.

      The passing game is nothing if Alfred isn’t a 1000+ yd rusher.

      The defense is nothing is we aren’t controlling the clock and keeping them fresh with sustained drives, predicated off Alfred rushing the ball well, which opens up RG3 to do his think through the air and takes less pressure of the OL in pass blocking.

  4. alextwrs - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:11 PM

    It is that simple internet career and it isnt that simple. I agree if he has a great year the def will as well. This hinges on an offensive line keeping him upright though. I wouldnt doubt if we have four new lineman and one of them is a rookie. IMO its what we need the most is help on the O line.

    • abanig - Mar 7, 2014 at 3:25 PM

      Nah. That’s inside line backer.

      Right now, your opening day starters are… drum roll please…

      Keenan Robinson (hasn’t played since Nov 2012) and Will Compton (UDFA who’s never played a down in the NFL)

      • kenlinkins - Mar 7, 2014 at 8:02 PM

        Lower level ILB is not going to get your star QB killed but O-linemen that can not pass block will. IMO the Redskins will do more about the offense this year as coach Gruden comes from that side of the ball. With a DC who only has a 50% chance of being here in 2015, I would bet they wait until 2015 to make any major Free Agent signings. They can address some of the problems via the draft. I think that is the smarter move as long as they save some of that Cap Space money. They will sign mid-level ILB’s and mid-level d-line men for this year along with a few DB’s who can play on Special teams. Anyone looking for major moves on defense could be disappointed this off season.

  5. primalone10 - Mar 8, 2014 at 3:53 AM

    Maybe I’m just [stupid] but I have been searching and searching and have yet to have found an answer to the question. Why was Indianapolis able to even sign D’quell Jackson to a contract before free agency even began. Unless it was just an offer sheet to be finalized on the 11th which i have not seen anything stating that was the case ???? Prolly a dumb question but I was hoping the skins would get a chance to sign this guy and it was hard to see him be off the market a week before the free agency period even began……..

    • Rich Tandler - Mar 8, 2014 at 5:00 AM

      Thanks, and welcome to the site. I edited your comment, please don’t use the “R-word” here when referring to your lack of mental capacity. Or that of anyone else.

      To answer your question, Jackson was released by the Browns. That means he could go out and sign immediately with any other team. Regular free agents, guys whose contracts are expiring this year, are the ones who have to wait until Tuesday at 4 p.m.

      Unfortunately for the Redskins, Jackson said he was looking for an organization that was stable and a consistent winner. The Redskins fit neither of those descriptions.

    • abanig - Mar 8, 2014 at 8:22 AM

      Because D’Qwell Jackson was released before free agency started.

      He wasn’t a free agent.

      It’s similar to when we signed Atogwe in 2011 before free agency began.

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