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Need to Know: Five free agents the Redskins should avoid

Mar 8, 2014, 5:10 AM EST

Hakeem-nicks-2

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 8, three days before the start of NFL free agency.

Nickel coverage

Here are five free agents the Redskins should avoid signing:

WR Hakeem Nicks, NYG—There is always reason to be suspicious of free agents who had career years in their contract season. But what should you think about a guy like Nicks, who had his worst year since becoming a starter last year? He couldn’t find the end zone with a GPS; he was targeted over 100 times and scored zero touchdowns. Combine that with talk that he was fined multiple times last year for being late to meetings and for missing injury treatments and you don’t answer the phone when his agent’s caller ID pops up.

OL Michael Oher, BAL—Great guy, great story and he has started 80 out of 80 possible games since he’s been in the league. But he’s just not a very effective blocker. Pro Football Focus ranked him 68th out of 76 tackles in the NFL. That’s about 50 spots below the guy he would be replacing, Tyler Polumbus.

WR Julian Edelman, NE—If you take him out of New England’s system and get him away from Tom Brady does he come any where the 100-catch production you’d be paying for? Also, his 16-game season last year was the first of his career; is that the new normal for him or an exception?

ILB Brandon Spikes, NE—Everyone knows about his liabilities against the pass and the supposed solution there is to get him off the field on third down. That’s great but in a passing league don’t teams throw a lot on first and second down, too? There are injury red flags here, too, as knee and ankle injuries caused him to miss half of the 2011 season and his knee limited him last year.

S Chris Clemons, MIA—A safety should stumble into a few interceptions a year by sheer accident and Clemons has four in five seasons in the NFL. I suppose they could do worse as he is good playing as the last line of defense but in an defense that wants to emphasize turnovers they should look elsewhere.

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Timeline

—It’s been 69 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 183 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL Free agency starts 3; Offseason workouts start 30; NFL Draft 61

In case you missed it

  1. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Mar 8, 2014 at 7:19 AM

    Hi Rich, I saw on CSN that you guys didn’t mention Malcolm Jenkins as a potential f.a. addition at safety.

    Obviously, he’s worn out his welcome in New Orleans after being a 1st round draft pick at CB. Nonetheless, he’s young (26) and had a decent last year…maybe he’s learned the position?

    https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2014/02/21/ranking-the-2014-free-agents-safeties/

    And because of the struggles, I’d guess he’d bee cheaper than the alternatives mentioned.
    ~

    • Rich Tandler - Mar 8, 2014 at 7:49 AM

      I could be convinced to like Jenkins, hes versatile. As with all of them, it would depend on the contract.

      > >

  2. internetcareer - Mar 8, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    good dirt Rich..some inside stuff that we little people rarely hear about. Now…looking at Redskins free agent safeties and why teams should avoid them.

    1) Brandon Merriweather – a safety is most effective when he is on the field and Merriweather has had difficulty staying healthy the last 2 seasons. Injuries have taken their toll on this former pro bowl player. He now makes ESPN highlights for his massive amount of illegal hits and 15 yard penalties during his part time appearances.

    2) Reed Doughty – The fact that a backup safety on the worst secondary in the league is not being resigned on his own team is a statement larger than any film could reveal.

  3. csting3 - Mar 8, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    Rich, I have to disagree on Clemons. Washington has plenty of aggressive defensive backs. We need someone to stay home and prevent the big play, so we don’t lose to the Giants on an 80-yard fly route as time runs out again. He’s not necessarily my first choice, but I wouldn’t be upset if we signed him.

    • Rich Tandler - Mar 8, 2014 at 9:49 AM

      Perhaps. Would depend on who they get for the other safety spot and, as always, what the contract looks like. I might be able to like anyone on this list but Nicks and Oher for the right price.

  4. mrx149 - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    I’ve read several times that Pro Football Focus ranks Polumbus as a top 20 tackle. Here you indicated he is about 50 spots ahead of Oher, who is ranked 68th. If Polumbus is so bad, why is he ranked so high?

    • Rich Tandler - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:05 AM

      I believe you want to get to where your right tackle is as good as most teams’ left tackles. Won’t happen with Polumbus.

      > >

      • mrx149 - Mar 9, 2014 at 11:39 AM

        Well that doesn’t make sense. If he is ranked 18th, then he is better than the left tackles on 14 other teams.

        • Rich Tandler - Mar 9, 2014 at 11:42 AM

          I guess if you want to go by the PFF rankings strictly, that’s true. But you won’t find a coach, scout or GM that will tell you Polumbus could start at left tackle for any team in the NFL.

  5. kenlinkins - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    Rich, With Olivadotti and Baker on staff to run the LB’s, how much input will they have with coach Gruden and GM Allen in finding replacements for Fletcher, Riley (if we can resign) and back ups? The front 7 must work as a unit so both coach’s must work well together to find both Free Agents and Draft picks. Any noise around Redskins Park on who they might like and what type players they are looking for? Have you interviewed these coach’s yet?

  6. skinsdiehard - Mar 8, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    I would take Nicks. The rest can be avoided. One season not scoring a TD doesn’t mean he will never score a TD again.

  7. skinsfan5182 - Mar 8, 2014 at 10:32 PM

    It’s time to bring in some older veterans as stopgaps, for example someone like champ bailey to play free safety at hopefully the veteran minimum until we DRAFT our starters in this years draft and next years. We’re in re-building mode for at least 2 years. we need to re-vamp our O-line and defensive backfield. We have to stop signing these 4-6 year league veterans to play for us for like 2-3 years then end up releasing them. Can’t win like that.
    For this year’s draft we should take Kyle fuller with our 2nd rd. pick, if still available. Then the best available player for rounds 3-7, either Linebacker, O-line,Wide Receiver,Safety,D-line etc..etc..etc…

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