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Need to Know: The top five Redskins free agents in 2015

Apr 19, 2014, 5:00 AM EDT

Kerrigan-sacks-Romo

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 19, 19 days before the NFL draft.

Nickel coverage

(Note: I’m going to be out of action for a few days here. I’m bringing back a few of the most popular Nickel Coverage posts from the last few months to give you a chance to rehash them. Back on Monday.)

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 111 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 141 days until they play another one.

Days until: First veteran minicamp 10; NFL Draft 19; Training camp starts 95

  1. internetcareer - Apr 19, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    RICH…you didn’t mention Nile Paul but I have a question.

    Shanahan envisioned him as a Shannon Sharpe clone and we have never really seen Paul used except on special teams and a rare pass play. I have always wondered what is it about Paul that makes him such a great special teams player with speed and ability to tackle, but at tight end nothing? Can he not run a simple route? Can he not catch passes as he did in that Dallas Thanksgiving game?

    Nobody has ever done an article on Niles Paul and what keeps him from being Shannon Sharpe. Could you find out and be specific and tell us what it is that he does or doesn’t do and why he won’t work on that deficiency if there is one.???? We see him working out in the Gym, he catches balls in practice, and he has a great attitude and lots of speed.

    Help us out Rich. It would give us some insight into what is going on behind the scenes. Thanks a bunch.

    • lpddawg - Apr 19, 2014 at 10:44 AM

      Considering Paul was a WR in college you would think that he would have some pass catching skills.

      • Mike - Apr 19, 2014 at 11:43 AM

        Unfortunately for Paul, he is at the backof the depth chart for a few reasons. He is not as dynamic a catcher as Jordan Reed (Fred Davis once you upon a time), he is not the blocker Logan Paulsen is, and appears to be just avg in most areas on the offense. Nothing against Paul, I think he is just solid all around, but lacks that one skill to separate home from the rest. He probably would get a shot on another team that is TE needy would be my guess.

    • rcjur - Apr 19, 2014 at 2:05 PM

      What team needs to do is release Paul, Chester, Polumbus, Gholston and they would be better off. All are not good enough for the NFL. should replace them with players from draft and upgrade backups.

    • Rich Tandler - Apr 19, 2014 at 2:13 PM

      Somebody here the other day—was it you?—recalled Shanahan saying that he rarely told the truth. So why should this be believed?

      He’s not Shannon Sharpe because he never was Sharpe, never was going to be. Just another case like Shanahan “staking his reputation” on QBs. He’s was trying to pump up Paul, and set himself up to look like a genius on the off chance that it worked.

      Paul is a good special teams player who will never become a great pass catcher. Not sure why an article explaining why something that never was going to happen didn’t happen is necessary.

      > >

      • internetcareer - Apr 19, 2014 at 8:03 PM

        so…he can’t catch? I guess that’s what it must be, but it’s just my guess because I don’t have access to asking anybody so I guess…..I’ll just take your word for it that he can’t catch passes. Although he did catch 14 last year so if he caught 14 you might think he could catch 74. But that’s just my guess, since I have nobody to confirm that.

      • kenlinkins - Apr 19, 2014 at 9:03 PM

        Rich: Wasn’t Niles Paul drafted to be a WR and then moved to TE? I do recall seeing draft scouting reports where he was listed as WR/TE. Did Shanahan make the move for Paul to TE after his first year or was it in Training Camp his first year? (and when did Shanahan make the Sharpe comment?). The reports were Paul had short arms, small hands and was lazy, but had speed, size, talent and could be a Special teams star. Is Niles Paul another under developed draft pick or over rated draft pick?

  2. internetcareer - Apr 19, 2014 at 8:05 PM

    so…he can’t catch? I guess that’s what it must be, but it’s just my guess because I don’t have access to asking anybody so I guess…..I’ll just take your word for it that he can’t catch passes. Although he did catch 4 last year so if he caught 4 you might think he could catch 74. But that’s just my guess, since I have nobody to confirm that.

  3. kenlinkins - Apr 19, 2014 at 8:52 PM

    What does it say about the Redskins when 4 of their top 5 Free Agents in 2015 ALL have major question marks heading into the 2014 season. Four of the 5 have lost close to a whole season on the IR list, Three of the 5 have not locked down a starting position other than sub packages and another one is being told to prove he is worth his money. This year the fans are calling for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th round picks to be starters in 2014 when 2nd round Jenkins, 3rd round Hankerson and 4th round Helu all have not done so in 3 years! Only the two first round picks have shown they can play at the NFL level, and the Redskins do not have a first round pick this year (or last year). The hope is that the reason has been fired and that the Redskins can make some solid picks and maybe even develop some of the “to date misfires” into solid players. Development in training Camp this year is key, the down side is that if these 4 guys do improve what it will cost the Redskins to keep then in 2015. Lose / Lose is the trade mark of poor management and that’s where I place the blame.

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