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Need to Know: On first day of legal tampering, Redskins show interest in safety, nose tackle

Mar 8, 2015, 5:53 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, March 8, two days before the Washington Redskins and the rest of the NFL start free agency.

Free agency heats up

Here’s a quick look at some players who have been linked to the Redskins during the free agent “legal tampering” period that began at noon on Saturday.

NT Stephen Paea—The Redskins are one of several teams who have expressed interest in the former second-round pick of the Bears. At 6-1, 306 is not the ideal size for a traditional nose tackle (although it’s safe to bet that he weighs more than his listed weight at this point). But if the Redskins use the one-gap, attacking style that many think that Joe Barry may be bringing with him from the Chargers Paea could be a good fit. Paea, who doesn’t turn 27 until May, registered six sacks and two forced fumbles last year. That could help on a Redskins defensive line that has had difficult making game-changing plays.

S Marcus Gilchrist—The Chargers picked Gilchrist out of Clemson three picks before the Bears took Paea. He fits the mold of the younger free agents that Scot McCloughan is likely to be looking to sign; Gilchrist won’t be 27 until December. The Chargers made him their starter at strong safety in 2013 and he hasn’t missed a game since. Like many strong safeties he is shaky in pass coverage and at 5-10, 193 he is not the larger sized safety that Scot McCloughan may be looking for.

OT Jermey Parnell—He emerged as a possibility when Dallas’ Doug Free and the Texans’ Derek Newton, both players the Redskins were said to be pursuing, signed with their current teams. As noted here yesterday, Parnell looked pretty good filling for Free when the starter was out with foot and ankle injuries.

S Tyvon Branch—The Redskins actually had contact with the safety on Friday, something that was legal because Branch had been cut by the Raiders earlier in the week. He visited Redskins Park on Friday. There are no indications as to how things went, as is often the case during these visits. The only thing that we know is that he left without signing a contract.

There also is an update on Brian Orakpo, who is looking more and more like a former Redskin by the minute despite his statements that staying in Washington is still in play. Charles Robinson of Yahoo! says to “keep an eye on” the Eagles as a possible suitor for the Redskins’ 2009 first-round pick.


—It’s been 70 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 189 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 43; 2015 NFL Draft 53; Redskins training camp starts 144

If you have any questions about what’s going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I’m always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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In case you missed it

  1. Stephfan - Mar 8, 2015 at 6:48 AM

    I like both safteys but what about the guy from the broncos, Moore or do you think he will be too much? Also I like that we are going nt, and saftey in free agency. There aren’t a lot of good safteys in the early rounds so getting one of these guys in and giving the rookie time to develop works for me. There is also a lot of depth in the draft for d line and o line so at least these guys won’t be pressed to start and can develop

    • Stephfan - Mar 8, 2015 at 6:49 AM

      Are there any other news on saftey?

  2. Phillip Robinson - Mar 8, 2015 at 7:14 AM

    What about right tackle

    • Rich Tandler - Mar 8, 2015 at 8:28 AM

      If you read the post and not just the headline you’ll see something about RT here. But I also have a full post about right tackle coming up on shortly.

  3. Phillip Robinson - Mar 8, 2015 at 8:51 AM

    It’s obvious they want to see Robert injured and taken off on a stretcher. That’s why the won t get offensive linemen. And just not bodies dominant offensive lineman.

    • Stephfan - Mar 8, 2015 at 8:55 AM

      Just because rich only mentions 1 OT doesn’t mean that’s the only guy we are trying to go and get.. That guy rich mention played well for Dallas… There might be other guys in the works but it’s good that we don’t know them. Keep us guessing… Relax it isn’t Tuesday yet

    • Rich Tandler - Mar 8, 2015 at 8:59 AM

      Yes, all of those “dominant” offensive linemen that are out there on the market. (hint—they aren’t out there)

      Here’s the link to the post. Reality may force the Redskins to stay in house at right tackle.

      Staying in house?

      > > >

      • gonavybeatarmy - Mar 8, 2015 at 11:21 AM

        Hey Rich-

        No fan of the team is happier than I am on the hiring of McCloughan. And yes, some of us were aware of his personnel acumen well before the Skins hired him. I believe firmly that he is by far the most talented personnel evaluator the Skins have had since Beathard. The future is bright with Mccloughan as GM as long as ownership leaves him alone for the next several years, hardly, unfortunately, a safe assumption with this organization. Perhaps this inquiry could be a future topic for your astute analysis, but what can Skins fans reasonably take away, if anything, from Mccloughan’s history of talent evaluation relative to head coaching hirings he made as GM of the 49ers?

        In the modern NFL with a hard cap and free agency, the acquisition of roster talent through the draft is seemingly of paramount importance. Coaching is very important as well, but seemingly secondary to talent acquisition and retention. I’d argue that in the current NFL organizational success attribution is 60% GM/Scouts, 20% salary cap acumen and 20% coaching/player development. Others may feel differently on that mix, and of course success ultimately is a function of great leadership- the owner. And obviously there are outliers such as brilliant coaches like Belichik that place a premium on coaching.

        McCloughan hired Mike Nolan and Mike Singletary during his time in San Francisco. Both coaches apparently worked very hard and had good pedigree. But the reality is that both failed miserably, and one is now a “lowly” position coach; the other out of football completely. And correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t it Baalke who ultimately hired Jim Harbaugh- a great head coaching hire?

        So, what level of confidence should Skins fans have that Mccloughan is well positioned to scrutinize the coaching ability of Jay Gruden? And how should Skins feel about Mccloughan if he must 2-3 years from now find Gruden’s replacement?

        Thanks, Chuck

        • kenlinkins - Mar 8, 2015 at 12:06 PM

          Rich, I would add to Chuck’s question (if he doesn’t mind) that with 4 years still on coach Gruden’s contract will the new GM have part of his job be “scrutinize the coaching ability” of Jay Gruden? It seems to me that if the reason the Redskins hired the New GM was to over haul the roster over the next few years, doesn’t that have a built in “Out” for Jay Gruden for the next 2 years? As long as Jay Gruden can show some improvement in the wins record (and starting off with 4 has the bar set pretty low) the head coach can always point to the slowing improving roster that equals the slowly improving wins record. IMO the owner has build a three legged chair with the head coach coaching, the GM building the roster and the President doing things like PR and Cap Number keeping! This should keep in the “in fighting to a low roar and reduce the drama / leaks that have made the Redskins look foolish at time in 2013 / 2014! Better time ahead?

    • shermanp79 - Mar 8, 2015 at 10:31 AM

      they will draft a c and maybe another G. They will fix the OL but using many different ways. They brought in guys already. We may not know them but OL can come from nowhere. The existing line wasn’t as bad as everyone screams. It needs changes but some of RG3s sacks were him holding the ball, sitting there like a statue. He has no feel for the pocket. The backs and TE didn’t help block too well either. Let Callahan put a line together it will get better.

      • bangkokben - Mar 9, 2015 at 2:40 PM

        The ‘skins did what they did do fix the o-line; they hired Callahan. That’s it end of sentence. Full stop. The coaching staff was not as hard on the o-line as the fans and blame others for the results in pass protection including the qb.

  4. Penz - Mar 8, 2015 at 9:30 AM

    I dont mind if Orakpo leaves, if he stays chances are we’ve overpayed. However I’d rather he not go to a divisional rival, odds are he’d all of a suddenly turn into an all pro and stay injury free the rest of his career :(

  5. st4hof - Mar 8, 2015 at 9:55 AM

    Don’t understand why the bears would let Paea leave if he’s suitable for NT, aren’t they switching to a 3-4? I get that we are supposedly moving from a two gap to a one gap. ” At 6-1, 306 is not the ideal size for a traditional nose tackle (although it’s safe to bet that he weighs more than his listed weight at this point)”, the exact same things were said when Washington signed Cofield to be NT.

    • Stephfan - Mar 8, 2015 at 10:01 AM

      Cofield was undersized and I don’t remember any reports saying that he might way more. He was the biggest body we could get at the time. Also if the skins d isn’t going to total be a 3-4 then it would bea good pick up. If he plays end and possibly baker gaining 20 pounds to play nt or this guy can beef up and do it

      • st4hof - Mar 8, 2015 at 12:21 PM

        Cofield was asked about his listed weight (306LBS) and joked about not being 22 anymore. Even if Paea is 10-15 LBS heavier then his listed weight (306LBS), he’s still on the light side for a NT. Haslett’s defense of the Cofield signing was that he wanted a guy strong enough to take on double teams and quick enough to get pressure. IMO you can’t get the best of both worlds out of an undersized tackle. Baker was by far the better nose guard. He occupied the middle on runs and crushed the center.(for the most part) Paea doesn’t seem to fit. If he is what your looking for in a NT why is Chicago not resigning him? They too are moving to a 3-4.

  6. mr.moneylover - Mar 8, 2015 at 10:14 AM

    Stephen paea might not be a good size at NT but hes strong enough to play it he set a combine record in bench press with 49 bench press…hes also known as a bruiser tough and physical kinda guy….not sold on the kinda safties they going after…we already got guys on the roster that struggle to cover we need guys that can cover

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Mar 8, 2015 at 11:56 AM

      True about the pass coverage, but we also need a strong safety who can stay healthy and unsuspended.

  7. mr.moneylover - Mar 8, 2015 at 10:16 AM

    Redskins also interested in RB justin forsett

  8. shermanp79 - Mar 8, 2015 at 10:22 AM

    These are perfect type guys. They are guys who are over their R contracts. Had we drafted better we would have more of our own to sign. I’m am happy going this route. We have to be smart and long term do it less but with so many needs, it has to be a bigger factor this year. I don’t think 6-7 FA signings would surprise me. They stay in the 3-5M a year range, maybe slightly higher on one guy.

  9. abanig - Mar 8, 2015 at 10:49 AM

    I’m not too excited about any of these guys.

    Why are we targeting SS’ and not FS’?

    I don’t think a 29-year old Parnell is any better than Compton or Moses, or at least what they can become with more playing time. Getting a stop gap like Parnell just stunts our young OT’s development. We should be only looking at signing/drafting a long term starter @ OT. If we don’t draft a RT prospect in round 1 or 2, we shouldn’t even touch the position because we have Compton, Moses & Nixon.

    Stephen Paea just isn’t a 3-4 NT or DE in either a one gap or two gap, I believe. He’s soely a 3-technique DT

    • ET - Mar 8, 2015 at 12:03 PM

      It’s not necessarily that SS is being “targeted” instead of FS, it’s early in the process. I’m guessing they’ll take a good look at FS Searcy from the Bills, too, and perhaps others.

      The takeaway for me at this point is that the Skins are looking at the right kind of player—not too old, not too flashy, not too pricey, but solid positional players who maybe able to contribute for a few years.

    • captblood3000 - Mar 8, 2015 at 5:09 PM

      I don’t see how, collectively, the Redskins could have a better appreciation of the relative abilities of Compton, Moses and Parnell. If they think Parnell is the best of the three, then it makes sense to sign him for several years. But if they think that Moses will supplant the other two tackles by opening day 2016, then signing Parnell to a short term deal makes sense. The same logic applies to any veteran right tackle. I think if Moses were healthy that right tackle would be a non-issue. But I’ll leave that evaluation to Bill Callahan and the front office.

  10. Phillip Robinson - Mar 8, 2015 at 10:51 AM

    What about ipuati what’s going on with him rich?

    • ET - Mar 8, 2015 at 12:08 PM

      Iupati would be a bad return on investment. Let’s move on from the FA thinking of yesteryear.

    • Rich Tandler - Mar 8, 2015 at 12:22 PM

      There is nothing going on with Iupati. Would be surprised if there is. Would cost more than the overpriced tackles.

      > > >

  11. Phillip Robinson - Mar 8, 2015 at 11:13 AM

    The reason why they are targeting all defensive players is to cover for Joe Barry being a bad defensive coordinator.

    • Stephfan - Mar 8, 2015 at 11:25 AM

      Has to be the dumbest thing I’ve heard… They are getting players on d because our d is bad.

      • skins4lyfe - Mar 8, 2015 at 12:06 PM

        Once again abanig is right if u sign we don’t need Parnell at right tackle he was just that a stop gap at right tackle not the starter. He played ok on a line that could afford to send the running back on his side constantly in pass pro . Another thing is now Moses won’t get a good look because this won’t be a bargain signing we will have to overpay him. I say we draft a fifth round project Compton Moses Nixon and another f.a pick up to compete. And it’s starting to look like f.s. could be fixed in house by converting Amerson Hall and drafting. I’m not saying by any means that this is what I want but this could be one of the reasons .

      • Phillip Robinson - Mar 8, 2015 at 12:11 PM

        Oh yeah Stephan you were all in on Joe Barry when they hired him yeah right

        • Stephfan - Mar 8, 2015 at 5:08 PM

          Never said that I was for or against the Barry signing as dc… But the skins d was already bad before he got here.. So what worse can he do

  12. deepball1 - Mar 8, 2015 at 12:03 PM

    Justin Forsett rumor. Just a rumor. This is what I like about Scott M he is all business. He is not running his mouth giving away his plans so people just keep making up rumors and you people run with it. The RedskIins have a STARTING running back in Morris. They are not going to replace Morris. Forsett is a STARTING back and is looking for STARTING money. The Redskins already have a STARTING back. This is a ridiculous rumor for a team that has major needs at safety, pass rusher, and offensive line. Rumors are meant to confuse and cloud the truth.

  13. allenmitch - Mar 8, 2015 at 1:15 PM

    Rich, with all the noise about the Eagles and Jet’s interest in Mariota do you think the Redskins will trade the 5th pick so a team could take the QB? If so what would they get in return, and could they still get a Shane Ray or R. Gregory?

    • Rich Tandler - Mar 8, 2015 at 4:28 PM

      Kind of early to tell right now. If they trade back with the Jets obviously they would be able to get one of the top guys.

  14. kenlinkins - Mar 8, 2015 at 1:59 PM

    IMO All four of the guys listed above would be up grades to the Redskins roster, but I wouldn’t break the bank for anyone of them. I understand that the market for RT, NT, and S positions are not in the Redskins favor day, but like any other asset, when they are over priced you wait for them to pull back before buying. I wouldn’t mind a quite start to Free Agent signing season instead of hearing the Redskins just over paid for any of the above (i.e. Roberts and Lauvao) but would like to see them for the right price. My hope is the New GM is a better poker player then GM’s of the past 10 years! Keep your powder dry and wait to find the best deals not the first deals! Should be an interesting season, I can not wait to see how the New GM handles things moving forward.

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Mar 8, 2015 at 2:08 PM

      Sounds like Suh is going to Miami for a huge payday. So we won’t make that mistake.

  15. redskinscaio - Mar 8, 2015 at 3:16 PM

    Didn’t the Bears have the worst run defense last year? Yea, let’s sign Paea to a 12 year 300 million dollar contract. That sounds about right….

  16. Phillip Robinson - Mar 8, 2015 at 7:03 PM

    Our new GM has no game is is striking out big time so far with all the free agents!

    • Rich Tandler - Mar 8, 2015 at 7:28 PM

      Uh, you do know that free agency hasn’t even started yet, right?

      > > >

      • Phillip Robinson - Mar 8, 2015 at 8:13 PM

        Scot is being to passive and patient

      • Phillip Robinson - Mar 8, 2015 at 8:15 PM

        Free agency has started suh has a deal and gore and maxwell

        • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Mar 8, 2015 at 8:38 PM

          Suh’s deal is too much, Maxwell’s also, and Gore is 32.

          Our team isn’t a player a way…I’m glad we didn’t do any of those. Have you forgotten Albert Haynesworth already?

          Rich retweeted this, and it’s a good one:


        • redskinsinrichmondva - Mar 9, 2015 at 10:29 AM

          In free agency, you have to overpay a lot of the time in order to sign players.

          As for the Eagles, Maxwell is a younger upgrade over an older CB (Cary Williams) that played for a below-average pass defense. And Gore outplayed McCoy last year in Football Outsiders’s RB metrics, plus he’s not as expensive to pay as McCoy. The Eagles know that having a good RB isn’t as valuable as having a good pass defense, and they are devoting their resources towards upgrading their pass defense.

      • Phillip Robinson - Mar 8, 2015 at 8:19 PM

        rich atleast other teams know what direction they are going in but the Redskins don’t and by time they make up their minds all the free agents will be gone!

        • Rich Tandler - Mar 8, 2015 at 9:24 PM

          Get a grip. A handful of teams made some big splashes today. Literally hundreds of free agents hit the street.

          And what makes you think McCloughan doesn’t know what he’s doing? Think he’s done this a time or two before.


          > > >

  17. Redskins4Life - Mar 8, 2015 at 8:11 PM

    Looks like we are going to be active. I like the names that we are linked too. If we are able to sign one of them safeties and the rt and nt listed above I think that imo will help fill holes that are desperately needed to be filled. Not saying we will be play off contenders by the possible signings but I just feel that we are headed in the right direction! Hail

  18. Phillip Robinson - Mar 8, 2015 at 9:37 PM

    Rich now they saying we are interested in Taylor mays. What you think about him. He is a fee safety. Also what’s gonna happen with iputia does he resign with the 49ers?

    • st4hof - Mar 9, 2015 at 12:57 AM

      By “WE” you mean Washington right?

    • Rich Tandler - Mar 9, 2015 at 5:14 AM

      Iupati is not coming to the Redskins. Mays might be one of the better safeties in a very, very weak market. An upgrade from Clark but not by a ton.

  19. Phillip Robinson - Mar 8, 2015 at 9:40 PM

    Also rich Scot had a lot of good drafts but he also had a lot of busts. Also he was not solely responsibile for building those teams. A lot of those players were drafted before or after scot left. Come on man.

    • wvredskins - Mar 9, 2015 at 12:25 AM

      lol well I have to agree with you about him having a lot of busts. Tell me a GM in the league who hasn’t had “a lot of busts.” That’s the nature of the business. You are not going to get it right all the time. He has the respect of the league and sure as hell an upgrade from Bruce Allen making the picks. He helped pick some of the excellent players in San Fran and in Seattle. So im definitely content on him making the picks. Might take a cpl years to see the finish product but I have faith in him. HTTR

    • skinsgame - Mar 9, 2015 at 12:42 AM

      How many rosters have you helped build in the NFL? Relax.

    • Rich Tandler - Mar 9, 2015 at 5:13 AM

      Don’t think I said he’s perfect. Show me the GM who is.

  20. Dan - Mar 9, 2015 at 9:57 AM

    Why not try to get these guys: Dan Williams (NT), Jabaal Sheard (DE), Da’Norris Searcy (S), Joe Barksdale (T), & Walter Thurmond (CB)….there are a lot of holes to fill and these guys are bargain barrel gap fillers.

  21. skinsdawg - Mar 9, 2015 at 7:48 PM

    Phillip Robinson. Wow Man. I think you have set the new World Record for Football Clueless.

    As for the Skins- I have a lot of faith in McCloughan. The guy is extremely well-respected, and even Bobby Beathard has said he is a stud. I’m digging that. Now…. we all know we have about 10 serious holes to fill. And the guy can’t fix this Team ina year, or not even probably in 2. But he has to start somewhere. Personally, I’d go with one of those 2 safeties, to add to our roster. Take a flyer, and draft another in the lower rounds. Hope you can piece together 4 soid S’s, with what we have. I still think Duke can play.

    We are desperate for O-Line, and I am convinced he’s going to change up our line. Nothing worth a 5th pick. He’ll find a few guys out there, as the market matriculates- and we’ll have a better line. Ours was awful last 5 years. For those of you who don’t think it was….. you don’t get it. We need an edge rusher and probably 2 upgrades at DT- especially N/G (although I really like Baker). Thinking Bake ends up as a 3/5 DE though.

    I like the idea of trading down. More picks. The Mariota thing could be huge for us. Maybe. I’d also take a QB in the lower rounds. See if you can find something…… all these 1st round busts. Man. Archives

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