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Need to Know: Who are the top 2017 Redskins free agents?

Feb 22, 2016, 5:12 AM EDT

Jordan-Reed-vs.-Cowboys-2

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, February 22, two days before the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

Top five 2017 free agents

As the Redskins prepare to put the current draft class under the microscope at the NFL Combine and continue to make preparations for free agency it helps to be reminded that Scot McCloughan and company are playing three-dimensional chess. They much be mindful of the players who have contracts expiring a year from now. Here are the top five Redskins who will be free agents in 2017.

TE Jordan Reed—If the guy throwing him the ball wasn’t the team’s offensive MVP then Reed was. There has been plenty of talk about a contract extension for Reed at some point before the season starts. But that has been mostly fan and media chatter. It makes sense to lock him up now but we will see how the Redskins’ honchos proceed.

WR Pierre Garçon—If you take Garçon and Reed out of the lineup you’re missing the recipients of 42 percent of Kirk Cousins’ 2015 completions. Garçon will be 30, an age where his production will start to slide but he probably won’t be inclined to offer a discount of either the hometown or senior citizen variety.

WR DeSean Jackson—He was the prime receiver in 2014 and important cog when healthy last year. It will be interesting to see if he sets aside the reality TV series and becomes more serious about working to stay in shape and attending OTAs. Assuming he stays around this season—which seems likely but is not a given—his chances of being on the field in Washington in 2017 may well depend on what he does off the field this year. (Note: On paper Jackson is signed through 2017 but the last year of the deal will void after the season and he will be a free agent.)

DE Chris Baker—He was perhaps the team’s best defensive player last year, posting six sacks and being a consistently disruptive force. Although it seems likely that he would be amenable to returning, he will be going into his age 30 season and a big 2016 will mean he will be looking at his last chance at a big payday.

LS Nick Sundburg—He has been as reliable as they come since joining the Redskins in 2010. He seems to have cured the injury bug that cost him a combined 19 games in 2012-2013. In 2017 Sundberg will be entering his age 30 seasons and looking at it right now it seems likely that he will return.

Also slated to be unrestricted free agents in 2017: ILB Perry Riley, S Jeron Johnson, ILB Adam Hayward

Timeline

—The Redskins last played a game 43 days ago. It will be about 202 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL Combine 2; NFL free agency starts 16; 2016 NFL draft 66

In case you missed it

  1. Stephen binder - Feb 22, 2016 at 6:32 AM

    This shows why should draft WR this year. We can draft with no pressure to start them until they have proven they know the whole route tree. I like Coleman the best to replace desean Jackson because he is a deep threat.

    • thirdistheworrd - Feb 22, 2016 at 9:04 AM

      Problem is this year’s receiver class is straight garbage. It almost seems better to spend all our picks in other areas, maybe pick a contributor up in free agency and then spend next year’s first rounder on a receiver.

      • renhoekk2 - Feb 22, 2016 at 9:59 AM

        Agreed. There are no Amari Coopers, or Odell Beckhams in this draft. I don’t believe there is one WR in this draft who would have been a first round choice in 2014.

        • bangkokben - Feb 22, 2016 at 2:12 PM

          One could argue that there were no Odell Beckhams two years ago when the Giants drafted him. I remember the talking heads seemingly surprised that the Giant’s “reached” on Beckham and didn’t take Jarvis Landry instead. Of course Tavon Austin was supposed to be ODB Jr. but is closer to Desmond Howard or Ted Ginn than Beckham. The bottom line is that the Redskins are picking 21st and 53rd and any sure bet WRs wouldn’t be available then anyway. So it’s up to the talent guys to find someone. It may be a bit harder this year since the pool isn’t as deep as it has been recently but that’s what these guys are paid to do. Equally shallow is the free agent pool for wide receivers this year and next. Finally we have a GM that can make the right decision and a GM that is building an organization that can continue to get better even if he doesn’t make the best decision on this matter. In the past every bad decision begat another. Then that one another until the Redskins couldn’t help but failing. Now there is room under the cap to retain their own, sign other free agents, and sign/draft a full quiver of draft picks. That gives you the freedom to not hit a home run on wide receiver, as long as you keep grinding you’ll eventually hit that home run.

  2. colorofmyskinz - Feb 22, 2016 at 6:48 AM

    Wow is all I can say. And our front office is having a hard time signing what seems to be a slam dunk, cousins. We need to get cousins signed badly for a few reasons. You have to have a QB in a long term contract that you can count on. Average or better than average is all you need at that position. I think we all can agree that cousins in better than average with much development to come. We need this signing to know what our budget is. We can’t even consider these other signings until we know the budget for cousins. Got to build around a secured long term QB contract. It is a must, and what we have been missing for 2 decades. We have it in front of us and we need to lock it Dow quickly to focus on stabilizing other areas of the team.

    The other thing loud and clear is we need to use a high pick on WR. We have to get that Michael Thomas 6’3 and 210. We basically could lose our entire receiving threat in one year. And right now we couldn’t think about signing these guys even if we wanted to until cousins is in the wings.

    Message to front O, get your affairs in order quickly…

    • hail74 - Feb 22, 2016 at 7:23 AM

      I’m not at all worried about the pace of negotiations. It seems pretty standard that it would take some time to do a contract of his size and I’m sure they have a ballpark number they can work with to know their budget for rest of team.

      • colorofmyskinz - Feb 22, 2016 at 8:07 AM

        The phrase franchise tag has plenty to worry about. If they have to resort to using a franchise tag we will for sure lose one of those other people. We need a long-term deal not a franchise tag and the clock is ticking.

        • Rich Tandler - Feb 22, 2016 at 8:39 AM

          The clock ticks until July 15. That’s a lot of ticks.

        • colorofmyskinz - Feb 22, 2016 at 8:45 AM

          Rich it’s my understanding that they can only get to July 15 via a franchise tag.

        • colorofmyskinz - Feb 22, 2016 at 8:47 AM

          And if they have to use the franchise tag to get to the July 15 date then that would only raise the value of the long term contract.

        • hail74 - Feb 22, 2016 at 9:22 AM

          Those other people are next years FAs. Not sure which of this years crop the team want to keep. I just think we fans get impatient because we want info. How many other FAs have signed a long term deal yet?

    • Mr.moneylover - Feb 22, 2016 at 7:25 AM

      Its not a slam dunk with kirk cousins…he showed so little but want big money redskins don’t think he’s worth franchise money yet he have to show more he can’t just have a average season and get paid big money… And franchise tagging kirk cousins can lead to problems in the future if he plays well next year because then they gotta pay him big money and that means somebody won’t be returning to the redskins weather its desean Jackson or Jordan reed…I think a long term average deal is the best decision to make for this organization

    • baddegg - Feb 23, 2016 at 8:36 AM

      Why do people think they are having a hard time signing Cousins? It’s ok to take more than one week to get the job done. “It’s a negotiaaaation!”

  3. Mr.moneylover - Feb 22, 2016 at 7:17 AM

    Ain’t will Compton contract is up after this season as well ??? Franchise tagging kirk cousins this season means somebody will be gone after next season

    • Rich Tandler - Feb 22, 2016 at 8:38 AM

      Will Compton is an exclusive rights free agent, he can sign with the Redskins or retire. He will be restricted next year so Washington controls high rights through 2017.

  4. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Feb 22, 2016 at 8:06 AM

    I expect at least 1 of D. Jaxkson and P. Garçon to be replaced by a younger player in 2017.
    ~

    • colorofmyskinz - Feb 22, 2016 at 8:16 AM

      Agreed! We need to draft a Megatron!

  5. Tyler - Feb 22, 2016 at 9:24 AM

    Jamison Crowder can be great as a future replacement for garcon or Jackson. I don’t think we need wr in the draft.

    • Rich Tandler - Feb 22, 2016 at 9:38 AM

      Crowder is best staying in the slot; they will need receivers on the outside.

      • renhoekk2 - Feb 22, 2016 at 10:06 AM

        Rich do you see any UFA WR this year that make sense for the Redskins to sign with the idea of replacing Garcon or Jackson either this year or next?

  6. Deborah - Feb 22, 2016 at 1:00 PM

    So RG3 is staying with the team.

  7. baddegg - Feb 23, 2016 at 8:34 AM

    Of all these names, you have to lock Reed up long term. I like all the players listed, but he would be the most difficult to replace.

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