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Need to Know: Will the Redskins make a move at safety?

Apr 4, 2016, 4:53 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Monday, April 4, 24 days before the NFL Draft.


—The Redskins last played a game 85 days ago. It will be about 160 days until they play another one.

Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 14; 2016 NFL draft 24; Redskins training camp starts 115

Hot topic

A couple of weeks ago, Jay Gruden sounded the alarm bell at the safety position, saying that it is an area of “great concern”. Since then, the Redskins have not done anything to try to bolster the position.

Over the weekend, one additional veteran has hit the free agent market. On Saturday, the Browns released Donte Whitner, who made three straight Pro Bowls in San Francisco (2012-2013) and Cleveland (2014). The former first-round pick of the Bills will turn 31 in July.

Still unemployed are Dashon Goldson, who was cut by the Redskins just before the start of free agency when he and the team were unable to agree on a reduced salary for this year, and Reggie Nelson, formerly of the Bengals.

Of the three veterans, Nelson had the best 2015 season. He intercepted eight passes, tying for the league lead. He’s also the oldest; Nelson will celebrate his 33rd birthday sometime during Week 3 of this season.

There was word that the Redskins had some interest in Nelson early in free agency but nothing has come of it since.

Both Gruden and Scot McCloughan have indicated that the door would be open to Goldson returning and that there have been some talks with his camp but there doesn’t seem to be much happening there at the moment. He might be their top option since he knows the defense and he provided some veteran leadership in the secondary last year.

Reading the tea leaves here, I think that the Redskins are waiting for Goldson’s asking price to drop to what they think his value is. In the meantime, it looks like Nelson is Plan B and they could make a move involving him if interest heats up.

It’s too soon to tell is Whitner is in the picture. One thing that the Redskins might like about him is his durability. He missed two games with a concussion last year but he had gone the previous five seasons with just one missed game.

The Redskins will have an eye on the position in the draft but it’s tough to rely on that to fill an area of “great concern”. Sooner or later, perhaps in May, they are likely to make a move for a veteran safety.

Fan question of the day

The Redskins will take Treadwell at No. 21 if they believe that he is the best available player. If he is not, they will take another player. The same applies to Thomas and their second-round pick.

Yes, that’s a simplistic answer so let me expand a bit here. If the Raiders had not taken Amari Cooper right before the Redskins make their first-round pick last year, Cooper would have been a Redskin and Brandon Scherff would have been playing elsewhere. So, clearly, they wanted a wide receiver. But despite the fact that there were some pretty talented wide receivers on the board in the second round they didn’t take one. Ditto in the third. They didn’t take a wide receiver until they took Jamison Crowder in the fourth.

So, for the most part, who they take in the second round is independent of who they take in the first. It seems that wide receiver is among the top two needs (it was last year, too) but that doesn’t mean they will use one of their top two picks to address it. So if things don’t fit right to take a wide receiver in the first, they won’t necessarily reach to take one in the second.

If they do bypass Treadwell in the first round because he’s not the best available in their evaluation they may hope in the back of their minds that Thomas will be there in the second and take him if he is. But if Treadwell is the best player on their board they will not leave him there in hopes that they can get their second choice later on.

(Hit me up on Twitter with #NTK @Rich_TandlerCSN or here in the comments to submit a question)

Stat of the day

Here’s record that may never be broken: The 1983 Redskins had a turnover margin of plus-46. That’s the best in NFL history by 12. Only three other teams since the merger, the 2000 Ravens (+33), 1985 Bears (+30), and 1991 Redskins (+30) have been within 16 of that record.

In case you missed it

  1. babyteal1 - Apr 4, 2016 at 7:21 AM

    Sign Reggie Nelson!!!!!!…….. Nelson, Whitner and Goldson in that order.

    • sidepull - Apr 4, 2016 at 7:32 AM

      Second that except I rather the Redskins give one of their in house projects the snaps before they resign Goldson. He cannot cover and he cant wrap up even. Let some other leader emerge if the want vet leadership so bad which to me is all Goldson really offers. He gone just breathe a sigh of relief and let him stay gone. Nelson can at least give you something in coverage. Scot knows all this so I guess its just about the money.

      • babyteal1 - Apr 4, 2016 at 7:54 AM

        Works for me…I don’t want Goldson back either

      • abanig - Apr 4, 2016 at 7:56 AM

        Goldson was barely an upgrade over Madieu Williams, Brandon Meriweather and Ryan Clark the previous 3 years as our FS.

        I wouldn’t sign him at all. I’d rather go in house than sign Goldson all throughout the season.

        Tbh, I never liked trading for him in the first place. There were other safeties that I wanted them to sign who were 1/2 the price or 1/4 the price we paid Goldson last year.

    • hotpicksblog - Apr 4, 2016 at 11:00 AM

      do you understand the safety position? because the Redskins need a FREE safety much more than they need another STRONG safety. Duke I. is healthy, and even if the hard hitting Goldson would come back, he should be a STRONG safety. The Redskins keep giving up deep balls and 3rd down 16 yard completions because they do not have a FREE safety.

      D Hall is pegged for the FREE safety position but he has lost his speed. We are back to having another Ryan Clark in the secondary. FREE safety is the Redskins greatest weakness and filling the team with Donte Whitner, Goldson, and Duke Ianocho would be lovely…because we could have 3 solid STRONG safety candidates….none of which can cover a wide receiver deep.

      The 2nd round pick has to be a safety.

      • lorcanbonda - Apr 4, 2016 at 12:33 PM

        They have listed D. Hall, Johnson, & Ihenacho as Strong Safeties. Depending on Jarrett’s recovery, we may have no free safeties on the roster.

        All that being said, many teams are bringing in Strong Safeties to play inside linebacker. That would put them in a better position to cover running backs and tight ends along with an occasional blitz. Personally, I would like to see us head in that direction.

    • sidepull - Apr 4, 2016 at 7:40 PM

      Reggie is visiting the Raiders.

  2. abanig - Apr 4, 2016 at 7:52 AM

    I think they’re going to draft a safety in round 1 or 2. If they don’t get s guy they like there they will sign Reggie Nelson.

    The Skins have 2 Whitner type players with Ihenacho & Burton. They don’t need to take a SS high, but they need to address FS.

    Guys to look out for are Karl Joseph, Keanu Neal, Darian Thompson & Tyvis Powell.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Apr 4, 2016 at 9:06 AM

      Jalen Ramsey is the only sure bet safety to draft in the first two rounds of this draft. And he’s not going to be available. I think safety is more a possibility in the 3rd at the earliest but more likely the 4th round on. The talent is just not there.

      • abanig - Apr 4, 2016 at 9:54 AM

        Ramsey is the true star but there are 3 or 4 other safeties that could play free safety that could be starters in the league.

        I think Hall will be the starting FS week 1. I think they’ve been projecting that since he started paying safety last October. That could be the reason that we didn’t sign Nelson.

    • sidepull - Apr 4, 2016 at 9:51 AM

      Yea they can hang at SS w what they have, FS, a cover guy has been sorely needed. I do like Joseph of the bunch you rattled off there. Whatever they do in the draft they just have to improve that defense. IMHO they nailed it last year with Smith and Jarett and to boot they beefed up the offense with G and WR. This years first rounder has to be an impact D position. WR in the first , though I understand they will need to address this next year, they need a defense that can stop the run, stop the assault over the middle, and hand they game back to the offense, you know, getting off the field on 3rd down.

    • cbckbrown - Apr 5, 2016 at 4:08 PM

      I have a sneaky suspicion they are looking at Neal. Seems Legion of Doom like, great character. Man if love him or that huge Clemson safety Kearse in the back half

      • abanig - Apr 5, 2016 at 4:52 PM

        Love me some Neal. That’d be a dream

  3. abanig - Apr 4, 2016 at 8:03 AM

    I don’t see how wr is a top 2 need…

    Every position on but defense but OLB& SS are higher needs than WR. A blocking TE is a higher need than WR, a back up – maybe starting – running back is a higher need than WR.

    Yes, Garcon & Djax could be gone next year but for this years team they are both here. I think they’ll re-sign Jackson tbh. Also, Reed is basically a WR and they’ll re-sign him.

    So, let’s worry about WR in the second half of the draft for depth and worry about finding a starting WR in round 1 next year to replace Garcon.

  4. colorofmyskinz - Apr 4, 2016 at 8:11 AM

    Sure would be nice to pick up Nelson!

  5. colorofmyskinz - Apr 4, 2016 at 8:27 AM

    If we picked up Nelson we might actually be able to make it through the season without needing a starter out of the draft.

  6. colorofmyskinz - Apr 4, 2016 at 8:45 AM

    Basically we have Ihencho, Bruton, DHall, and Jerret to cover SS and FS. We need a FA prior to draft bad here.

  7. redskinsnameisheretostay - Apr 4, 2016 at 8:57 AM

    Speed kills in the NFL and Laquon Treadwell doesn’t have it. He’s too slow and really is at best an answer to what Garcon already provides. This roster depleted team has no need for him this season. If he can avoid injury, I think Treadwell will be a very good possession wide out in the NFL. However, his almost sub-par vertical speed will limit him throughout his career.

  8. renhoekk2 - Apr 4, 2016 at 9:06 AM

    Drafting WR is not easy. Crowder seems like the best WR draft pick since who? Rod Gardner? I was hoping they could sign someone in FA but the pricing was crazy. Avg WR’s got way overpaid this year. They should hopefully draft WR sometime before the 5th rd every year. Or put aside a good chunk of salary cap for FA in the coming years. Does anyone really want a starting WR tandem of the likes of Grant and Hankerson in the coming years. That’s who they drafted at the position before Crowder last year. Imagine that pair and no running game.

    • sidepull - Apr 4, 2016 at 9:39 AM

      Good point. Grant and Hank, yikes. Well at least they showed some sense and got a kid with skills last year. Heres a thumbs up to the overall improvement in the choice of draft selections that is being shaped at Redskin Park.

  9. smotion55 - Apr 4, 2016 at 9:17 AM

    Make a move, how about 2 or 3 for sure. I hope they pick 1 of the 3 free agents and draft 1 for the future and they will most likely have a undrafted free agent in camp also to compete with who they already have. I still think Hall getting a whole offseason to learn the Safety position will make a big difference also. That at least should give the team enough this year as long as injuries don’t get as bad as last year..
    I watched a lot of Treadwells Pro Day several times and he just doesn’t run right. hesitated in drills and catching the ball and turning up field with unsure footing, like something is not right with his legs or knees. I would take Doctson over him all day long, much better hands and upside.

  10. greed - Apr 4, 2016 at 9:47 AM

    time to spend a high pick on a safety , skins tried low round picks , other teams young vet , older vet , safety been a problem since the passing of sean taylor and the juicing of barry bonds i mean laron landry, get a young guy plug him in the rotation for couple weeks then let him takeover if he seperates himself

  11. babyteal1 - Apr 4, 2016 at 3:36 PM

    Well it might be over now for Reggie Nelson…he’s visiting the Raiders….dang it Archives

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