Saturday, January 21, 2012

A look at the Redskins Free Agents this offseason

This is a look at impending Redskins free agents with the approximate grade I would give them on their value and as players.

LB London Fletcher: A-. Grade-wise, this one is tricky. Fletcher gets an A+ as a player/team-mate. One of the smartest, most well-respected guys in the league, and incredibly productive and effective in his own right. More like a B- in value, though, because he'll be 37 before next season. Seems to have a bit left in the tank, and is tied with Ronde Barber for the longest active playing streak, having never missed a game, but his age has to catch up to him before too long. Much more valuable to the Skins, and wants to come back.

SS LaRon Landry: A- Absolute stud at SS, dominant player, game-changer when playing. A bit of a blockhead and sometimes not focused on what he needs to do which allows him to get burnt in coverage even though he has the physical ability to stay with and challenge any wide receiver, tight end, or running back in the league. Still young, raw potential to be a HoFer, but the last 2 years there have been big injury concerns. Last year he was the DPOTY through the first half but then couldn't play the second half of the season, and this year he was extremely impactful when he played but was hobbled much of his time on the field and missed more than half the season. Great player but something of a gamble with health and brain. Definitely a SS, not a FS.

TE Fred Davis: B+ Totally outstanding receiving TE who is very physically impressive and excelled despite our offensive mess. Very fast, very strong. Sometimes effective but inconsistent as a blocker. His value is hurt by the fact that he's on thin ice with drug suspensions, but helped by the fact that he's a good guy, not a head case, and is very young.

LG Kory Lichtensteiger: B Is actually our second best OLmen after Williams (though missed most of the season with an ACL tear). Came out of nowhere to be quite a good guard, and can also play center comfortably. Perhaps our best run blocker, a good fit for the zone blocking scheme that Shanahan has us run.

HB Tim Hightower: B Solid runner, good receiver, great blocker. No breakaway speed but reliable. I'd like to have him back even with Helu/Royster for his blocking, primarily. Still young.

C Will Montgomery: B- Did quite well for us at center this year. Good blocker, excellent line captain. Was our second best OLmen (who played much) after Trent Williams. 

DT/E Adam Carriker: B- Solid DLmen, really came back from his bust status to play pretty well for us. Nothing spectacular, but a smart player who can be relied on to do a pretty good job most of the time.

LB Rocky McIntosh: C+ Good LB in a 4-3, but not stellar. Good blitzer, good speed, can stay with guys in coverage but is liable to bite on stuff or screw up an assignment.

DT/E Kedric Golston: C Good, reliable, team-first rotational linemen. Versatile, can start but you don't really want him to if it isn't because of injuries.

K Graham Gano: C- Maddeningly inconsistent, accuracy isn't very good. Incredibly strong leg, can hit from very deep, seems to be improving, still young.

Byron Westbrook: C-. Great on ST (probably our best ST player after Lorenzo Alexander) and a pretty solid corner. Never going to be someone anyone wants to start, but isn't bad out there.

Keyaron Fox: C-: Good ST player and can contribute on defense. Didn't play a lot.
Donte Stallworth: D+. Actually came on strong and made some good plays, but still hasn't had a good year in 3 or 4 years and is starting to get up there in age.
Darrion Scott: D+. Has some value as a backup, but lots of other guys do too.
David Anderson: D. Looked pretty good for us sometimes, but he's a no-name. White.
Philip Buchanon: D. Didn't play, okay corner, getting old.
Sean Locklear: D. Has started a good bit in his career, but was really quite bad for us.

I would expect many of these guys to be re-signed. I think Fletcher is definitely coming back, Davis probably is, and Landry likely is either via signing or a franchise tag. I also think it is important that all 3 come back. Outside of them, I expect both Lichtensteiger and Montgomery back, as Shanahan likes them and they're probably more interesting to us than any other team. Hightower has a pretty good shot. Shanahan loves his running backs. That could depend on who else shows interest. I think Carriker has a good shot as well as either a rotational guy or starting insurance with Jenkins coming off an ACL tear and not having played yet. Golston is possible but less likely if we re-sign Carriker. I expect Gano to be back, though likely with some competition, which is needed. With Westbrook it is hard to tell. Having him back wouldn't hurt and I think it's pretty likely, but it could go either way.

McIntosh is gone. He doesn't really fit our scheme, has been replaced by Perry Riley, and isn't very happy here.

All of the other guys could really go either way, and might depend on what else we do with our roster. They're more filler-type guys.

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