Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Quick hits, FA update

I would like at some point to make a long, well-written post regarding the salary cap penalty issue facing the Redskins and Cowboys, and how patently illegal it is, so perhaps I'll get around to that shortly. I also want to do an updated draft discussion, looking at players whom I think would well fit the Redskins' needs (even if, functionally, it's looking only at the 3rd round and beyond).

But, here are a few updates for now:

-Compensatory picks were announced. The Redskins were not awarded any. Big winners were Green Bay and Oakland (whose highest two picks, I believe, will both be compensatory, oddly enough).

-Finally a little trickle of refreshing new news in the dry, barren wasteland that is updates on London Fletcher's status. Nothing concrete, but it has been said that the team still wants him (and vice versa) and that talks are underway and/or have resumed. Hurrah.

-More and more speculation about RG3 potentially being the guy to take over Luck. As much as I am impressed and becoming more and more enamored with Griffin, and as much as I respect the opinion of NFL Films' Greg Cosell (who is among the analysts that, after detailed film study of both Griffin and Luck, believes that Griffin is a more talented, natural passer, and will be a stud in the NFL), I'm not ready to go that far. Great though Young Griff is, Andrew Luck is Andrew Luck, and has done nothing to be less impressive. I think some of it may be valid, but some of it is the media trying to build something up as exciting. While Irsay and the Colts are indeed likely doing their due diligence in considering both players, I would still be shocked if it weren't Luck at #1, and, love Griffin though I do, think that is how it should be.

It is encouraging and refreshing, though, how nearly-unanimously all sources and experts seem to agree that both are stellar prospects who are as close to can't-miss as possible. I don't remember the last time a quarterback coming out was pretty much free of concerns or question marks about how he actually plays, but both of these guys really are. All Luck is dealing with is the idea of "well, I guess he could have a stronger arm..." and Griffin's concerns all center around the fact that he played lesser competition in Baylor's conference and offense, and showed a huge improvement in his last season. Valid concerns, maybe, but I've heard nothing but good about his arm strength, accuracy, footwork, discipline, leadership, intelligence, work ethic, athleticism, and everything else. That is almost-unheard-of-rare.

-Last, just going to update the status of free agents. Most of the remaining contenders from the last update of my last post are still free, but because it had become cluttered, here's a fresh little look:

OT Demetrius Bell, BUF (27)
Still lacking a contract, still the best tackle on the market, would still be a good pickup. Word is, the team is encouraged by Jammal Brown's progress in re-habbing his hip, but it's hard to be confident in that. Along with the Cardinals and Packers, the Redskins are one of 3 teams Bell has visited. He is not expected to return to Buffalo.

OT Marcus McNeill, SD (28)
Top OT left that isn't Bell, and only other legitimate potential starter to be brought in at the position. They're close in play but McNeill is coming off a neck injury that limited him last season.Visits with the Lions, Chiefs, and Falcons.

OG Eric Steinbach, CLE (31)
I think Steinbach would be a great fit for us, and a good value. Coming off a back surgery that kept him out all 2011, his stock seems low, and he hasn't been linked anywhere except a potential re-signing in Cleveland. I really with the Skins would look into him, at the least.

LB David Hawthorne, SEA (26)
With the Saints and Lions, whom he had visited, having gone other directions, Hawthorne has remaining links to only the Bears and a re-signing in Seattle. Solid, young LB.

NT Aubrayo Franklin, NO (31)
The Chiefs are really the only team I've seen him linked to. Had a quiet season for New Orleans last year, but he should still be able to help us, and his down year and seeming low interest should mean he would come pretty cheap.

NT Shaun Rogers, NO (33)
Rogers is aging, which shows in his play, and he was an overpaid disappointment to New Orleans at $4 million last season. Still, he could be a helpful and cheap role player with his size and remaining athleticism. I am not aware of any particular interest from or visits to any club.

And, remaining notable free agents of the Redskins':

OJ Atogwe, FS (30)
The Redskins cut him because after an injury-plagued season with them, the team was apparently not confident that he was worth the $4 million he was owed. The market's top remaining safety, he has drawn interest from the Lions, Jets, and perhaps Vikings. Still, I would be happy to bring him back. Even if Merriweather works out (which I don't necessarily expect), we lack a real coverage-oriented free safety with him, Gomes, and Doughty, and, if healthy, Atogwe could fill that hole.

HB Tim Hightower (25)
As I've said before, his solid running ability, very good pass-catching and blocking skills, and different style (compared to Helu and Royster) could benefit the Skins. He seemed to fit well, would likely be cheap coming off of injured reserve, is young, and Shanahan's zone blocking scheme can make use of multiple backs. Before last season's end, the Redskins were talking about being interested in re-signing Hightower, but since then, I have heard next to nothing about him in relation to any team.

LB London Fletcher (36)
Mentioned above. We need him back, and, while this huge, unexpected delay has been worrisome, I still expect it.

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