March 31, 2010

The Tim Tebow Experiment (Part Two)

With Tim Tebow as the center of attention in this year's NFL draft, it will be one of the more hyped offseason events in years.

Tebow was invited to attend the draft in New York City even though he will likely slide pass the first round. To have a player who is not a first round grade be asked to the draft is unheard of.

But of course, this is Tim Tebow.

While all the media and talking heads have been going bonkers with Tebow-Mania, NFL scouts are confused as to what to make of the former Gator great.

In college, Tebow operated in the spread-option offense. It involved plenty of decision making for the quarterback, but most of it regarded decision making on the ground. Tebow was not a drop back passer and rarely threw the ball vertically.

This inexperience in the passing game has led many NFL front offices to question whether Tebow can succeed at the professional level. Add to the dilemma the fact that Tebow has mechanical issues at quarterback and his future at the position in the NFL is not promising.

However, Tebow is already working to correct an awkward release and lackluster footwork. In the month between the NFL Combine and his Pro Day, Tebow fixed his release, leading several scouts to buy into the fact that Tebow will eventually develop into an NFL starter.

The work Tebow has already put in is an indicator that he serious about making himself as good a player as he can possibly be. He is a winner and a competitor, and thus far, there hasn't been anything he has come up short in.

That ability to succeed something NFL executives want to see, but they will have to determine if selecting Tebow is worth the time and effort it will take to mold him into a viable player.

Someone will make that gamble and with good reason. There isn't much to dislike if a team can get him after the first round. In the very least, it will boost the exposure of the team that drafts him; at best it could lead to big things should Tebow become a franchise QB.

Tebow has made the rounds in the past several months. His name has been mentioned in connection with a handful of teams including the Redskins.

The Redskins have a second round pick and are interested in adding a QB in this year's draft. Tebow will reportedly visit the Redskins next week according to Adam Schefter along with the bulk of the other top rated QBs in the draft.

Washington had representatives in attendance for Tebow's Pro Day, and head coach Mike Shanahan had high praise for him.

"Here's a guy to me that brings everything to the table. He'll interview with 30 people, work out for everybody [and] when you're with him, he's just an off-the-chart guy," Shanahan said. "Those guys don't come around all the time. Especially with the success that he's had."

Obviously the draft process involves a lot smoke and mirrors. Shanahan isn't going to tip his hand and tell you a whole lot about the players he's evaluating.

And yet, he did gush about Tebow like so many others have. Clearly, he will likely end up as a consideration for any team in the market for a QB.

As for the prospect of Tebow coming to Washington DC, it could happen.

Washington has shown strong signs towards acquiring a new QB to eventually take over for incumbent starter Jason Campbell.

Shanahan has been enamored with Jimmy Clausen and Sam Bradford, but should circumstances dictate it, the Redskins might end up waiting to take a QB until the second round.

It's not a sure thing, but don't be shocked if Tebow-Mania takes over center stage in the District this year.

Tebow the person is everything a football team and a community could want. It's simply a matter of if he can come through on the field.

That burning question of whether Tebow the player can live up to Tebow the person is racing through NFL circles. Tim Tebow is the enigma of the 2010 NFL draft.

Which team will decide he is worth it?

March 30, 2010

Tuesday Roundup: Buchanon Added

The 'Skins made another signing yesterday, adding eight year veteran CB Phillip Buchanon.

Buchanon has played for five teams in seven seasons (last year with Detroit). The 'Skins got him on the cheap, signing him to a one year deal worth $1.5 million.

Essentially, he replaces the recently departed Fred Smoot as the team's nickel corner unless Justin Tryon or Kevin Barnes improve upon their 2009 efforts.

Not a big deal, but the 'Skins needed depth and Buchanon provides it. Matt Mosley from ESPN's NFC East blog is a fan.

Buchanon is a former first round draft pick by the Oakland Raiders and has 18 career INTs (11 of them coming in his first three years). He played under current Skins GM Bruce Allen in Tampa and in Oakland.

More Sam Bradford news. I really think Mike Shanahan covets him bigtime. Here's a piece from the DC Examiner.

And one from Redskins Insider.

Speaking of Bradford, he can do wrong thus far in his young professional career. His Pro Day was brilliant. And FYI, Bruce Allen was in attendance.

And since it was that good, the Redskins might have to get "creative" in order to draft him.

Adam Schefter tweeted today that Tim Tebow would be visiting the DC area next week. Here's the tweet:

"Florida QB Tim Tebow has been in New England the past two days. And he's headed to Washington and Cleveland next week."

And here's a look at the Redskins roster halfway through the offseason.

For all your Redskin online sports betting needs check out Bodog.

March 29, 2010

Tim Tebow: High Risk-High Reward

Recent rumors have linked the Washington Redskins to NFL draft prospect Tim Tebow.

Of course, with the rumors has come plenty of speculation as to what the Redskins drafting Tebow would mean for the franchise.

Needless to say, the glamor surrounding Tebow has only increased as the draft approaches. The team who selects Tebow will be hounded by reporters for days as the sports world tries in vain to discover what their plans are for Tebow's career.

Tebow is an average guy in terms of his appearance and personality. He expresses himself well, but doesn't tower over everyone else in the room. He is genuinely friendly and outgoing and stays out of controversy for the most part (with the exception of his Super Bowl ad this past year).

So what makes Tebow such a magnet for a hailstorm of interviews and paparazzi?

For one he is a dramatic player. Tebow has done great things on the football field. He has won two national championships, a Heisman trophy and the love of half the state of Florida.

Tebow's leadership skills are undeniable. He tries to be involved in every aspect of the game while keeping teammates prepared and fired up. No one could forget his guarantee after losing to Ole Miss or his pep talk to the special teams unit in the national championship vs. Oklahoma.

Tebow returned for his senior season with the Gators in 2009 despite coming off his Heisman year and a national title. He didn't necessarily have to stay in college, but he did. Gator fans swooned.

Last year, Tebow came up short in his effort to win back-to-back titles, but he did continue his impressive play. After losing in the SEC title game to eventual national champion Alabama, Tebow wept and Gator nation wept along with him.

It's those endearing qualities of passion and loyalty that led the nation to embrace Tebow. For those that questioned how real those qualities were, they need only look at Tebow's off-field exploits.

Tebow organized and went on mission trips to the Philippines to bring aid to impoverished areas. He is outspoken in the Christian community, and isn't afraid to reveal his personal beliefs to the world.

Tebow has remained true to himself throughout his rise to stardom. He has repeatedly held that he will save himself for marriage. Not all agree with his belief, but it is commendable that he has stood his ground in what he holds dear.

Tebow has also avoided the thuggish behavior that permeates through nearly every team in college football. Not once has he been associated with drunkenness, assault, or any other such crime.

To come by a star with such a golden image is rare, but thus far Tebow has managed to avoid the major sins that usually come with his profession. That is a huge plus for his life and career in the NFL.

This is only scratching the surface of Tebow's dynamic personality, but it is enough to realize that for at least another year, Tebow will be the biggest thing in football.

Whether it will last beyond that is another question.

To Be Continued.

Catching Up

Sorry about the delay between posts. It's been an interesting two weeks in which my computer died and studying for tests took first priority.

Now back to business.

First off, today is the highly anticipated Pro Day of star QB Sam Bradford. Should he wow scouts, he will be the number one pick in this year's draft (even if he doesn't he probably will).

Meanwhile check out Jimmy Clausen. And Tim Tebow.

Chris Wilson was tendered earlier this week with a second rounder. He'll be key in the new 3-4 defense (by the way congrats to former Washington Times writer Ryan O'Halloran on landing a new gig with CSN Washington).

Brian Orakpo talked about Albert Haynesworth and the team's new strength and conditioning program.

This might be the most interesting news in the past week. Mike Shanahan has taken in slow in the free agent market, but could end up going all in for a stud WR like TO or Brandon Marshall?

And Rich Tandler has the top five Redskins most likely to improve.

This week, I'll be writing on Tim Tebow and some other draft options. Plus, I'll be linking a free agent review from Sports Fan Live that I'm working on.

Stay tuned.

March 17, 2010

Midweek Roundup: Sexy Rexy

Well it's midterm week here in college so I'm confined to just giving you tidbits of info here.

Rex Grossman is in the house. Hey, he's been to a Super Bowl before so he knows what it's all about.

If you're interested in knowing this crucial bit of info, it's a one-year deal. Frankly, I'd be shocked if he made it past training camp.

Free agent visits: 3-4 rush OLB Joey Porter tomorrow, LT Barry Sims on Friday.

Porter is 33 and getting older. However, he could provide some nice depth as a pass rusher. He has worked with LB coach Lou Spanos before in Pittsburgh.

Sims is an 11-year vet at left tackle. He know the ropes and can still start. He would be a decent stopgap solution if the 'Skins don't take a tackle in the first round.

And finally, Dick Vermeil said that LJ could take the starting job away from Clinton Portis.

"He will take over the running back position," said Vermeil, who coached Johnson in Kansas City from 2003 to '05. "That's what I think. He'll push that guy (Portis) right out of a job. Larry Johnson will work all week -- he'll work Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday -- and he'll make you start him on Sundays."

I'll be focusing on that after midterms are done. Peace.

March 15, 2010

Monday Roundup: Clausen-'Skins Connection at No. 4?

Jimmy Clausen has been plastered all over Redskins-related sites.

Mel Kiper and Michael Lombardi are both calling it.

Matt Mosley from ESPN's NFC East blog has the scoop from several different expert mock drafts (it's looking like most experts are going Clausen or Okung).

As for me, I think the 'Skins have Their board looking like this:

1. Bradford, QB
2. Clausen, QB
3. Okung, T
4. Berry, S
5. Bulaga, T

The 'Skins want a QB. I think it's pretty clear they are going to go for one at some point in the draft. Maybe they like Okung better than Clausen, but I think Shanny wants one of the top two QBs.

Should Shanny decide against Clausen after Bradford goes No. 1, then he'll pick between Bulaga or Okung.

And from out of left field you have to consider Berry just because of his talent and the fact that Washington needs a free safety. However, LaRon Landry is probably the guy Shanahan plans to start at FS and Berry will likely go to Tampa Bay at No. 3.

OTAs started up today at Redskins Park as well. Here's a look at them from Matt Terl.

Note: Near 100% attendance at Redskins Park today including Landry, Clinton Portis and Albert Haynesworth.

Larry Foote Signed with Pittsburgh, leaving the 'Skins still possibly in need of another ILB for their 3-4 defense.

March 13, 2010

Weekend Roundup: LJ Comes to Washington

RB Larry Johnson has officially signed with the Washington Redskins, inking a three-year, $3.5 million deal with incentive that could give him as much as $12 million.

I still believe the 'Skins need a change-of-pace back with speed (unless Anthony Alridge emerges).

Restricted FA Will Montgomery also signed with the 'Skins today, after playing with the team last season.

Mike Shanahan gave a good rundown of some the issues he's dealing with at the moment on the Official Redskins Blog (he's a "big fan" of Carlos Rogers; guess Rogers will be back after all).

Draft Bits: The Redskins could be interested in Fordham QB John Skelton.

The Redskins have been following QB prospects closely. Colt McCoy said the Redskins have shown a lot of interest in him.

Meanwhile, Mel Kiper is calling Jimmy Clausen to the Redskins. He seems convinced the 'Skins go QB with their No. 4 pick.

This week, I'll be surveying the free agent market and who the Redskins should be looking at. Same with the draft.

Stay tuned.

March 12, 2010

Friday Roundup: Larry Johnson or Willie Parker

Well Willie Parker has yet to sign a deal with the Redskins, but is still on the market. He and Larry Johnson are the two backs available that the Redskins have targeted.

I prefer Parker. He's a good change-of-pace back to Clinton Portis. A little more burst than Johnson. He would probably be better with limited touches than LJ as well.

Certain backs can do better with 10-15 touches than others. Johnson is a workhorse back who needs to carry it over 20 times to really heat up. Ladell Betts was the same way. I would bet that Parker is the best back on the market to play in a reserve role.

However, it seems that the 'Skins want Johnson. Thom Loverro doesn't.

Carlos Rogers will attend offseason workouts despite his recent frustration with the organization.

The turmoil in the Jim Zorn era really turned off a ton of players, and Mike Shanahan is now trying to change the atmosphere so that players will come to work without distractions. Rogers is more at peace now, but a trade is still possible.

Of course the draft is still a big deal here in DC. Russell Okung, Jimmy Clausen and Sam Bradford have been the names most thrown around, but now it's looking like Okung and Bradford might go before the number four pick (Okung to the Lions and Bradford to the Rams).

Bradford's extra 20 pounds of muscle that he showed off at the combine reportedly got the Rams rethinking what to do with the first overall pick.

Meanwhile, I found it odd that Okung's name hasn't been thrown around more in Detroit. After all, they need a left tackle to protect last year's No. 1 pick, Drew Stafford.

Homer McFanboy has a fantastic interview with Andre Carter. I'm hoping for the best for Carter, who is a top-notch individual.

Carter on the Way Out?

DE Andre Carter is reportedly unhappy with the 'Skins upcoming switch to a 3-4 defense. He has been involved in trade rumors for Rams DE Adam Carriker according to NFL Network's Jason La Canfora.

In addition to being the team's best pass rusher, Carter has been a model of class throughout his time in DC. He is more of a 4-3 defensive end though, and so the 'Skins could part ways with him.

I got to know Carter a bit during my time covering the Redskins this year. He is genuinely friendly and is a great interview. He takes time for everyone and played his heart out this past year.

Carter is a guy you want in the locker room, but it seems like he has finally tired of the tumultuous nature in Washington. Add the fact that he has struggled in the past at OLB (where the 'Skins want him to play this year), and it adds up that Carter might want a change of scenery.

It's tough to let guys of Carter's character go, but with the team taking a different direction, some good players are going to get left behind. It's unfortunate that it could be Carter, but football is a business.

Carriker is a prototypical 3-4 end who split time at tackle and end with the Rams after being drafted three years ago. He would provide quality depth and perhaps start at DE for the 'Skins.

Update: Redskins Insider has stated that Carter isn't unhappy with his situation, but overall I'm getting the vibe that he wouldn't be adverse to a trade.

March 11, 2010

'Skins Sign Former Chiefs' TE Ryan

The Redskins signed former Chiefs' TE Sean Ryan today.

Ryan is a blocking tight end who will most likely replace Todd Yoder, an unrestricted free agent. He actually started eight games in 2009, catching 14 passes for 135 yards and two TDs.

March 10, 2010

Midweek Roundup: 'Skins Ink Kemoeatu

The Washington Redskins signed their second free agent today under new coach Mike Shanahan. It's a potential nose tackle in former Carolina Panther Maake Kemoeatu.

Kemoeatu (that's quite painful to type, but I'll get used to it) is a massive 6-5, 345 lbs. He is a candidate to anchor the Redskins' new 3-4 defense. He's a talented force who could prove to be very disruptive.

The downside? Kemoeatu is coming off an Achilles' tendon tear that left him sidelined for the entire 2009 season. If he can recover from that, Kemoeatu will be a an important asset.

Frank Herzog, the legendary Redskins' play-by-play announcer, retired from broadcasting yesterday. He hadn't called a 'Skins game for several years, but I'll never forget hearing, "Touchdown, Washington Redskins."

Thanks for the memories, Frank.

I've been praising the Redskins for their patience this offseason. I'm not the only one either. The buzz around the NFL is that the Redskins are actually moving away from their aggressive, free-spending ways.

Antonio Bryant signed with the Bengals earlier today. He never ended up visiting Washington nor were the 'Skins interested in him as initial reports suggested.

However, RB Larry Johnson is set to stop by on Thursday.

The Redskins previously hosted Willie Parker earlier this week.

It's clear the 'Skins are in the market for a backup to Clinton Portis seeing as they cut Marcus Mason, Ladell Betts and Rock Cartwright while allowing Quinton Ganther to test free agency.

I prefer Parker, but he left without signing so it remains to be seen if he was interested.

No rumors that I've heard of linking the Redskins to OJ Atogwe, but he could be a good fit at free safety in DC.

March 9, 2010

No Cap Helps 'Skins Lower the Payroll

The uncapped year is working out for the Redskins quite well. And not in the way many thought it would.

With all the roster cuts the 'Skins made last week, they have slashed their payroll down to $70.6 million. The cuts took $63 million off the payroll.

Had there been a cap, there would have been no way the 'Skins could have made those cuts as it would have put them over the cap by $39 million.

Here's the article from ESPN.

Redskins Take a Patient Approach to Free Agency

We don't see this very often, but four days into free agency the Washington Redskins have yet to make a big splash in the free agent market.

They could have jumped into the bidding war for Julius Peppers or Karlos Dansby. However, they opted to take the conservative route and bide their time.

Thus far, they have signed just one player who is far from a big name. Artis Hicks, a versatile utility lineman from the Minnesota Vikings is all the 'Skins have snapped up in free agency this year.

Yet despite the inactivity there have been rumblings of a few players here and there. Tackles Tony Pashos and Chad Clifton each stopped by before inking deals elsewhere. LB Larry Foote and RB Willie Parker visited Redskins Park yesterday while WR Antonio Bryant is expected to do the same today.

None of these guys are going to be superstars, but they are players who can contribute to the overall betterment of the team. Foote can play MLB in the 3-4 defense while Parker would be a solid veteran change-of-pace to Clinton Portis.

Bryant is the interesting one.

The Redskins don't have a great corps of receivers. Devin Thomas looks like he could be a decent player. Santana Moss can be great if he draws single coverage. Malcolm Kelly really has done nothing

Bryant would be a consistent possession receiver who would free up Moss and perhaps move him to the slot. That would give the Redskins two big receiving options on either side in Thomas (6-2, 218) and Bryant (6-1, 205).

Bryant dropped off last year, playing in just 13 games, catching 39 passes for 600 yards and four TDs. However, the year before he grabbed 83 balls for 1,248 yards and seven TDs.

Bryant is an intriguing option. With him, the Redskins would solidify the receiving corps and could then turn focus completely to the offensive line situation.

It's not as if the Redskins haven't attempted to address the protection up front. They resigned center Casey Rabach and brought in Hicks, but thus far, they have yet to find a pair of tackles.

The interior is taking shape. Rabach will anchor the middle again with Derrick Dockery at left guard. Hicks is expected to start at right guard. Levi Jones and Stephon Heyer are likely the current starting tackles, meaning the Redskins will need to look at the remaining free agents and draft prospects for some starters.

The patience in Washington is refreshing. The Redskins really didn't need Julius Peppers. Larry Foote is a cheaper option than Karlos Dansby. Artis Hicks isn't a guy the Redskins usually have on their radar.

The front office is one with an eye on the big picture. Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen know this turnaround won't happen overnight. They realize breaking the bank this year won't put them in contention for a Super Bowl. So in an ordered, precise fashion, they are putting together components to compete.

March 4, 2010

'Skins Ax Some Players, Rogers Wants Out Too

The Redskins cut several players today, all of them once integral parts of the team.

WR Antwaan Randle El, RBs Rock Cartwright and Ladell Betts, DT Cornelius Griffin and CB Fred Smoot were all shown the door today, following Chris Samuels' retirement announcement.

All those players had been on the team for multiple seasons. Thomas had been in DC since the Spurrier days. Randle El was a huge disappointment returning punts while Cartwright was slowing down on kick-off returns.

Griffin was aging and Smoot wasn't the same in his second stint with the Redskins. Betts' contract was huge (like those of Thomas, Randle El and Smoot) and he was coming off of a season-ending knee injury.

All the moves were solid ones. None of the players who were cut fit into the Redskins' long-term plans nor were they very productive last season.

CB Carlos Rogers, who was tendered yesterday, declared his displeasure with the team after they blocked his path to free agency.

"That's why I'm saying, there's just so much stuff that they done done that I just ... you think about you want a new start," Rogers said. "It's not even Coach [Mike] Shanahan's fault. It's not the fault of any of these new coaches. It's just previous things. It's a lot of things."

So should no team sign Rogers to an offer sheet (which is unlikely given his first-round tender), then Washington will undoubtedly shop Rogers for a mid-round selection in this year's draft. It doesn't appear Rogers will be back.

Look for the Redskins to consider bringing in CBs Lito Shepperd or Leigh Bodden to bolster the depth at corner.

Speaking of free agents, Redskins Insider mentions the possibility of the 'Skins pursuing Karlos Dansby. That, in my opinion, is the player in free agency the Redskins most need.

Also, OL Will Montgomery was tendered today. I have yet to hear how high his tender was.

Thursday Roundup: Tendered

Carlos Rogers received a first-round tender yesterday and he's not happy about it. Chris Wilson joined him at a second-round tender.

That leaves just DT/OLB Lorenzo Alexander (negotiating an extension), OL Will Montgomery, and DT Anthony Montgomery.

With Rogers and Rocky McIntosh upset, it's likely Jason Campbell isn't happy either with the Redskins halfhearted tender. So could trades be on the horizon?

Chris Samuels is announcing his retirement today at Redskins Park in Ashburn. I'll be doing a writeup on that later today or tomorrow.

QB or not QB? The No. 4 pick is a huge deal for Mike Shanahan or at least I think so.

Great little bit here on the ESPN 980 blog. The Redskins haven't established a culture that breeds winners. Signing a bunch of high-profile free agents won't change that culture.

March 3, 2010

Midweek Roundup: Prepping For Free Agency

The Redskins really are going to make a switch to the 3-4 it appears. I really thought they would just experiment with it, but it's looking like a complete switch is in the works.

More Peppers talk. This time from PFT.

As much as it is tempting to covet Peppers, Homer McFanboy has a great point. Signing him would be the same old Redskins. Besides, Karlos Dansby would be a cheaper option who also has a lot more left in the tank.

Darren Sproles could also be on the hit list? ("The 5-foot-6 speedster finished the season with 800 plus yards in receiving and rushing. He did have his worst year in yards per carry in 2009. He averaged less than four yards a rush. He is a great third down back. He's got great hands and can turn a short gain into a huge play.")

Rich Tandler has more on the running backs in the draft.

The Redskins didn't tender Jason Campbell with first and third round picks. They simply tendered him with a first. It would only have cost them another $100,000 to tack on the third-rounder to the tender.

@RichCampbell: For only 124,750 more, the #Redskins could have tendered Campbell at 1st & 3rd-round level. That speaks volumes.

Looks like Campbell is not in the team's future whatsoever. So I guess we could be looking at a QB in the first round this year.

Redskins Tender a Group of Their Restricted Free Agents

The 'Skins have tendered the bulk of the restricted free agents getting ready to hit the market today.

DT Kedric Golston, T Stephon Heyer, LB Rocky McIntosh, and S Reed Doughty all received second-round tenders from the Redskins.

QB Jason Campbell received a first-round tender.

The Redskins can now match any offer that other teams give Washington's restricted free agents. Should Washington choose to not match the offer of an opposing team, that team would have to surrender a draft pick to sign that restricted free agent (ex. Rams would have to give up a first-rounder for Campbell, but only a second-rounder for Golston).

If you're still confused then here's an explanation from Matt Terl over the Redskins Blog.

CB Carlos Rogers, DT Anthony Montgomery, OL Will Montgomery, OLB/DE Chris Wilson, and DT Lorenzo Alexander are all restricted free agents waiting to be tendered.

They will enter the free agent market as unrestricted FAs if they are not tendered by Friday.

Bears, Redskins Interested in Peppers

I haven't really mentioned much about superstar DE Julius Peppers. I didn't think the Redskins would pursue him.

However, I should have known better. He's the best name on the market and that makes him someone the Redskins would want.

The rumors are flying as we approach the start of free agency. Peppers will hit the market at 12:01 am on Friday and his name has been linked primarily to the Redskins and Bears.

Peppers is 30 years old, but he still possesses much of the speed and athleticism that made him a star in Carolina with the Panthers. He is coming off a 10.5 sack season in which he also had a pair of interceptions and forced five fumbles.

Falcons head coach Mike Smith had nothing but praise for Peppers. "He has been an outstanding player for a number of years," he said. "He's a guy you always have to be aware of where he is aligned and you always have to scheme to protect your quarterback."

In eight seasons Peppers has notched 81 sacks and made the NFL's All-Decade team for the 2000s. He is expected to command up to $15 million per year, making him a tough purchase for any NFL team.

However, the Redskins have the league's deepest pockets and the most star-struck owner. Dan Snyder isn't afraid to shell out dollars for a big name, and if the rumors are correct, then nothing has changed since he hired Mike Shanahan.

The prospect of signing Peppers might excite people, but there are concerns. Peppers doesn't always give 100 percent on the field, and a big payday could backfire and leave a team with an underachieving, aging veteran.

Peppers has had some down seasons. In 2007, he had just 2.5 sacks something that many consider to be a major concern. Peppers has rebounded well with two strong seasons, but 2007 is something that will raise questions about his work ethic.

Still a player of Peppers athleticism will leave teams enamored. There will reportedly be a number of teams vying for his services with Washington and Chicago being the front-runners.

Peppers would be an interesting acquisition for the Redskins. It is still up in the air as to what the Redskins will actually be doing defensively. They have been considering a switch to a 3-4 defense, and they will most likely use it primarily.

Peppers has stated that he would love to play in a 3-4. He has the abilities to play in any scheme at linebacker or defensive end. The Redskins would love that versatility as Peppers could play the rush end or drop back in coverage.

The only red flag is that Washington has done this before. They have signed a marquee names in the past only to see them flop and do nothing to help the team move forward.

Peppers looks like a great move on paper, but it's a move that will have to involve plenty of thought. This would be the first big move by the new front office, and as such it will be heavily scrutinized.

The absence of the salary cap makes this a safer move money-wise, but Peppers' impact will have to be worth every penny to validate the signing.

Will the Redskins take a chance?

Stay tuned.

March 2, 2010

Free Agent Rundown: Ryan Clark

We've seen him before in DC. In 2005, Ryan Clark tamed a fellow young safety named Sean Taylor as the Washington Redskins went on a dramatic play-off run that left them a few plays short of the NFC Championship.

Now, Clark could be back in the Burgundy and Gold.

Clark is a reliable nine year veteran who has spent the last few years on the Pittsburgh Steelers, playing alongside the legendary Troy Polamalu in the Pittsburgh secondary. However, barring a new contract with Pittsburgh, Clark is set to test the free agent market on Friday.

Polamalu might get all the attention, but along with Clark he formed one of the better safety tandems in the NFL the past few years.

Clark is rarely out of position, and his discipline in coverage limits the big plays a passing game can make. But the fundamental approach Clark takes doesn't prevent him from laying out receivers over the middle. He is aggressive in taking down ball carriers, and his overall passion for the game raises the level of intensity in the whole defensive backfield.

Clark isn't an all-pro , but he has complemented superstars for much of his career.

For two years, Clark helped develop Taylor in Washington before departing as a free agent after the 2005 season. Taylor was on his way to stardom until he was fatally shot in 2007.

The Redskins have another physically gifted yet frustrating young safety in LaRon Landry. Landry is in desperate need of stability. A pairing with Clark could be just the ticket.

Clark would fill the free safety role, which the Redskins badly need while Landry could move back to his more natural role as a strong safety. This doesn't guarantee success for Landry, but it protects the Redskins from giving up big plays courtesy of Landry's blown coverage.

Clark should also be an affordable option for the Redskins. He doesn't have the name recognition of an Antoine Bethea or a Nick Collins, but he has a skill set not far below those players.

Washington has a plethora of strong safeties, but not one is equipped to adequately play free safety. Reed Doughty and Chris Horton lack the cover skills while Landry doesn't have the awareness.

Clark would be a much-needed addition, and the Redskins have brought back players in the past (see: Fred Smoot and Derrick Dockery). It isn't too far-fetched to see him return to Washington.

March 1, 2010

Monday Roundup: More Combine Links

WR Dez Bryant sounds like the second coming of TO. Just a weird personality all the way around.

Lorenzo Alexander will be playing at OLB in the 3-4 package. I don't quite get how a 275 pound defensive tackle will be able to cover or be an explosive edge rusher, but we'll see...Alexander is a special teams demon and he is fast for his size, but I don't see him playing well at OLB.

DE Phillip Daniels joins C Casey Rabach and LS Ethan Albright in contract negotiations with the team.

There have been some real burners in the 40 this year. RB CJ Spiller, WRs Golden Tate and Jacoby Ford all had impressive 40-yard times.

Tate weighed in at 199 pounds and benched 225 pounds 17 times. Watching film of this guy reminds me of a younger Santana Moss.

Sam Bradford gained weight since the season. And it was all muscle. Bradford went from 220 to 236.

That could make things interesting because the Rams interest in Bradford spiked. If Bradford goes number one, things could get easier for the Redskins. They could take Russell Okung at number four.

Then again, Clausen, who didn't participate in the combine, could wow scouts at his pro day.

Mike Shanahan did say that the 'Skins would do thorough evaluations at the pro days.

Jahvid Best is intriguing. The Redskins do need an explosive player. They lack guys who can score in the blink of an eye. Best is one of those. However, it's hard to forget that hit he took on his final play as a Cal Bear.

And Jared Veldheer may come from Hillsdale in Michigan, but could be a star on the O-line in the NFL.