March 9, 2010

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.

No comments: