HTTD writer Patrick Rice breaks steps #4 through #6, as far as what the Washington Redskins need to do in order to have a successful 2017 offseason.
“You get people who are smart, tough, with strong work ethics, and you want those who feel that football is important to them.”
– Hall of Fame General Manager Bill Polian
Previously, we discussed how the Washington Redskins needed to take care of their own. Mainly, Kirk Cousins and three other pivotal Free Agents. Now, in Part II, we will take a look at three more items Washington needs to address.
First, sticking with the taking care of their own, we will look at who the team should lock up for the long-term.
4. Provide Stability Through Two Key Contract Extensions: It is no secret in DC that the right tackle position was a revolving door before Morgan Moses arrived three years ago. Now, after two seasons, the Redskins must extend Moses this off-season to ensure the door remains shut. Moses, a third round pick, has stabilized the right side of the line alongside Brandon Scherff and started every game the past two years.
A four or five-year extension would give the Redskins book end tackles for years to come. Games are won in the trenches and Washington has chance to build a great line with home grown talent. Get the extension done.
Another extension to consider — and this may surprise many — is Jay Gruden. With back to back winning seasons after inheriting a total mess, Jay has done enough to stick around. A great offensive mind, Gruden still needs to grow in a lot of areas as the head coach. However, the players like him, and the stability would be a welcome change. After all, no coach has made it past their fourth year in the Dan Snyder era.
Gruden, entering his fourth year, should get a two or three-year extension before Free Agency to lure potential players to Washington. The stability would be welcomed and signal to free agents that the Redskins want stability and to continue to grow as a franchise. After missing out on top defensive coordinator candidates, Washington needs things to calm down at Redskins Park.
Get it done, Bruce.
5. Upgrade The Defensive Line in Free Agency: Finally, we shift away from taking care of their own and look toward free agency. Rich Tandler of CSN Washington recently wrote an article about this year’s free agency class, stating that “this year’s free agent class will be much more of a bust than a boom for the Redskins.”
The reason is supply and demand, Tandler writes. Most of the top players available will either be tagged or are over the dreaded 30 age limit. In desperate need of defensive line help, there are two players the ‘Skins are linked to: Bennie Logan and Nick Fairley.
Logan, who spent the past year with the Eagles, is an intriguing option. He is only 27 years old and has shown signs of being a disruptive force. Just ask the Redskins offensive line.
Fairley, on the other hand, is 29 and will be looking for his fourth team. A former top-15 pick, the defensive tackle has all the talent in the world, but has not found the consistency needed to warrant the high pick. After a career year with New Orleans, Fairley may be out of the Redskins price range, however, the ‘Skins have tons of cap space and he is worth a look.
6. Address the Defense — and Running Back? — in the 2017 NFL Draft: The draft is two months away, but the mock drafts are coming out daily. While the consensus has Washington focusing on defense, and they 100% should, there are also rumors of the Redskins potentially going offensive with the first pick again.
Scot McCloughan has nine draft picks to work with, and should spend at least 6 or 7 on the defensive side of the ball. The whole unit needs an overhaul, and drafting is McCloughan’s forte.
Something to note, though, is McCloughan’s “best player available” mantra. With two stud Running Backs in the top of this year’s draft, would McCloughan jump on Leonard Fournette from LSU or Dalvin Cook from Florida State?
Yes, Washington has many more glaring needs than running back. However, the mere fact that it’s already being discussed is intriguing. With so many red zone issues stemming from a lack of a running game, an elite running back would benefit Cousins and the offense. It’s definitely something to consider.
Ideally, Washington drafts a safety in the first three rounds, and multiple defensive linemen with their other picks. But keep tabs on Fournette and Cook in round one; after all, they would be the best available at pick #17.
The ‘Skins have a lot of holes to fix and multiple issues to address. But Gruden and company have done their job of righting a sinking ship and deserve praise. Now, after narrowly missing the playoffs, it’s time to take get back to drawing board and make a few adjustments.
The question is: will Washington make the right moves?