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Redskins Bolster Offense, Sign Free Agent DeSean Jackson

DeSean Signs

 


It’s okay. We can come out now. The DeSean Jackson circus is over.

Late Tuesday evening, the Redskins signed free agent wide receiver DeSean Jackson to a four-year deal worth a reported $32 million that voids to a three-year deal worth $24 million. The 27-year-old speedster is guaranteed $16 million and carries a $4.25 million cap hit this season, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.

What does Jackson bring to the Redskins?

  • You’re getting a playmaker. With elite speed and quickness, Jackson is a threat to score every time he touches the football. Want a fun stat? Of Jackson’s 39 career touchdowns, 27 of them have been for 30 yards or more, including four punt returns. Simply put, he makes things happen.
  • Pierre Garcon will benefit, as will other receiving threats in Washington. Jackson’s ability to blow past a secondary and force attention helps everyone on offense — from Garcon, to Robert Griffin III to Alfred Morris.
  • Jackson presents an awesome mismatch against single-high safety looks, and the Redskins can effectively parlay that with another successful season running the football. Opposing defenses will now have to worry about a homerun hitter on the outside when keying in on the Redskins rushing attack.
  • More speed. Although adding Andre Roberts was a nice move in free agency, the Redskins still needed more speed and elusiveness. Enter, Jackson.
  • Draft flexibility. While I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of drafting a receiver from a deep draft class, the Redskins can now move the position down the board a bit following the addition of Jackson.

While it is tough to ignore the red flags we hear about regarding Jackson’s attitude, work ethic and leadership, his talent is a great fit in Washington. Head coach Jay Gruden can get creative with plenty of explosive weapons on offense, and adding a talent like Jackson is further investment in surrounding Robert Griffin III with a threatening arsenal.

 

Redskins Sign Veteran Safety Ryan Clark

Ryan Clark

Helping to address a giant hole in their secondary, the Redskins agreed to terms with veteran free-agent safety Ryan Clark late Monday, according to Mike Jones of the Washington Post.

Although the Redskins were never deemed out of contention for the 34-year-old’s services, the signing comes nearly three weeks after Clark visited Redskins Park on March 13.

What does Ryan Clark mean for the Redskins?

  • First and foremost, he’s a legitimate starter. Sure, he’s up there in age (he’ll turn 35 in October), but Clark is an established veteran with a proven track record and he’s a million miles ahead of sophomores Bacarri Rambo and Phillip Thomas (who missed all of his rookie season last year with a Lisfranc injury).
  • When London Fletcher hung ‘em up after last season, we talked about the loss of an emotional leader both on the field and off the field. Who was going to step up and fill the void? Well, despite being the new guy, Clark is considered a strong presence in the locker room with good command on the field. Guys respect him.
  • Speaking of which, regardless of how much or how little hope you have in Rambo and Thomas as future contributors, having a guy like Clark at their position helps. Old scholar, young grasshoppers.
  • Signing Clark would seem to give the Redskins more flexibility come draft time. Although Clark isn’t the long-term answer, the Redskins can at least say they have durable starting safety for the time being. They wouldn’t have to get jumpy for a safety with their top pick (however, signing DeSean Jackson would change draft plans too).

As we wait to see what the financials look like for Clark’s new deal, this is clearly a good move by the Redskins. There was a gaping hole in the deep half and adding a savvy vet like Clark helps fill a good chunk.

 

DeSean Jackson Visits D.C. with Redskins Pierre Garcon, DeAngelo Hall and Rapper Wale

The feeling that wide receiver DeSean Jackson signs with the Redskins continues to grow. After arriving in town Monday, Jackson spent Monday night in D.C. with Pierre Garcon, DeAngelo Hall and rapper Wale.

Needless to say, everyone appears rather cozy.

Wale's Instagram

Wale’s Instagram

ABC 6 in Philadelphia is reporting that Jackson and the Redskins have agreed to terms, and that Jackson will take his physical on Tuesday.

A few quick thoughts on the possibility of DJax in Washington…

  • The deal/signing can’t cripple the franchise financially. A one-year prove-it would be the ideal scenario for Washington.
  • Other Redskins players clearly want Jackson on the team, and that feels like a good thing. Or good sign. Or something.
  • I expected Jackson to leave Washington without a deal and at least visit the Raiders in his home state of California.
  • Remember Tuesday is April Fools Day — tread Twitter cautiously.

 

Former Redskins Tight End Fred Davis Is a Rapper

Fred Davis Rap

Once upon a time, former second-round draft pick Fred Davis was a productive tight end for the Redskins when he wasn’t busy oversleeping, throwing drinks on self-proclaimed celebrity brokers and representing himself in court by way of terrible vocabulary.

After failing multiple drug tests, however, Davis (who remains a free agent) faces a pretty hefty suspension from the league and has apparently decided to take on a new career path.

My least favorite part is Davis’ unstylish rapper name, which appears to be, just, Fred Davis. Clearly he’s not familiar with the Wu-Tang Rapper Name Generator, because Babyfaced the Baptist would’ve been way better than just plain ol’ Fred Davis.

Anyway, here’s the rap video you probably shouldn’t watch.

 

Redskins Sign OG Shawn Lauvao to $17 Million Deal

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Dallas Cowboys

Continuing to upgrade their offense, the Redskins added former Browns guard Shawn Lauvao to help improve the interior offensive line.

According to multiple reports, the 26-year-old Lauvao signed a four-year deal worth $17 million.

After being drafted in the third round in 2010 out of Arizona State, the 6’3″, 315-pound Lauvao went on to play 53 games for the Browns at right guard.

Lauvao’s signing in Washington could play a role in the future of veteran guard Chris Chester, who not only plays on the right side, but is 31 years old and set to count more than $4 million against the cap in 2014.

What’s next for the offensive line? Well, upgrading right tackle would be nice. But perhaps more important would be moving left guard Kory Licthensteiger to his more natural center position to replace Will Montgomery and then finding someone to play left guard, whether it be through the draft or in free agency.

 

Redskins Agree to Terms with WR Andre Roberts

Courtesy of Rob Schumacher / AZ Republic

Courtesy of Rob Schumacher / AZ Republic

The Redskins entered this offseason looking to improve the talent surrounding quarterback Robert Griffin III.

On Tuesday, the Redskins took the first step in that direction, agreeing to terms with former Cardinals wide receiver Andre Roberts.

 
Roberts was a guy who I liked a lot and was hopeful he’d land on Washington’s radar.

From my previous post about under-the-radar prospects for the Redskins:

Need more weapons for Robert Griffin III? No problem. Andre Roberts is a capable slot receiver who’s likely on his way out ofArizona in search of more involvement in a team’s offense.

Outside of Pierre Garcon and Jordan Reed, the Redskins are lacking both receiving targets and playmakers. Roberts offers a little of both, racking up more than 100 catches and 1,200 yards over the past two seasons and possessing the necessary quickness to earn yards after the catch.

In terms of money, I think it’s fair for both sides. The Redskins land an experienced slot receiver who will be just 26 to start the season, and who helps add speed/quickness to a unit that’s clearly lacking.

Note, however, that a contract can’t be signed, sealed and delivered until 4 P.M. Tuesday afternoon.

 

Report: Redskins Re-Sign Perry Riley

Courtesy of Redskins.com

Courtesy of Redskins.com

 

Updated May 11 at 9:33 am

With a gaping hole in the middle of their defense, the Redskins had to make moves this offseason in an effort to shore up the inside linebacker position.

Late Monday, according to multiple reports, the Redskins got things started by re-signing Perry Riley.

Burgundy Blog was the first to break the news. Then Dianna Russini of NBC Washington.

Riley has spent the last four seasons in Washington after being drafted in the fourth round in 2010. Set to turn 26 in May, Riley is coming off arguably his best season as a pro, recording 115 tackles, three sacks and an interception in 2013.

While re-signing Riley is a solid move, the Redskins aren’t done. Other than Riley, the only other inside linebacker on the roster is the inexperienced Keenan Robinson. Keep an eye on guys like Arthur Moats and Joe Mays moving forward.

And the best part about Riley staying in Washington.

Redskins’ Short List of Low-Key Players in NFL Free Agency

Green Bay Packers v Cincinnati Bengals

Depending on how much football you consume, I can’t promise that title will ring true for every reader. But the aim of the following list is to discuss free agents — not named Eric Decker or Michael Vick — who could fill a void for the Redskins in Washington.

For the first time in years, the Redskins have some money to spend this offseason, even after slapping Brian Orakpo with the nearly $12 million franchise tag.

While discussing the big names in free agency are exciting, peeling back the Deckers, Vicks, Byrds and Talibs to find the lesser-known, more affordable talent can be just as fun.

** All posted ages are player’s ages at the start of the 2014 season **

Pass Catchers


Andre Roberts, WR, 26

The supporting cast surrounding Robert Griffin III is in need of a boost, and Andre Roberts is a name to consider at slot receiver.

With more than 100 catches and 1,200 yards over the past two seasons, Roberts has proved his route-running ability and the necessary quickness to earn yards after the catch.

Tiquan Underwood, WR, 27

At 6’1″, Tiquan Underwood provides some height, and his speed is enough to get past a secondary. He’s certainly not a starter, but a guy with some potential as a big-play wideout.

Nothing fancy. Not a necessity. But a decent receiver whose ability to stretch the field would seem more valuable than Joshua Morgan’s blocking.

Ed Dickson, TE, 27

Perhaps not the best of hands, but Ed Dickson is an athletic tight end with good size (6’4″, 255 lbs) and underrated blocking ability.

For whatever reason, I’m still holding on to his 2011 season, in which Dickson caught 54 balls for 528 yards and five touchdowns. Maybe there’s something there.

Kenny Britt, WR, 25

Perhaps a bigger name, but often forgotten. Kenny Britt is a former 2009 first-round pick turned flop, and the 6’3″, 223-pound receiver is looking for a new home this offseason.

Britt’s size and natural athleticism are clearly attractive assets — and really, that’s what’s keeping him alive as a football player. But the red flags regarding his attitude, work ethic and durability are enough to keep teams away.

Andrew Quarless, TE, 25

At 6’4″, 255 pounds, Andrew Quarless has the look of a Gruden-preferred tight end. When Packers starter Jermichael Finley went down with a vicious neck injury last season, Quarless stepped up to the tune of 32 catches, 312 yards and two scores.

Although Quarless was an unfamiliar name before last season, the market for his services will surprise some people. His age implies potential and he has three years experience in a potent offense.

Offensive Line


Evan Dietrich-Smith, C, 28

The interior of the Redskins offensive line last season was putrid. Evan Dietrich-Smith is a guy who Aaron Rodgers is currently vouching for and would like to have back in Green Bay.

Sign me up.

Brian De La Puente, C, 29

Another center possibility from a potent offense, Brian De La Puente isn’t likely to return to New Orleans next season. If the Redskins don’t like the idea of moving left guard Kory Lichtensteiger to his more natural center position, they can go out and pitch some cash to De La Puente.

Jon Asamoah, OG, 26

Between Geoff Schwartz and Jon Asamoah, it’s likely one of them is playing guard somewhere other than Kansas City next season. Although Schwartz isn’t out of the equation, he’s the one who played better down the stretch last year. If Asamoah hits the market, the 6’4″, 305-pounder has the athleticism, size and age to fit the assumed mold of what the Redskins are looking for.

Defensive Front-Seven


Arthur Jones, DE, 28

Extremely powerful and coming off four seasons with one of the more respected defenses in the league in Baltimore, Arthur Jones is one of this year’s top free agents, albeit at an unstylish position.

While I like Jones and know he’d fit in Washington, his price tag will likely rise as he shops himself. If it gets too high (it will), the Redskins can look elsewhere.

Matt Shaughnessy, OLB, 28

After playing his first four seasons in Oakland, Matt Shaughnessy changed from a defensive end to an edge-player after signing a one-year deal with Arizona last season.

Perhaps a possible Shaughnessy situation makes more sense without Brian Orakpo receiving the franchise tag, but since when can you have too many pass rushers?

Shaughnesy is a 6’5″, 260-pound force on the outside who can get after the passer and effectively set the edge against the run.

Taylor Mays, S/LB, 26

After spending his last three years in Cincinnati, Taylor Mays is a guy Jay Gruden should be familiar with.

Mays was originally drafted in the second round by the 49ers in 2010, not having ever lived up to his draft hype. However, during his time with the Bengals, Mays showed effort on special teams, saw time at his natural safety position and even played some nickel linebacker last season before missing the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury.

Even if it’s only on a project basis, Mays makes sense. The Redskins are thin at safety, they have no linebacker who can cover, their special teams were abysmal last season and Mays shouldn’t command much money given his production and injury concerns.

At the very least, the Redskins gain a willing contributor on teams.

Vance Walker, DE, 27

Vance Walker wouldn’t start in Washington, but he could serve as a key piece of the defensive line rotation. After playing his first four seasons in Atlanta, Walker joined the Raiders on a one-year deal and showed well against the run, while also racking four sacks in 2013.

There’s no question the Redskins front-seven needs help, and depth along the defensive line is no exception.

Antonio Smith, DE, 32

Don’t call him old. Not just yet. Despite turning 33 a quarter through the season, Antonio Smith still has some nasty in him to play the end spot and get after the quarterback.

Ideally, we’re talking Smith on a team-friendly deal for situational football.

Willie Young, OLB, 28

A 6’4″, 251-pound pass rusher, Willie Young is coming off a season in which he played 16 games, posting 47 tackles and three sacks.

Depending on what the Redskins do with Rob Jackson, Young is a low-cost alternative to add to the roster.

Secondary


Tarell Brown, CB, 29

After seven years in San Francisco, it appears the 49ers and Tarell Brown will go their separate ways this offseason.

Because of his age, Brown’s market price will be interesting to watch. If it’s reasonable, the Redskins shouldn’t waste anytime hitting the phones. Brown is a solid veteran corner who would address an area of need and hopefully bring a little attitude with him to Washington.

Mike Mitchell, S, 27

The Redskins safety position is weeeaaaak. While big names like Jairus Byrd and T.J. Ward are fun to talk about, a guy like Mike Mitchell may carry for value in Washington.

Mitchell demonstrated his playmaking ability last season on a one-year deal in Carolina, racking up four sacks, four interceptions and two forced fumbles. Considering he’ll demand far less coin than either Byrd or Ward, the Redskins should strongly consider.

Captain Munnerlyn, CB, 26

To me, Captain Munnerlyn isn’t a no-name guy. But because the cornerback market is ruled by names like Aqib Talib and Alterraun Verner, Munnerlyn makes the list.

For what the Redskins lack at the cornerback position, Munnerlyn would fill the void perfectly. He’s a gritty, tough, undersized slot corner with speed and instincts. Let’s hope he’s somewhere near the top of the Redskins’ list.

 

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