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Don't hold your breath for big-name Redskins free agent signings

Don't hold your breath for big-name Redskins free agent signings

Redskins fans might not like the Albert Haynesworth jokes that come rolling out at the start of free agency each year, but for some, the desire to chase the biggest free agents on the marketplace still burns. Don't expect that to rub off on the franchise though.

"When you talk about free agency you never ever want to try to rely on a big core of free agents coming here," Washington head coach Jay Gruden said last week at the NFL Scouting Combine.

"It's about developing the people you have. I feel good about the players we have in house," he said.

True to his word, the Redskins could lose two starting wideouts in DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon via free agency. Gruden said he "won't blink" if that happens, and talked about the development of young players like Ryan Grant and Maurice Harris. 

Gruden's comments fall in line with previous assessments of free agency from Bruce Allen and Scot McCloughan. While plenty of questions exist about McCloughan's current role with the franchise, regardless, he and Allen feel the same way about free agency: They'd rather build through the draft.

Washington has 10 picks in the 2017 draft, but also plenty of cap space. Early in the open tampering period, the 'Skins haven't been connected with a single big-name on the market, of which there are plenty.

Even recent history suggests Redskins brass will largely skip the spending spree that occurs early in free agency. Last year's big acquisition, Josh Norman, was a unique scenario where he hit the market weeks later, after Carolina rescinded his franchise tag.

The 'Skins may well open up the checkbook for one player, but it would be their quarterback Kirk Cousins. Outside of that, listen to Gruden. Keep those expectations in check.


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Redskins make contract offer to pass rusher Pernell McPhee, per report


Redskins make contract offer to pass rusher Pernell McPhee, per report

Free agent pass rusher Pernell McPhee visited the Redskins on Monday, and by Tuesday night a report emerged that Washington offered the veteran outside linebacker a contract.

Last week, Trent Murphy signed with the Buffalo Bills and things remain uncertain between the Redskins and Junior Galette. That means the organization has a need for an edge rushing linebacker, and that's exactly the role McPhee can play. 

A 29-year-old that played the last three seasons with the Bears, McPhee posted 14 sacks while in Chicago. Prior to his time with the Bears, McPhee was a solid contributor on some good Ravens teams. 


His best season in Baltimore came in 2014 when he posted 7.5 sacks. That's also the last season McPhee played a full 16 game schedule. He's missed 12 games over the last three years in Chicago. 

McPhee could provide the Redskins with solid veteran depth at outside linebacker, and he's also considered a plus defender against the run. With Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith cemented as the starting outside linebackers, if signed, McPhee would pair up with Ryan Anderson on Washington's second unit. At 6-foot-2 and 275 lbs., McPhee carries more weight on his frame than either Kerrigan or Smith. 

Pro Football Focus gave McPhee a strong grade for the 2017 season. He notched a +11.5 and ranked 13th out of 46 outside linebackers graded. For comparison, Broncos star Von Miller ranked 1st at +57, Kerrigan ranked 8th at +22.9 and Galette ranked 10th at +16.2.

It's unclear what a move for McPhee would mean between the Redskins and Galette, but it's hard to imagine it helps.

Free agent Johnathan Hankins also visited Washington on Monday, and while he plays an interior defensive line position different from McPhee, it's also unclear what this offer would do to any negotiations between the Redskins and Hankins. 

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Ryan Grant reportedly signing with Colts after failed physical with Ravens

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Ryan Grant reportedly signing with Colts after failed physical with Ravens

It looks like Ryant Grant has found his new home, again.

After a failed physical with the Ravens, James Jones of NFL Network reports Grant plans to sign with the Colts.


Grant originally agreed to a four-year, $29 million deal with the Ravens, before the team pulled the offer citing an ankle injury that dated to the Redskins' final regular-season game, according to reports.

Baltimore eventually signed Michael Crabtree to a three-year deal, while Grant had visits with the Colts and Raiders.

His agent, Rocky Arceneaux, says Grant has been working out, running routes, and his ankle had been cleared by Dr. Robert Anderson in a second opinion.

In 2017 with the Redskins, he appeared in all 16 games, with 45 receptions for 573 yards and four touchdowns.