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Need to Know: Five free agent wide receivers the Redskins could target


Need to Know: Five free agent wide receivers the Redskins could target

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, January 21, 49 days before NFL free agency starts.

Nickel coverage

Let’s take a look at five receivers the Redskins could pursue in free agency:

1. Julian Edelman, NE (2013 stats 105 rec/1056 yds/6 TDs)—Santana Moss is unlikely to be back and Edelman is quite capable of playing Moss’ slot position. Jay Gruden’s Bengals generally employed bigger receivers and Edelman has decent height at 6-feet even (correction: most have Edelman listed at 5-10).

2. Jerome Simpson, MIN (48/726/1)—Jay Gruden has some good information on him as he was the Bengals’ offensive coordinator when Simpson was there. He has had some off-field issues running afoul of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy that might make some teams shy away. They also could drive down his asking price.

3. Golden Tate, SEA (64/898/5)—We can add punt returns to his stat line here as he brought back 51 punts for an average of 11.5 yards. That’s not a spectacular average but it would have represented a quantum leap in production from what the Redskins had in 2013. Tate may be a bit too costly for the Redskins this year but the return skills could justify overpaying for him.

4. James Jones, GB (59/817/3)—Jones will be 30 before the season starts and hemay have lost a step so he would have to come at a reduced rate. He certainly appears to have something left in the tank; he’s just a season removed from a 14-touchdown season in 2012.

5. Andrew Hawkins, CIN (12/199/0)—There are a few issues here—he wasn’t very productive last year, he’s only 5-7 and he’s a restricted free agent. But he does bring an element of speed, something the Redskins don’t have enough of. And he did have a very productive 2012 season (51/533/4) so he has demonstrated that he can get it done. If they tender him at a level that doesn’t require any compensation, Gruden may encourage Bruce Allen to make a bid for him.

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—It’s been 23 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 229 days until they play another one.

—Days until: NFL Combine 29; Offseason workouts start 76; NFL Draft 107

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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.


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Redskins bring in another defensive lineman for free agency visit, per source


Redskins bring in another defensive lineman for free agency visit, per source

The Redskins hosted Sylvester Williams for a free agency visit on Tuesday morning, per a source with knowledge of the situation. 

Williams played in 2017 with the Titans, logging 20 tackles in 11 starts. Tennessee released Williams this offseason, just one year into a three-year, $16 million deal. 

Drafted in the first round by the Broncos in 2013, the 6-foot-3, 313 lbs. Williams' stat line has never really popped. That isn't uncommon for a nose tackle though, as the job is less about tackles than it is holding leverage against the interior of an offensive line. 


Should the Redskins sign 29-year-old Williams, it would represent the first true nose tackle free agency addition since Terrance "Pot Roast" Knighton joined the team in 2015 from Denver. In an ironic twist, Williams took over at nose in Denver when Knighton left for Washington, and posted his best season as a Bronco. 

Washington restructured its deal with Terrell McClain, reported first by ESPN, which could allow more flexibility to add another defensive lineman. That could come in the draft, but the club has been very active talking with free agents to play on the defensive front. 

On Monday, Johnathan Hankins and Pernell McPhee visited with Redskins officials in Ashburn. Hankins would carry the heaviest price tag, but his past performance would also indicate the most promise. 

McPhee is an edge rusher with enough bulk to play against the run as well. Williams compares more with Hankins, and could be seen as the secondary option.

Among 79 nose tackles Pro Football Focus graded, Williams ranked 36th. For comparison, Bengals star Geno Atkins ranked No. 1, Dontari Poe ranked 26th, former Redskin Chris Baker ranked 65th and current Redskin Ziggy Hood ranked 79th. 

It's also worth noting that since the Titans released Williams, should the Redskins sign the nose tackle, his contract would not count towards the NFL compensatory pick formula. 

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