Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, March 8, two days before the Washington Redskins and the rest of the NFL start free agency.
Free agency heats up
Here’s a quick look at some players who have been linked to the Redskins during the free agent “legal tampering” period that began at noon on Saturday.
NT Stephen Paea—The Redskins are one of several teams who have expressed interest in the former second-round pick of the Bears. At 6-1, 306 is not the ideal size for a traditional nose tackle (although it’s safe to bet that he weighs more than his listed weight at this point). But if the Redskins use the one-gap, attacking style that many think that Joe Barry may be bringing with him from the Chargers Paea could be a good fit. Paea, who doesn’t turn 27 until May, registered six sacks and two forced fumbles last year. That could help on a Redskins defensive line that has had difficult making game-changing plays.
S Marcus Gilchrist—The Chargers picked Gilchrist out of Clemson three picks before the Bears took Paea. He fits the mold of the younger free agents that Scot McCloughan is likely to be looking to sign; Gilchrist won’t be 27 until December. The Chargers made him their starter at strong safety in 2013 and he hasn’t missed a game since. Like many strong safeties he is shaky in pass coverage and at 5-10, 193 he is not the larger sized safety that Scot McCloughan may be looking for.
OT Jermey Parnell—He emerged as a possibility when Dallas’ Doug Free and the Texans’ Derek Newton, both players the Redskins were said to be pursuing, signed with their current teams. As noted here yesterday, Parnell looked pretty good filling for Free when the starter was out with foot and ankle injuries.
S Tyvon Branch—The Redskins actually had contact with the safety on Friday, something that was legal because Branch had been cut by the Raiders earlier in the week. He visited Redskins Park on Friday. There are no indications as to how things went, as is often the case during these visits. The only thing that we know is that he left without signing a contract.
There also is an update on Brian Orakpo, who is looking more and more like a former Redskin by the minute despite his statements that staying in Washington is still in play. Charles Robinson of Yahoo! says to “keep an eye on” the Eagles as a possible suitor for the Redskins’ 2009 first-round pick.
—It’s been 70 days since the Redskins played a game. It will be about 189 days until they play another one.
—Days until: Redskins offseason workouts start 43; 2015 NFL Draft 53; Redskins training camp starts 144
If you have any questions about what's going on at Redskins Park, hit me up in the comments. And I'm always on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.
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