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Two huge targets remain available on defensive line free agent market

Two huge targets remain available on defensive line free agent market

The Redskins made two quick moves when free agency opened to shore up their defensive line, signing Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee to multi-year deals.

Neither player has a stat sheet that jumps off the page, but both have size and have shown flashes of strong ability.

For many, despite the dismissal of former GM Scot McCloughan, the Washington offseason has gotten off to a strong start.

The addition of D.J. Swearinger and Terrelle Pryor will directly address needs, as will the contracts for McClain and McGee. 

The Redskins' defensive line struggled so much in 2016 that there is some question if another addition is neccesary.

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 5.0

Bennie Logan visited the Redskins, but ended up signing with Chiefs on a one-year deal. And speaking of defensive linemen, two of the best available remain on the market in Dontari Poe and Johnathan Hankins.

A two-time Pro Bowler in 2013 and 2014, Poe's numbers have dipped in the last two seasons. In 2016, Hankins made 16 starts for a stout Giants defense, logging three sacks 43 tackles. 

Poe has reportedly visited Atlanta, Jacksonville and Indianapolis, with a scheduled visit for Miami planned. Hankins' travel interary has been quieter, and some believe he could end up back with the Giants. 

Either player could immediately help the Redskins, though, so far, it doesn't seem like there has been much interest. Outside of big-money deals for Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams, the defensive tackle market has largely seen smaller money and short-term contracts. 

It's also worth keeping in mind that talent evaluators consider the 2017 NFL Draft quite deep along the defensive front. Maybe some teams plan to build their trenches through the draft instead of free agency.

Whatever the reason, and free agency is not even a week old, players like Poe and Hankins remain available. And players like Poe and Hankins could help the Redkins.

RELATED: LOOKING AT REDSKINS DRAFT PROSPECTS

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Maybe the Redskins aren't as banged up on defense as we thought they were

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Associated Press

Maybe the Redskins aren't as banged up on defense as we thought they were

The Redskins’ defense may not be as banged up as we thought it was.

On Thursday, the first day of serious preparation for their Monday night game in Philadelphia, injured defenders CB Josh Norman (rib), CB Bashaud Breeland (knee), and S Deshazor Everett (hamstring) all practiced on a limited basis.

Norman was inactive against the 49ers after suffering a broken rib against the Chiefs on October 2. Breeland injured his knee against San Francisco. They are the starters, and if they both can play against the 5-1 Eagles it would be a huge boost to the defense.

MORE REDSKINS: MUST-SEE PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS 26, 49ERS 24

It should be noted that both cornerbacks only took part in individual drills, so it is no sure thing that either will be ready to play in Philadelphia. But having them at practice was a good start.

Everett is a reserve safety and a key special teams contributor. His presence in the latter area could be important as the Eagles’ performance on special teams is among the best in the league.

LB Ryan Anderson (back) and S Stefan McClure (knee) both practiced on a limited basis.

Also practicing was S DeAngelo Hall. He has been on the physically unable to perform list since the start of training camp rehabbing a torn ACL he suffered in 2016. The team now has a 21-day window during which they can activate him. However, he must sit out at least one more game.

On offense, Trent Williams (knee) did not practice. That is not ideal but he was able to play last Sunday after being out of practice all last week.

RELATED: IN A MUDDLED NFC WHY NOT THE REDSKINS?

Jay Gruden announced roster moves that had been reported previously, with K Dustin Hopkins (hip) and DE Jonathan Allen (foot) going on injured reserve. First-year player Nick Rose will handle the place kicking duties and A.J. Francis will take Allen’s roster spot.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

 

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A.J. Francis promoted to Redskins' 53-man roster

A.J. Francis promoted to Redskins' 53-man roster

The Redskins put Jonathan Allen on injured reserve and brought in a familiar face to replace him on the roster.

Jay Gruden announced that the team has signed former practice squad member A.J. Francis to take the place of Allen, who suffered a Lisfranc injury last Sunday in the game against the 49ers. Francis spent part of last season on the Redskins practice squad and he was on the 53-man roster for a couple of weeks, although he did not appear in a game. Francis also was on the team this year before being released in the cut to 53 on September 2.  

The former Maryland standout has played in three NFL games, all in 2015, appearing in two for the Seahawks and one for the Dolphins.

RELATED: MORE ON ALLEN'S INJURY

In all, Francis has been a part of 22 transactions, starting when he signed with the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent in 2013.

Allen has undergone surgery to repair the foot already. The normal schedule for a Lisfranc calls for a player to stay off of the foot for 6-8 weeks and then start rehabbing, which can take a month or possibly a lot longer.

He would be eligible to be activated off of injured reserve after missing eight games, which means he technically could play in Week 15 against the Cardinals. But that would be an extremely optimistic timetable for such an injury.

MORE REDSKINS: MUST-SEE PHOTOS FROM REDSKINS 26, 49ERS 24

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.