With new general manager Scot McCloughan now in place, will the Redskins transform into San Francisco East? McCloughan picked a lot of the players who are currently on the 49ers roster when he was VP of player personnel and then GM of the organization from 2005-2008. With some of those players likely to be available as free agents this March, will McCloughan try to bring some of them to his new team?
My colleague Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com speculates that he might. The players he thinks could come to DC are running back Frank Gore, tight end Vernon Davis, and linebacker Ahmad Brooks.
Gore is slated to be a free agent and Davis and Brooks could become cap casualties. If you connect the dots, you could make a case for any or all of them winding up with the Redskins.
But even if the Redskins were still in their days of spending heavily on free agents, the chances of any of those three winding up with the Redskins would be slim. The presence of McCloughan makes the chances virtually nil.
The Redskins already have a top running back in Alfred Morris, who has three 1,000-yard seasons in three years in the NFL. Gore will be 32 before training camp starts and he will command a fairly hefty salary. He’s still an excellent back, and could be productive for the Redskins if they go to a power-running scheme. But the age, mileage (2,784 regular season touches), and presence of Morris make Gore joining the Redskins unlikely.
The Redskins also are in pretty good shape at tight end with Jordan Reed. Although he does have some issues with injuries, Davis, who turns 31 in a few weeks, missed two games and was limited in others with ankle and back injuries. And despite the fact that he played in three fewer games, Reed had almost twice as many catches as Davis (50 to 26). If the Redskins want a backup, they are likely to turn to the draft or a younger free agent. Davis strong local connections (born in DC, Dunbar High School, University of Maryland) are unlikely to sway McCloughan.
Brooks also has local connections (born in Fairfax, University of Virginia) but he will be 31 in March. He plays a position where the Redskins have Ryan Kerrigan and Trent Murphy already and they could well look to add more in the draft. Last season Brooks created some controversy when he reportedly removed himself from a game against the Giants. That alone will not necessarily keep the Redskins from signing him but the age and declining production (six sacks in 13 starts) probably will.
Before we start connecting dots between any other players and the Redskins, here’s what McCloughan had to say about free agency during his news conference on Friday:
“You start dabbling too much into free agency sometimes you get older guys, you get some medical history . . . We won’t have to go out to other organizations and get 32, 33 year olds who have different plans.”
To be sure, the philosophy here is to watch what they do and not what they say. Words in January can be forgotten when holes in the roster must be filled in March. But McCloughan has shied away from free agency in his previous stops, at least until he had a chance to build a base of talent through the draft. For right now there isn’t much of a point in linking many free agents to the Redskins, especially not players who are in their thirties with some injury baggage.