It looks like the bulk of the Redskins' work in free agency is done. Before fully focusing on the draft, though, it's time to grade how Washington did in the first phase of the offseason. So, here is a recap, complete with a grade and some analysis.
Full list of new additions: Ronald Darby, Sean Davis, Thomas Davis, Kendall Fuller, Kevin Pierre-Louis
Full list of whom they brought back: Jon Bostic, Caleb Brantley, Nate Orchard
The Redskins defense should be better in 2020 than it was in 2019 thanks to the new players they signed this March.
Now, even with that crew and the team's new coaching staff, is it hard to imagine them making a major jump? Sure. But still, the depth chart looks improved because of free agency.
For that reason, Washington earns a B- for what they did with that unit.
In the two Davises and Fuller, the Burgundy and Gold appear to have picked up three new starters. The pair of defensive backs will bring versatility to the secondary while the linebacker should become an instant leader and impact the franchise in ways beyond on-field production. And if Darby can remain healthy, then Ron Rivera may very well have found four starters on the market.
Pierre-Louis and Bostic, meanwhile, round out the linebackers, while Brantley and Orchard will compete for spots.
Some may question giving a B- right before pointing out that the organization possibly added four new starters (shouldn't it be higher then?), but three of those guys inked one-year contracts. It remains to be seen whether they're merely stopgaps or something more, therefore capping the grade.
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This one is pretty easy; it's Fuller.
The 25-year-old is returning to Washington more familiar with multiple spots in the back end and is also fresh off a Super Bowl win that he says opened his eyes to the kind of approach that's needed to truly succeed in the NFL.
Furthermore, while some players hesitate to come home for fear of distractions or pressure, Washington is where Fuller's most comfortable and where he had his best year (2017).
Considering Fuller's age and the experience he now has, there's an excellent chance he peaks with the Redskins during the course of his four-year deal. Those are the kinds of transactions teams want to make in free agency.
Keep an eye on...
Sean Davis was tough to leave out of this section, but Darby ends up being the pick.
The corner has been constantly injured the last three seasons, and lots of Redskins fans and readers are now ready close this story and head back to Instagram because Washington doesn't need more injury-prone options.
However, he's still just 26 and has the ability to be a very useful pass defender on the outside.
Darby recently told the local media he feels like he has a lot to prove in this stop of his career. A good run of health, a chance to play in Rivera and Jack Del Rio's system and the opportunity to roam behind what should be a powerful front could all help him do just that.
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