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Need to Know: Five possible Redskins free agent targets

Need to Know: Five possible Redskins free agent targets

Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, January 11, 57 days before NFL free agency starts.

Timeline

Days until:
NFL franchise tag deadline 49
NFL draft 106
First Sunday of 2017 season 242

Five free agents who could draw the Redskins’ interest

DT Bennie Logan, Eagles—Logan is a load at 6-2, 309. The former third-round pick of the Eagles can play nose tackle in a 3-4 or tackle in a 4-3 so he would be good for whatever scheme the Redskins’ new defensive coordinator will run. He doesn’t have any impressive numbers to throw out there; Logan just eats up space in the middle. Although at age 27 he will be in demand, his contract should not get out of hand. This could be one of those free agent acquisitions that counts double as it would strengthen your team while weakening a division rival.

RELATED: Redskins defensive coordinator resume: Mike Pettine

WR Kenny Stills, Dolphins—If DeSean Jackson leaves as a free agent, Stills could be a solid replacement. He doesn’t have Jackson’s speed—very few do—but he still has managed to average 16.7 yards per reception over his four-year career, just about a yard less than Jackson’s career average. Stills is six year younger than Jackson, durable (missed one game in four seasons in the NFL) and probably will cost a couple of million bucks less per season.

S D.J. Swearinger, Cardinals—He comes with a “buyer beware” label after having played on three different teams in four years in the NFL. Swearinger was a second-round pick of the Texans but he has bounced to the Bucs and Cardinals since getting drafted. The 25-year-old seemed to have gotten his act together in 2016, playing in 16 games and getting three interceptions and two sacks. The price would have to be right but he could be part of a long-term solution at safety.

LB Zach Brown, Bills—Brown could give the Redskins a quicker, speedier option at inside linebacker if they stay in the 3-4 base or he could play on the outside in a 4-3. He was a second-round pick of the Titans in 2012 who will be 27 when the season starts. Brown has seven career interceptions and 14 sacks.

MORE REDSKINS: Redskins opponents had the green light in the red zone

DE Lawrence Guy, Ravens—Who? Guy has bounced around the league since the Packers picked him in the seventh round of the 2011 draft. He never played in Green Bay; Guy had stints with the Colts and Chargers before landing with the Ravens during the 2014 season. In the last two years, he has played in every game with 17 starts and has 5.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Guy might not be a front-line player but he can be a younger (turns 27 in March) and better rotational lineman than they have now.

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Report: Trent Williams wants a new deal or a trade from Redskins

Report: Trent Williams wants a new deal or a trade from Redskins

INDIANAPOLIS -- While recent meetings between Redskins head coach Ron Rivera and disgruntled left tackle Trent Williams helped repair the relationship between star player and team, the situation isn't resolved.

In fact, Williams still wants to be traded if he can't get a new contract, according to a new report from NFL Network.

Williams did not play a single snap for Washington in 2019. Not one. That came as the result of a cancer scare that he didn't believe was adequately handled by the Redskins medical staff. He also lost trust in former team president Bruce Allen. Importantly too, Williams wanted a new contract with lots of guaranteed money. 

Rivera has overhauled the Redskins medical staff and Allen is obviously gone from the team, but the contract hurdles remain. 

For the Redskins a new deal for Williams might not make a lot of sense. He will turn 32 in July and hasn't played a full 16-game season since 2013. He's also a great player, so perhaps an extension could make sense. 

The best read on the situation is Williams likely won't play on his current contract, which has one-year remaining and a salary-cap charge of $14.5 million. None of that money is guaranteed. 

Right now, it seems like both sides are playing nice. The Redskins don't want to come out and say they're not going to pay Trent. And Trent's side doesn't want to come out and demand a trade. The meetings with Rivera and Williams mattered in that a resolution that pleases both sides is possible. 

What seems impossible, or at least unlikely at this point, is that Williams wears the Burgundy and Gold this fall unless a new contract emerges.

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Redskins are working with Brandon Scherff and view him as 'big part' of their O-line, Ron Rivera explains

Redskins are working with Brandon Scherff and view him as 'big part' of their O-line, Ron Rivera explains

The franchise tag window in the NFL officially opened on Thursday, and the Chiefs have already placed the label on defensive lineman Chris Jones. The deadline for clubs to follow suit comes in mid-March.

So, could the Redskins do the same with Brandon Scherff? That's a question the Redskins Talk podcast asked Ron Rivera directly on Thursday, when the head coach sat down for an interview.

"Well the plan is to continue to work with his agent and see what we can get worked out, more so than anything else," Rivera said. "But Brandon, most certainly, is somebody that we really believe is a big part of our offensive line and we'll see how things work out."

The first half of that answer is fairly general; trying to get things "worked out" is something teams and agents are doing all the time. However, Rivera labeling Scherff as a "big part" of the Redskins' O-line certainly appears to be a clue that, at the very least, they don't intend to let the multi-time Pro Bowler leave.

"I don't want to deal in what-ifs and all that kind of stuff, but again, I know [Redskins Senior VP of Football Administration] Rob Rogers will be working with [Scherff's] folks trying to get something worked out," the coach said.

Scherff's recent injury history, plus issues with penalties in 2019, appear to have caused some fans to shift how they look at him. The 28-year-old is still an absolute force, though, and while Rivera also has to figure out Ereck Flowers' future and consider how Wes Martin fits into this guard equation as well, keeping Scherff in Washington has to be a top priority.

In fact, outside of reaching a solution to the Trent Williams dilemma, retaining Scherff might be the top priority as things currently stand.

Therefore, expect both sides to continue their dialogue, and if the organization senses that more time may be needed, they could use the franchise tag on Scherff to keep him where he is. Then, they can try to finish up negotiations on a long-term agreement, or play him on the tag in 2020, which would be quite expensive but still better than losing him altogether.

The last time the Redskins were involved in a franchise tag conundrum, it was messy and felt endless. If they turn to it again, however, expect the new leadership to handle it in a more professional manner.

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