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Scouting the playoffs: Possible Redskins free agent targets in Seahawks-Falcons

Scouting the playoffs: Possible Redskins free agent targets in Seahawks-Falcons

The Redskins have a substantial amount of salary cap space and a ton of needs to fill. During the NFL playoffs, CSN Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and JP Finlay will take a game by game look at the best unrestricted free agent prospects playing for each team.

Seahawks at Falcons

Last week we examined the Seahawks roster for possible free agent targets, check it out here. Remember, Scot McCloughan knows the Seattle roster well, and it would not be a surprise if he brought in one of their 14 unrestricted free agents this offseason.

The Falcons won the NFC South with an 11-5 record this season, good enough to secure a first-round playoff bye. They have 18 unrestricted free agents that will be looking for work once their season ends, but Atlanta hopes that doesn't happen soon. What's impressive about the Falcons roster is that while the team has 18 pending free agents, it's hard to see much of a market for any of them. The players with expiring contracts in Atlanta are either old or unimpressive (look for yourself here). Considering that, this scouting report is more a look at how many ex-Redskins players are on the Falcons. It's kinda remarkable.  

  • Chris Chester - Get read for a slew of familiar names from the Atlanta free agent list. Chester played in Washington for four seasons from 2011 to 2014 and started every game of his Redskins tenure at right guard. In fact, Chester hasn't missed a start since 2011 and is one of the more durable linemen in the league. Kyle Shanahan brought Chester to Atlanta after his departure from Washington, and if Shanahan lands a head coaching job this offseason, it would not be a surprise if Chester again followed him.
  • Aldrick Robinson - Let's keep the former Redskins train moving. Robinson would only make sense coming back to Washington if Jay Gruden wanted a deep threat to replace Rashad Ross, who was released before the season ended. Robinson has speed, but nothing like DeSean Jackson. Considering Mike Shanahan drafted Robinson to the 'Skins, and Kyle brought him to Atlanta, this is another guy that might follow if Kyle gets a head coaching job.
  • Tom Compton - Drafted by Shanahan to the 'Skins in 2012, Compton started 11 games in four seasons in Washington. Now in Atlanta, Compton did not record a start in 2016.

RELATED: 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0

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DeAngelo Hall defends cornerback Josh Norman, but believes Redskins should move on

DeAngelo Hall defends cornerback Josh Norman, but believes Redskins should move on

Redskins cornerback Josh Norman has drawn criticism because of his performance in D.C. during his 5-year, $75 million contract he signed in April 2016. Former Redskins defensive back DeAngelo Hall came to Norman’s defense during a radio appearance with Craig Hoffman on 106.7 The Fan on Friday.

“He does compete, he’s a competitor. And if I have a football player on my roster who’s a competitor, who wants to be out there, who fights hard and plays hard, I’m [going to] find a way to put him in position to make plays,” Hall said. “I think we could’ve done a much, much better job of putting Josh in position to make plays.”

In November, then-interim head coach Bill Callahan benched Norman, and the 32-year-old cornerback played just 10 defensive snaps over the last six games of the season. Should Washington choose to cut ties with Norman this offseason before June 1, the team would save $12.5 million of cap space.

Hall, who interviewed for the Redskins’ defensive backs’ coaching position last January, said Norman wasn’t given the chance to be the leader of the defense. Hall said some of that was self-inflicted because of Norman’s habits and preparation, but a portion of that was because of schematics. 

“I always told those coaches ‘If you want Josh to be a leader — because Josh wants to be a leader — you’ve got to put him in a position to make plays, the same way Carolina put him in a position to make plays,” Hall said. 

The peak of Norman’s career came in 2015 under the direction of Washington’s newly hired head coach Ron Rivera. In that all-pro season, Norman recorded 56 tackles, 18 passes defended, four interceptions, three forced fumbles and two touchdowns. 

Hall believes Norman still possesses that all-pro ability; it just needs to be tapped with the right defensive scheme. Hall compared the situation to Richard Sherman, who has revitalized his career in San Francisco after battling injuries. 

“It’s not because [Sherman] is the best lockdown man-to-man corner. It’s because they play Sherm in a system that he’s able to succeed and shine, and they put players around him so that he can make plays,” he said. “If we [would’ve] done the same thing to Josh Norman, he could’ve been an all-pro player here, too, just like he was in Carolina.”

Despite Hall’s belief in Norman’s ability, and the presumption that Rivera and new defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio will run a similar system to what Norman played in with the Panthers, the former Redskins defensive back doesn’t think the $15 million price tag is worth it for a franchise that has other holes to fill.

“I, as a fan, would love to have Josh back on this team, in this defense that I feel will be similar to Carolina,” Hall said. “But to me, it doesn’t make sense to bring Josh back for $15 million. It’s just a big pill to swallow when you can do a lot with that money on a team that needs a lot of help.”

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Wait, what? Report says Bill Belichick 'inquired' about coaching the Redskins

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Wait, what? Report says Bill Belichick 'inquired' about coaching the Redskins

Bill Belichick is the greatest coach in NFL history. He's won six Super Bowl titles and made the playoffs every year in the last decade. Other coaches were great - Bill Walsh and Joe Gibbs among a few - but nobody is Belichick. 

That's what makes a recent report out of Boston so near impossible to believe. 

Belichick checked in on coaching in Washington? The Redskins? 

Those are valid points, I guess. Belichick spent much of his young life in Annapolis and has great affinity for that area. He's talked about that openly. 

The timeline also makes some sense. Many reports out of New England in 2017 showed a power struggle between Belichick and Patriots owner Robert Kraft about what to do with legendary quarterback Tom Brady as then backup Patriots QB Jimmy Garropolo got closer to free agency. New England wouldn't be able to keep both, and there has been speculation that Belichick wanted to keep the younger passer. 

Eventually, Garropolo got traded to the 49ers, for a surprisingly low return, and New England went to two more Super Bowls, winning last year. 

This year, however, marked the first real time the Patriots looked mortal. Brady's completion percentage dipped to 60.8 percent, his lowest since 2013, and he threw fewer passing yards than any 16-game season since 2010. Now, Brady is a free agent and for the first time ever the possibility of playing somewhere else seems real, even if only somewhat realistic.

Still, Belichick coaching the Redskins seems like the longest of shots. Checking on a job - looking at financial considerations or asking about parameters - and actually taking a job can be two very different things. 

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