It appears that the Redskins will be in the market for a free agent wide receiver.
Possibly operating off the adage that it’s better to let a player go a year too early than a year too late, Washington appears to ready to let DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon, their pair of 1,000-yard receivers in 2016, walk out the door in free agency. While both appear to have a lot left in the tank, both will turn 31 before this calendar year is over. While you can't rule out a return of either until he signs a deal elsewhere the chances of eithr returning appear slim.
According to one report, Jackson will be looking for a contract worth $10-$12 million per year. Garçon may be looking for less but not a lot less. There have to be legitimate concerns about the value the team can get in the latter years of what are likely to be three- or four-year deals.
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If the Redskins do move on from both they will need a free agent replacement. They can’t count on a draft pick, even a first rounder, to step right in and carry the load along with Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson. Nor can they rely on the other receivers on the roster to step up. Maurice Harris shows some promise but he is still very green while Ryan Grant’s ceiling is as a fourth or fifth receiver.
One name to keep an eye on in free agency is Kenny Britt. The word on the street is that the Redskins have been eyeing 6-3 current Ram as a possible addition for quite some time. He has dealt with some injuries and legal problems early in his career but in three years with the Rams he has been healthy, missing just one game, and he has matured.
He gained 1,002 yards receiving last year, the first time he has gone over a thousand in his career. In his defense, he has spent his career trying to catch passes thrown by the likes of Vince Young, Jake Locker, Case Keenum, and Austin Davis.
Britt turns 29 in September so he is a couple of years younger than Garçon and Jackson. According to one report, those in the industry believe he will get a contract worth $6-$8 million per year. That was seem to be in the Redskins range.
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Terrance Williams of the Cowboys is expected to land a similar deal. He will turn 28 in September. While he hasn’t had a big season in Dallas he has been steadily productive, averaging 44 receptions for 700 yards and five touchdowns. Williams is 6-2 although he doesn’t seem to play that big. He could be one to watch if Britt ends up going elsewhere.
A wild card emerged yesterday when word came out that the 49ers are going to cut Torrey Smith. The former Baltimore Raven and Maryland Terp had a bad 2016 as he caught just 20 passes in 12 games before finishing the year on injured reserve with a concussion. He was scheduled to count over $9 million against the salary cap and rather than try to work out a new deal, new head coach Kyle Shanahan decided to move on.
Smith could be a good fit with his local ties and he may be less expensive than Britt or Williams. His release hasn’t happened yet so it’s too early to tell if the Redskins might have some interest.