With Aqib Talib off the market — the free agent corner signed a one-year, $5 million deal to remain with New England, the Redskins now have to sort out their options. They had pursued him, but because of their salary cap room could not afford to match or surpass such an offer. Talib is gambling that the market will be better for corners (and everyone) next offseason. At 27, he can afford to take that shot.
Why he makes sense: Well, he knows the system and the Redskins know exactly what they have in him. Coach Mike Shanahan said they were open to re-signing Hall and indeed reached out to him and the agent for one free agent corner, when asked about his client, said, “I heard they were they were bringing D. Hall back.” That’s just an assumption for now. Hall plays more physical than given credit for (a missed tackle is not an indication of an unwillingness to tackle). He’s better suited for the outside and never really took as a blitzer, but he is versatile and can drop to free safety in certain packages (mostly on run downs, allowing the other safeties to align in the box). Hall might not be a Pro Bowl corner, but would the defense be worse if he returned? No. It’ll be worse if the pass rush doesn’t generate much next season. If they re-sign him they would do best to find a strong nickel corner.
Why he doesn’t: Hall has other options and could find a better situation (read: more lucrative). I’m not sure if he’d opt for a one-year deal or not given the fact that he’ll turn 30 in November. Hall’s market value won’t change next year unlike Aqib Talib, who is still in his prime. How much is Hall’s pride wounded? He reportedly was open to returning, but the Redskins did not offer him a chance to either restructure or work out a pay cut before free agency. Other teams have expressed interest in Hall.
Why he makes sense: Winfield fits well with what the Redskins want in a corner. He’s as physical as they come, making him an effective blitzer in this scheme. After the Redskins beat the Vikings I wrote that he had the best game I’d seen a corner have vs. them to that point in the season. Tough to remember a better outing. Ask Niles Paul: Winfield tossed him aside like it was no big deal on a block attempt. Paul’s strength is his physical blocking. Winfield’s coverage was strong, too. Winfield played well last year and has another year or two in him. He would give the Redskins a solid vet for a year or two. He’s also versatile. A league source said the Redskins contacted him shortly after Minnesota cut him. It’s uncertain how much contact has occurred since that time.
Why he doesn’t: Because if he wants a one-year deal then the Redskins would be unable to afford him, based on their current cap situation. Even a two-year deal would be difficult and would require subsequent moves. Beyond two years the Redskins are reluctant to eat up future cap space with dead money. At 35, Winfield is well past his prime.
Why he makes sense: Because he played in Tampa Bay under Raheem Morris. As we’ve seen, any ex-Buc with ties to Morris or Bruce Allen seems to be in play. Allen was gone by the time Biggers joined Tampa, but Morris clearly would know what he has in Biggers. Tampa’s secondary struggled last season, but Biggers was among its most consistent players. In other words, he wasn’t terrible. He would provide good depth and is considered a No. 3 corner at best. But he does have good height and long arms, which always helps a corner when jamming receivers.
Why he doesn’t: If the Redskins want a starter (I know: third corners play a lot; talking about the first two) then Biggers would not be the best fit. He’s best as a backup. Biggers has intercepted just three interceptions in 24 career starts. The Redskins like physical corners and his slender frame might make it difficult to play that way all the time. But he will play aggressively. Tampa reportedly is trying to bring him back.
Why he makes sense: Because, when healthy, he’s really good. And he’s available.
Why he doesn’t (updated info): We can start with this: Heard Sunday morning that they have not contacted Grimes. So even though he’s one of the top remaining free agents left on the market, the Redskins clearly don’t see him as a good fit, whether because of financially or match for the scheme (and age). Grimes is coming off an Achilles injury, the big risk in signing him. That, combined with turning 30 in July, makes this one tricky. If he wants a one-year, prove-it deal then the Redskins can’t afford him. Another issue: He’s not a big corner and does better in a zone scheme; the Redskins like to mix it up so the corners must be able to play press man. He visited Miami on Friday.
Mike Jenkins: He intercepted five passes in 2009, but the Cowboys invested a lot of money to land two starting corners last year, pushing Jenkins into a backup role. He underwent major surgery on his right shoulder last offseason and reportedly upset the Cowboys for not attending voluntary offseason workouts. Hard to imagine the Redskins’ best option at corner would be a player benched after 2011.
Quentin Jammer: The Redskins have not reached out to him. Because of his age – he turns 34 in June– teams will wait to sign someone such as Jammer. Winfield is older, but has maintained a higher level of play.
Tracy Porter: Shouldn’t be viewed as a starting option at this point, having never played more than 14 games — and that was just one time. He’s had issues tackling, but does play tough. He has eight career interceptions. He started four games last year in Denver (he suffered a seizure in training camp) and was benched.
Cedric Griffin: The ex-Redskin remains on the market. Again, he’s best as a No. 3 corner and the Redskins need a starter. Like his size on the outside and he’s a wiling tackler.
Adam Jones: He played well for Cincinnati and would serve as a returner. But there were reports Cincinnati remained the favorite to keep him. I have not heard his name connected to the Redskins.