The final team in the NFC East free agency preview is the Washington Redskins, who have consistently been the organization most active in free agency in the division, if not the entire league, since Daniel Snyder took over as owner in 1999. Last season, the Redskins made free agency's most expensive acquisition when they signed defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth to a $100 million contract and while there aren't nearly as many marquee free agents this time around, the Redskins figure to have another busy free agency period because of their own lengthy list of free-agents-to-be.
The Redskins have 15 players on tap for free agency, including eight players who will be unrestricted free agents even if there is no CBA agreement. This figures to be an off-season of transition for the Redskins as new coach Mike Shanahan takes over and figures to remake the roster, especially since most reports indicate that new defensive coordinator Jim Haslett is keen to turn the Redskins from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 alignment.
Most Important Free Agent- QB Jason Campbell (RFA): Mike Shanahan has had nothing but positive things to say about the incumbent starting quarterback, and Campbell says that he is preparing for the 2010 season as if he will be the starter. Nothing is certain, though, as the Redskins could look to draft a quarterback with the No. 4 overall pick. Because Campbell will likely be a restricted free agent, the team still controls his rights and it would be very surprising to see him elsewhere soon. The ranks of free agent quarterbacks are quite slim, with Campbell the clear prize, so most expect the Redskins to tender Campbell at a high level. The bottom line is that Campbell will likely be back in Washington next season, but anything beyond that is less probable.
Other Notable Free Agents- In the restricted class, the Redskins have three more important players to tender. Cornerback Carlos Rogers has said that would like to be elsewhere, but his status as a starting-caliber cornerback means that he will get a hefty tender and likely won't be going anywhere for at least one more season. Linebacker Rocky McIntosh is a solid component of the defense and the move to a 3-4 means that the Redskins will need to stack up on quality linebackers. Defensive tackle Kedric Golston, 26, is a player the Redskins like and he will likely receive an upgraded tender somewhere around the second-round level.
There are also eight likely unrestricted free agents for the Redskins, two of whom started 15 or more games in 2009. Center Casey Rabach is a solid, if unspectacular, centerpiece of an offensive line, but he is also 32-years-old and the Redskins could look to get younger. But they have a lot of work to do on the offensive line this off-season, so they may be inclined keep Rabach around a little while longer. Phillip Daniels, 36, has been productive for the Redskins but he is also near the end of his career and is likely to be marginalized by the switch to a 3-4 defense. Chances are Daniels will be elsewhere in 2010.
The Rest - P Hunter Smith (UFA), OT Levi Jones (UFA), LS Ethan Albright (UFA), OT Mike Williams (UFA), DE Renaldo Wynn (UFA), TE Todd Yoder (UFA), S Reed Doughty (RFA), C Will Montgomery (UFA), DT Anthony Montgomery (UFA).
Targets Elsewhere? - If the New England Patriots choose not to place the franchise tag on Vince Wilfork, the Redskins will certainly have their eye on the behemoth nose tackle. A combination of Wilfork and Haynesworth along a 3-4 defensive line would be expensive, but it would certainly free up middle linebacker London Fletcher and the rest of the linebackers to get to the ball with ease. Another player who has been rumored to be of interest to the Redskins is veteran wide receiver Kevin Walter.
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 12:30 p.m., February 21