I don’t always drive into work, and when I do I rarely remember to turn on sports talk radio. But mornings like these are made for listening, and while guests like Chris Russell and Chris Cooley were insightful, call-in listeners seemed none too pleased with the early haul. The Redskins are, however, still less than 24 hours into the new league year, and there are likely more free agents, draft picks and possibly even trades ahead before the offseason picture is complete.
With both of those thoughts in mind — Day 1 was time to make a splash, yet there’s still plenty of time for shrewd moves — if you had high hopes for a big talent added in the secondary, you came away disappointed. Here’s Rotoworld’s list of top free agent safeties:
1. Jairus Byrd (Signed six-year, $54M deal with NO)
2. T.J. Ward (Signed four-year, $23M deal with DEN)
3. Donte Whitner (Signed four-year, $28M deal with CLE)
4. Antoine Bethea (Signed four-year, $26M deal with SF)
5. Chris Clemons
6. Louis Delmas (Signed one-year, $3.5M deal with MIA)
7. Malcolm Jenkins (Signed three-year, $15.5M deal with PHI)
8. Stevie Brown (Re-signed one-year, $3M deal with NYG)
9. Michael Mitchell (Signed five-year, $25M deal with PIT)
10. Nate Allen
The top safeties left on the market after the first day are players the Dolphins and Eagles apparently don’t want back, as Delmas may be replacing Clemons and Jenkins appears to be taking Allen’s job. Further down the list, options like Major Wright (No. 11) or Thomas DeCoud (No. 14) could still be upgrades for Washington, and a couple other names of interest (Ryan Clark No. 16, and last year’s Redskins starter at free safety, Brandon Meriweather, at No. 29) are there as well. With Phillip Thomas, Baccari Rambo and free agent Reed Doughty as their best options, Washington is unlikely to stand pat — but the dream safety might have to come via the No. 34 pick in the draft.
The market for defensive backs, as Mike Jones wrote late last night, got expensive quickly. Mike Mitchell might be the player who the Redskins thought would be the best fit for the price, and his move from Carolina to Pittsburgh was a bit of a surprise.
The news at cornerback is a bit better for Washington, as Corey Graham, last a Baltimore Raven, is visiting today, DeAngelo Hall is already back in the fold, and 2013 second-round pick David Amerson heads into his second season. But Washington showed interest in Aqib Talib for the second consecutive year. Talib instead chose Super Bowl runner-up Denver, and given the contract he got, it’s hard to blame him.
Here’s the Rotoworld corners list:
1. Brent Grimes (Re-signed four-year, $32M deal with MIA)
2. Aqib Talib (Signed six-year, $57M deal with DEN)
3. Alterraun Verner (Signed four-year, $25.5M deal with TB)
4. Vontae Davis (Re-signed four-year, $39M deal with IND)
5. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
6. Sam Shields (Re-signed four-year, $39M deal with GB)
7. Walter Thurmond III
8. Charles Tillman
9. Antonio Cromartie
10. Tarell Brown
11. Captain Munnerlyn
12. DeAngelo Hall (Re-signed four-year, $17M deal with WAS)
13. Corey Graham
14. Derek Cox
15. Chris Cook
The Redskins have showed interest in Graham and Munnerlyn. Intriguing names further down the list including ex-Redskins Carlos Rogers (No. 17) and Champ Bailey (No. 20), suspended-for-the-Super-Bowl Seahawks Thurmond and Browner (No. 19), and Asante Samuel (No. 21), Rashean Mathis (No. 27) and Cortland Finnegan (No. 32).
You can cross-check the above lists with those from Walter Football (safeties, cornerbacks), CBSSports.com (safeties, corners) and NFL.com to read some different opinions or pick up additional tidbits — like soon-to-be-former-Buccaneer Darrelle Revis shooting to the top of the cornerback rankings.
Where do you stand on the Redskins’ moves in the secondary after Day 1? Are you optimistic or pessimistic about what’s to come?
Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesdays.
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