Reason for optimism on free agents

Hakeem Nicks, Josh Wilson

Wide Receiver Hakeem Nicks, center, and for that matter, cornerback Josh Wilson, right, are free agents yet to land with teams. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

If you’re searching for a reason to be optimistic over the weekend, a few who’s-left-out-there-among-free-agents lists hit the Web on Friday afternoon, and the pickings might not be as slim as they originally appear. Sure, the top-notch 26- and 28-year-olds are all signed, but peruse these and see if you can’t find some players who would help the Redskins next season:

● NFL.com has a tiered list of 50 players, with Alex Mack, Henry Melton, Hakeem Nicks and other at the top. It links the Redskins to names you’ve heard aligned with the team: Antonio Smith, Anthony Spencer, Carlos Rogers and Owen Daniels.

Pro Football Focus published a top 75 at 12:30 on Friday, and what surprised me were not just the names at the top (like No. 7, WR James Jones, last of the Packers, and No. 16, ILB Brandon Spikes, last of the Patriots) but those closer to No. 75. I’d figure that players like WR Miles Austin (No. 60) and S Thomas DeCoud (No. 74) will at least have jobs in the NFL next season.

Detroit Free Press: Just 10 names, including WR Julian Edelman, but a bit more insight on each guy.

● A mostly different top-10 list, including DE Julius Peppers and  WR Emmanual Sanders, from Yahoo! Shutdown Corner’s Anwar Richardson.

● CSNPhilly analyzed the Pro Football Talk Hot 100 and broke down who’s left by position. A lot of cornerbacks and defensive ends, not much on safeties or linebackers.

Coverage from The Post:

Reid: With Hatcher, Redskins improve their pass rush

Redskins release center Will Montgomery

D.C. Sports Bog: Hatcher: Redskins ‘blew the doors off’ offers | More

Day 3: Finally a big catch, as Redskins land DE Jason Hatcher

Three defensive players sign All FA posts | NFL news | Transactions

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