The Redskins may have added DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts this offseason, but apparently, they’re not completely satisfied with where things stand in their receiving unit.
The team worked out veteran free agents Austin Collie and Anthony Armstrong on Thursday. Washington didn’t immediately sign either to a contract, however.
The Redskins would like to add more competition and improved depth to a unit plagued by inconsistencies last year. The team also has interest in adding a threat with more size, and is expected to address that need in the upcoming draft.
Collie and Armstrong fit a different description, however.
Redskins fans have good familiarity with Armstrong, who after bouncing around on a couple practice squads, including Washington’s, made the Redskins’ 53-man roster in 2010 and served as the team’s primary deep threat. He recorded 44 catches for 871 yards and three touchdowns.
Armstrong looked to build on those numbers in 2011. He opened the year as the No. 3 receiver with Santana Moss and Jabar Gaffney. But the 5-foot-11, 184-pound West Texas A&M product suffered a hamstring injury early in the season, and found it hard to earn playing time following his recovery. He wound up recording just seven catches for 103 yards and two touchdowns (with a 50-yard touchdown catch against Seattle ranking as his highlight of the season).
A shoulder injury in training camp of 2012 hampered Armstrong’s efforts to make the team, and the final roster spot came down to Armstrong and Dez Briscoe. Washington went with the bigger Briscoe, who wound up struggling to get on the field and recorded just two catches for 22 yards. Armstrong has had brief stints with Jacksonville, Miami and Dallas since, playing in a total of six games.
Now, at age 31, he is trying to revive his career. Earlier this offseason, he had tried out for the CFL and clocked a sub-4.4-second 40-yard dash, but remains in search of work.
Meantime, Collie also is trying to revive a once-promising career. He got his start in the league with the Indianapolis Colts in 2009 and spent four seasons with them. In the first three seasons of his career, the 6-foot, 204-pound Collie averaged 57 catches for 613 yards and five touchdowns per year. Concussions and a ruptured patellar tendon derailed his 2012 season, and his career. He signed with the 49ers last offseason, but didn’t survive final roster cuts. He later signed with New England and appeared in seven games, starting one, while recording six catches for 63 yards for the season.
Washington has invested in the receiver position this offseason, signing Roberts to a four-year deal that features eight million in guaranteed money. And then they signed DeSean Jackson to a three-year deal with $16 million guaranteed. Jackson presumably would line up opposite Garcon in the starting lineup with Roberts likely filling that slot receiver role.
Meantime, Moss, Aldrick Robinson, Nick Williams and David Gettis will vie for roster spots, while Leonard Hankerson aims to make a comeback from a torn ACL in 2013. Of those receivers, only Garcon, Gettis and Hankerson stand 6 feet tall or better. Garcon is 6-feet tall, Hankerson 6-2 and Gettis 6-3.
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