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Posted at 12:13 PM ET, 03/16/2012

Redskins’ free agent grade: An ‘A’ so far, unless they lose London Fletcher

The Redskins have signed players in free agency who clearly address some of the team’s needs. At receiver, the deals with free agents Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan would appear to help with the Redskins’ biggest problem, the lack of a playmaker.

Garçon had a career year in 2011 despite the horrible record his Indianapols Colts team posted. Morgan was having a very good year until he broke his ankle. A healthy Morgan will improve this beleaguered group from a year ago.


London Fletcher (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
On the defensive side of the ball, they added safety Brandon Meriweather and made a rare but important re-signing of one of their own in defensive end Adam Carriker.

There are still many needs and the Redskins seem to be actively trying to fill them. They will need another safety and one or two corners on defense. Aaron Ross, a free agent corner formerly with the Super Bowl Giants, is a strong possibility. He is due to visit Friday.

There are needs along the offensive front, most notably at right tackle. Jammal Brown just hasn’t been able to get past the injury he had in New Orleans, and although I believe his heart and mind are in the right place, his body is not. The Redskins will need to address that position.

At QB, outside of the obvious drafting of Robert Griffin III or Andrew Luck, Washington will need a backup or a veteran to start until the rookie is ready to play. Is that John Beck, who’s already under contract, or Rex Grossman, who is not? If it’s either of them, the team had better hope the rookie can start right away and stay healthy. With Kyle Orton gone, there isn’t much left to choose from in the free agent pool, so don’t be surprised if Grossman is back with the Redskins for another season.

Back to defense: We’ve talked about the secondary and the D-line, but the most critical player in my opinion is London Fletcher.

He still is an un-signed free agent and that appears to be a very risky move on the Redskins behalf. He’s the heart and soul of the defense and maybe even the team, he still has some good football left in him and he needs to be on this team for at least another two seasons. Believe me, unless this team has a replacement who can lead the defense as Fletcher has, with new safeties coming into the fold there may be no one on the field who can direct traffic properly. This could result in a defensive regression if defensive coordinator Jim Haslett and Cioach Mike Shanahan aren’t careful.

Sign Fletcher, and pick up a corner, a safety and a right tackle and the Redskins should be in good shape.

I give the Redskins an A grade so far, but it could slide significantly if Fletcher gets away in free agency.

More on free agency:

Redskins must take at least half of cap hit this year

Hard Hits: Another costly mistake

Deals reached with Garcon, Morgan

Wise: Is this year different?

By  |  12:13 PM ET, 03/16/2012

 
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