The Washington Post

Safety needs remain unfilled for Redskins in free agency

(Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Nearly a week into free agency, the Washington Redskins have yet to fill one of their most pressing needs: safety.

The Redskins entered free agency hoping to upgrade at free safety and strong safety but elected not to engage in bidding wars for the top players on the market. Washington’s starters in 2013, Brandon Meriweather and Reed Doughty, are free agents.

The team hosted veteran Ryan Clark on Thursday, but he left Redskins Park without a deal and on Friday it appeared talks had not progressed.

On Saturday, a person with knowledge of the situation said that Clark’s asking price exceeds the amount that Washington officials wanted to pay for the aging defensive back.

Leading up to free agency, a person within the organization said that Meriweather returning remained a possibility. But as of Saturday night, there was no indication that the team had engaged in serious discussions with Meriweather’s camp regarding a new deal.

With few difference-makers remaining at either safety position, one league insider speculated the team could look to the draft for a safety.

However, Washington drafted two safeties last year. Fourth-rounder Phillip Thomas missed all of last season with a Lisfranc injury. And sixth-rounder Bacarri Rambo struggled mightily. The Redskins re-signed Jose Gumbs but he played primarily on special teams.

Doughty remains a possibility as well. But a deal does not appear imminent despite a person close to the situation describing negotiations as “a work in progress.”

Meanwhile, the team on Sunday was scheduled to host tackle Donald Penn. And one-time cornerback target Walter Thurmond agreed to terms with the Giants. The former Seahawk had been scheduled to visit the Redskins on Friday. But his visit was canceled and talks did not continue.

The team has yet to agree to terms with tight end Owen Daniels or pass-rusher Anthony Spencer, who both visited late in the week.

Mark Maske contributed to this report.

Coverage from The Post:

Free agent T Penn visiting

Reason for optimism on free agents

Reid: With Hatcher, Redskins improve their pass rush

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

All free agent posts | NFL news | Transactions

Follow: @MikeJonesWaPo | @MarkMaske | @Insider | Insider on Facebook

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.



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Mike Jones · March 15, 2014