The Washington Redskins took care of their highest priority of the offseason by placing the franchise tag on Kirk Cousins Tuesday. Now, as free agency gets underway, team officials turn their attention to shaping the rest of the roster.
Beginning on Monday, league rules permit teams to begin contacting the agents of free agent targets to gauge their clients’ asking prices, and to enter into contract negotiations. No team can sign a player to a contract until 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Before then, the Redskins will likely extend tenders to those restricted and exclusive rights free agents that they wish to retain, and engage in discussions with their impending unrestricted free agents. The team has 20 players with expiring contracts.
And all the while, the team will likely continue to work toward agreements on renegotiated contracts for aging players with larger cap numbers. (It’s expected the team will restructure the contracts of Dashon Goldson and Jason Hatcher, who have cap hits of $8 million and $8.75 million, respectively). The Redskins will likely take care of this, and any cost-saving cuts (quarterback Robert Griffin III and his $16.155 million cap hit, and possibly wide receiver Andre Roberts and linebacker Perry Riley, whose releases will save Washington $4 million apiece) before the start of free agency.
General Manager Scot McCloughan has said that his team won’t likely rank among the big players in free agency. Instead, McCloughan will likely pursue mid-level players as complementary pieces as the Redskins focus on building with draft picks.
Look for the Redskins to devote a fair amount of attention to improving the defense. They likely will seek defensive linemen (nose tackle and end), inside linebacker, cornerback and safety. On offense, needs include depth at running back, wide receiver, tight end, center and quarterback.