The Washington Redskins added a familiar free agent cornerback Monday, signing longtime Dallas Cowboys defensive back Orlando Scandrick.
Scandrick’s deal is for two years and is worth a maximum of $10 million, a person familiar with the deal has confirmed. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo first reported the signing.
Scandrick joins wide receiver Paul Richardson as the two free agents signed away from other teams so far this offseason. Quarterback Alex Smith was acquired in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs, and linebacker Zach Brown was retained after many thought he would bolt to another team. The Redskins also re-signed wide receiver Brian Quick.
The Cowboys released the 31-year-old Scandrick on Saturday with a post-June 1 designation that will save them $3 million in cap space after that date.
Dallas selected Scandrick in the fifth round of the 2008 draft out of Boise State, and he became a full-time starter in 2013. Injuries, however, have plagued the 5-foot-10, 192-pound California native, and he hasn’t played a full 16 games since that 2013 season. Torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments suffered during a collision with a teammate during a preseason practice forced him to miss all of 2015. He played 11 games with 38 tackles, three passes defended and no interceptions before a transverse process fracture in his back ended his 2017 season early.
Scandrick has 406 tackles during his career with eight interceptions and 11 1/2 sacks. He reportedly asked for a release from the Cowboys before free agency began, but he didn’t receive the designation until this weekend. The Cowboys portion of Scandrick’s career ends with 69 starts in 125 games played. His 64 passes defended are the second most in Dallas history.
Scandrick may be the first external free agent defensive addition to the roster, but he wasn’t the only player being wooed at Redskins Park at the start of the week.
Former Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins visited the team Monday, according to a source familiar with the negotiations. He was surprisingly released by the Colts on Saturday after he was their big free agent signing last year with a three-year deal worth $27 million. Indianapolis is switching from a 3-4 base defense to a 4-3 under new Coach Frank Reich and his staff in 2018. The defensive line is an offseason priority for the Redskins, and the 6-foot-2, 325-pound Hankins seems like a good fit. He was a second-round pick in the 2013 draft out of Ohio State by the New York Giants. Hankins had 44 tackles and two sacks for the Colts in 2017.
Former Chicago Bears linebacker Pernell McPhee also reportedly visited the Redskins on Monday. The seven-year veteran started five games in 2017 and posted 21 tackles and four sacks. Outside linebacker remains a need after the departure of Trent Murphy to the Buffalo Bills.
The Redskins have been in the market for cornerback help after trading away nickelback Kendall Fuller as part of the deal that brought Smith from Kansas City. Bashaud Breeland had been a starter in the defensive backfield the previous four years; he was set to join the Carolina Panthers before failing a physical because of a non-football injury.
Before Scandrick became available, several top cornerbacks such as Malcolm Butler, Trumaine Johnson and Patrick Robinson went off the market quickly at the start of the free agent period. The Redskins met with Rodgers-Cromartie last week, but the former New York Giant has yet to sign with anyone. The Scandrick signing may indicate the team has moved on from Rodgers-Cromartie.
The defense as a whole was an issue for the Redskins in 2017, as it allowed 24.2 points per game (27th in the league), 347.9 total yards (21st) and 134.1 rushing yards (32nd). The pass defense was the bright spot on that side of the ball, ranking ninth in the league with 213.8 passing yards allowed per game.
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