Free agency is now less than six hours away, and the Redskins front office is drawing up their wish list.
With the league-enforced cap penalty and re-signed free agents Darrell Young, Rob Jackson, Logan Paulsen, Nick Sundberg and Kory Lichtensteiger all seeing probable raises, the Redskins currently don’t have much wiggle room. Players with high cap hits such as DeAngelo Hall and Santana Moss could potentially be cut to give Washington more space, but regardless they’ll be attempting to address multiple needs with a small budget.
I talked earlier this morning about addressing the safety position, but the other big need on this roster is offensive line.
The Redskins were quick to re-sign starting guard Kory Lichtensteiger on Sunday, agreeing to terms on a 5-year deal with the 27-year old. They’ve also been strongly linked to right tackle Tony Pashos, however his role has yet to be determined, and with starting right tackle Tyler Polumbus’ future with the team up in the air, the front office would be best-served looking for Polumbus’ replacement when free agency officially starts at 4 PM EST on Tuesday.
Being strapped of cash, the Redskins won’t be bringing in top-tier tackles such as Cincinatti’s Andre Smith or New England’s Sebastian Vollmer. However, because other higher-budget clubs will be pursuing those top few tackles, that gives Washington a window to go after those second-tier players while no one is looking.
One player that fits that bill is Baltimore Ravens right tackle Bryant McKinnie.
The 33-year old will likely be overlooked due to his age and the surplus of options available. However, he’s been one of the league’s most durable tackles, playing in all 16 games in nine of his 11 NFL seasons, and was a key contributor to Baltimore’s Super Bowl run this past season. Aside from center Casey Montgomery, the Redskins now lack veteran presence on their line with the departure of Jammal Brown, and McKinnie would bring that even in a part-time role. At 33 years old, McKinnie may not be an every-down lineman at this point in his career, but capable tackle Pashos potentially on the verge of a deal with the Redskins as well, McKinnie would bring a quality part-time option to Washington with experience at both tackle positions.
McKinnie’s value at this point is not entirely clear because he recently said he wouldn’t give the Ravens a hometown discount, however several factors will ultimately lower his cost. The Redskins need offensive line help if they’re going to repeat the dominant running attack they imposed on opposing defenses last season, and McKinnie is their man.