The Redskins are coming off of a disastrous season, in which they finished at the cellar of the NFC East with a record of 3-13, their worst record since the 1994 season. The Redskins two-year, $36 million cap penalty is finally over and the team will now have an estimated amount of $24,000,000 worth of cap room. Without a first round pick in this years draft, the Redskins and their new coaching staff must effectively find essential players off the market. Here’s a list of five free agents the Redskins cannot afford to miss on.
Jeremy Maclin- The Redskins did not see much production from their wide receivers this past season. Pierre Garçon was their only consistent playmaker. They must find another threat for quarterback, Robert Griffin III. Though Maclin was forced to miss the entire 2013 season with a torn ACL, the 25-year-old has star potential and could even top the 1,000 yard mark. He is a very fast receiver with incredible vision while the ball is in his hands. Maclin has always been a very reliable red zone threat. 14 of his 26 career touchdowns have all come from inside the 20. Due to his injuries, the Redskins may be able to catch him on the cheap side.
T.J. Ward- For a couple of years now, Ward has been considered to be one of the best safeties in the whole league. This past season, Ward had the third most tackles for any defensive back. Ward is built to play against the run, and it’s in that which he has most succeeded in his 4 year career. His 20 run stops this past season were the most out of any defensive back. He’s very good in the open field and is a quality cover-man. The Redskins should not hesitate on trying to lure Ward on joining the Redskins.
Aqib Talib- The Redskins previously attempted to sign Talib last offseason, but failed to reach an agreement due to the salary cap penalties. Talib was one of the leagues best cornerback’s during his tenure in Tampa Bay, in which he played under former head coach Raheem Morris. Morris is currently the Redskins defensive coordinator so the two will be very familiar with each other. Talib played outstanding football last season with the Patriots, earning a spot in the Pro Bowl.
Wade Smith- Smith is a tremendous guard with many years of experience in the league. He is one of the quickest and most athletic lineman. Smith has played in the zone blocking scheme for the Houston Texans, and his type of play will fit perfectly in the Redskins offense. His experience can give the Redskins verteran leadership along the line.
Greg Hardy- The Redskins need much more talent up front on the defensive line. Three of their top lineman from the previous season will all be 30 before the start of next season. Hardy is only 25 years old and is one of most underrated players available on the market. Hardy has shown that he has incredible talent at collapsing the pocket. He went on an incredible run at the end of the season in which he had eight sacks in just the three games. Overall he finished with 15 sacks which ranks third in his position. Overall he’s a young defensive end, who can torment the pocket and can also be a defensive force on the running game.