Coming or going?

Coming or going?
December 13, 2011, 11:33 am
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Redskins fans are not used to having players becoming unrestricted free agents at the end of a season. For years under Dan Snyder, the practice was to renegotiate veterans contracts well before they expired in order to create salary cap room to sign free agents. With Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen largely stopping this practice, we are finding a lot more Redskins hitting the street.
After the lockout ended, the Redskins had several players become free agents. Some, such as Santana Moss and Reed Doughty, were re-signed. Others, like Carlos Rogers, moved on.The same thing will happen in 2012, although free agency will unfold in the spring, as it usually does, instead of while training camps are getting cranked up.Here are the Redskins' major restricted and unrestricted free agents with a quick, early look at what their prospects for returning are.UnrestrictedDE Adam CarrikerThis will be an interesting call. He has been competent as a starter for the past two seasons. But the Redskins are extremely high on Jarvis Jenkins, their second-round pick this year who is out for the season with a knee injury. Will Carriker be willing to come back for less than starters money?TE Fred DavisHe was having a breakout year at just the right time. Then, of course, came the four-game suspension for violating the NFLs drug policy. Davis was not going to get paid like a top tight end, but his deal would have lined up solidly in the second tier. But the threat of a one-year suspension hanging over his head will cost Davis some serious money.LB London FletcherLook for a three-year deal with a solid guarantee for Fletcher, who will be 36 next season. He is still going strong and the Redskins are not yet ready to replace him either as a player or as a leader.DE Kedric GolstonWhile Jenkins threatens Carrikers status, newly acquired Kentwan Balmer imperils Golstons job. If Balmer can get his act together, he could make Golston, who is out for the rest of this season with a knee injury, expendable.QB Rex GrossmanThe Redskins will have a help wanted sign up next year to be a bridge to the quarterback they are likely to draft. That job could be Grossmans if he wants it and if he can shake his career-long turnover bug. The first is iffy, the second highly unlikely.RB Tim HightowerBefore his knee injury, he could have been headed towards a solid payday after working on his restricted free agent tender this year. Now he is looking at a deal that is will be short, both in terms of length and guaranteed money. It seems likely that he will stay with the Redskins, but nothing is certain.S LaRon LandryHis breakout 2010 season was cut short by an Achilles injury. That injury, plus a hamstring problem, landed him on the PUP list during training camp and he didnt play until the third game. After the injury red flags, the Redskins are going to want him, but they wont pay him crazy money or anything close to it. The franchise tag is an option.LB Rocky McIntoshAssuming that Perry Riley continues to develop at inside linebacker, McIntosh will be gone without so much as a solid contract offer.OL Will MontgomeryThe Redskins may try to upgrade the center position in the draft, but Montgomery should be back whether or not that happens. He wont cost a lot of money and can fill in at either guard spot if necessary.We do not have contract information on the following veteran players who signed either during training camp or since the start of the season. It is likely that they will be unrestricted free agents as well: Kentwan Balmer, Dominique Byrd, Tyler Polumbus, Donte Stallworth, Sean LocklearRestrictedK Graham GanoG Kory LichtensteigerCB Byron WestbrookAll three should get tendered and it seems unlikely that any other teams would go after them. They may want to offer a longer deal to Lichtensteiger if he remains on schedule for recovery from his knee injury.Rich Tandler blogs about the Redskins at www.RealRedskins.com. You can reach him by email at RTandlerCSN@comcast.net and follow him on Twitter @Rich_Tandler.