Free agency primer: Defensive players Redskins fan should know

Free agency primer: Defensive players Redskins fan should know
March 10, 2014, 1:00 pm
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The free agent market opens for business Tuesday at 4 p.m., and we know you can hardly wait. But you’ve got to. So, in the meantime, we’ve put our Free Agent Fits series into one post and provided the CliffsNotes version in case you missed it (or just needed a quick refresher.

With the exception of players who have re-signed with their clubs in recent days, our suggestions have not changed. For the original, more detailed post on each position, click on the link.

Defense

Position: Cornerback

Best available: Aqib Talib, Patriots (after Brent Grimes re-signed with Miami).
Best fit: Captain Munnerlyn, Panthers. Would replace Josh Wilson, can cover the slot and just had his best season, which included returning two interceptions for touchdowns (for the second year in a row). According to multiple reports, the Redskins have expressed interest in the 25-year-old.
Best of the rest: Vontae Davis, Colts; Alterraun Verner, Titans; Walter Thurmond III, Seahawks; Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Broncos; E.J. Biggers, Redskins; Sam Shields (re-upped with the Packers).

RELATED: [Redskins interested in Byrd but asking price may be prohibitive]

Position: Safety

Best available: Jairus Byrd, Bills.
Best fit: Chris Clemons, Dolphins. Although the Redskins have reportedly expressed interest in Byrd, the cost will be (very) steep. Clemons, 28, would be a lower-priced option and could provide a bridge to Phillip Thomas or Bacarri Rambo.
Best of the rest: T.J. Ward, Browns; Mike Mitchell, Panthers (the Redskins have reportedly shown interest); Antoine Bethea, Colts; Donte Whitner, 49ers; Louis Delmas, former of the Lions; Stevie Brown, Giants.

Position: Inside linebacker

Best available: Karlos Dansby, Cardinals.
Best fit: Dansby. (He replaces Donald Butler who re-upped with the Chargers). Although Dansby is 32, he still has game left after amassing 122 combined tackles, 6.5 sacks and four interceptions last season.
Best of the rest: Jon Beason, Giants; Perry Riley, Redskins; Daryl Smith, Ravens; Arthur Moats, Bills; Brandon Spikes, Patriots; Wesley Woodyard, Broncos.

Position: Defensive line

Best available: DE (3-4) Antonio Smith, Texans.
Best fit: DT/DE Linval Joseph of the Giants or DE Arthur Jones of the Ravens. Joseph is a 25-year-old run stuffer who can also get after the quarterback, while Jones, 27, has produced a combined 8.5 sacks the past two seasons.
Best of the rest: Tyson Jackson, Chiefs; Randy Starks, Dolphins; Paul Soliai, Dolphins; Ropati Pitoitua, Titans (re-signed in Tennessee).

Position: Specialists

Best available: PR/KR Devin Hester, Bears.
Best fit: WR/PR/KR Brandon Tate, Bengals. At 26, Tate ranked fifth in kickoff returns (26.1 yards per) and 13th on punts (9.3 per). The Redskins do not have a proven player to handle either job. Played for Jay Gruden.
Best of the rest: WR/PR Dexter McCluster, Chiefs; WR/PR Golden Tate, Seahawks; P Donnie Jones, Eagles; P Pat McAfee, Colts (re-signed with Indianapolis.)

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