John Feinstein on why Gruden had to name RG3 starter
With the Redskins season over, CSN Washington will examine free agents from playoff rosters that could make an impact for Washington.
Who: Chargers vs. Broncos (-8)
When: Sunday, January 12, 4:30, CBS
The Denver Broncos offense has set offensive records this season under the steady hand of quarterback Peyton Manning and his crew of receiving weapons. The names are well known in fantasy circles: Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker, Julius Thomas, and of course, Eric Decker.
Decker finished the 2013 regular season with 87 catches for almost 1,300 yards and 11 touchdowns. And once the Broncos playoff run ends, Decker becomes a free agent. Now, could a 6'3", 215 lbs. receiver help the Redskins offense? Absolutely. Will the Redskins be able to afford the 26-year-old out of Minnesota? That's a different question.
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Undoubtedly a Washington offense with Decker would be a big boost to Robert Griffin III. Outside of receiver Pierre Garçon, RG3 had limited options to throw the ball. Rookie tight end Jordan Reed had a good season and showed flashes of tremendous skill, but it is tough to measure how much the Skins can count on Reed considering the young man's concussion history. A strong second receiver, or perhaps even a 1A, would open the offense up much more for Griffin, Garçon and even running back Alfred Morris.
Some may argue that Decker's value could be overstated because his best years have come with Manning at the helm. The same argument could be made for Garçon prior to his arrival in Washington, and those arguments were proved false after Garçon's Top 10 receiving finish in 2013.
Beyond Decker, the Redskins also may want to keep a close eye on Broncos left guard Zane Beadles. Named to the Pro Bowl this season, Beadles goes 6'4", 305 lbs. and is just in his fourth year out of Utah. At age 27, Beadles is a free agent and could be entering the prime of his career on his next contract.
Players like Decker and Beadles will not come cheap, but the Redskins will have salary cap room to maneuver after suffering an NFL-imposed $36 million penalty the last two seasons. With Manning nearing the end of his career, the Broncos may do everything possible to keep their high-octane offense intact, however, economics likely project some turnover on the roster.