The Redskins signed both Donte Stallworth and Devery Henderson on Wednesday, giving them two solid veteran options at the wide receiver spot.
That does not mean that either or both is a lock to make the 53-man roster. Far from it. But they have a shot and they both provide insurance at the position for the Redskins.
Stallworth and Henderson come to the Redskins with very similar resumes. Both were high draft picks of the Saints back when Jim Haslett was the head coach in New Orleans (Stallworth first round in 2002, Henderson second round in 2004). Stallworth is listed at 6-feet tall, Henderson is just an inch shorter. They both weigh in around 200 pounds. Both are speed receivers who are getting a look because of their potential to be deep threats.
Henderson has a couple of advantages over Stallworth. He just turned 31 while Stallworth will be 33 in November. If you look at the last three years, Henderson is much better in the “what have you done lately” category. Since 2010, Henderson has 88 receptions for nearly 1300 yards and he has played in 47 of 48 games. Stallworth has just 25 catches in that same time span and played in just 20 games.
But the coaching staff knows Stallworth from his time here in 2011 and that could help give him an edge. And Henderson’s production took a nosedive last year. He was on the field for 720 snaps on a team that called nearly 700 pass plays and he had 22 receptions. His pedestrian 14.4 yards per catch average was the second lowest of his career.
Barring injury, the two new receivers aren’t threats to any of the top four wide receivers on the depth chart. They will not cut into the playing time of Pierre Garçon, Josh Morgan, Leonard Hankerson or Santana Moss. And it is likely that Aldrick Robinson will get his shots at continued development.
Stallworth and Henderson were brought in to provide some experience on the back end of the training camp depth chart. Behind the five receivers noted above, the Redskins were going to camp with Dezmon Briscoe, Skye Dawson, Lance Lewis, Chip Reeves, and Nick Williams. Briscoe has 24 NFL games and 43 receptions on his resume; the other four were undrafted and have not spent a day on a 53-man NFL roster.
The two veterans will compete with Briscoe and the others for the sixth wide receiver spot and to serve as insurance in case of an injury to any of the top five. So despite the fact that the names are known their signings are relatively minor moves in terms of their likely impact on the 2013 season. It will be mildly surprising if either of them makes the team and if they both do, well, something has gone very wrong with the rest of the receiving corps.