Offensive tackle Donald Penn left Redskins Park on Monday without the contract that the Redskins were trying hard to work out with the former Buc.
Penn did agree to a deal on Tuesday but it was with the Oakland Raiders, not the Redskins. We don’t yet know any of the contract terms but it is likely that the Raiders, who plan to play Penn at left tackle, offered him more than did the Redskins, who would have put him on the right side.
So now the question is, what’s next for the Redskins? Here is a look at what their options at right tackle.
—Stick with Tyler Polumbus—I can hear Redskins fans scream in agony contemplating that possibility but it could happen. The simple fact is that he is not as bad as fan perception. He improved a great deal between 2012, his first season playing extensively at right tackle, and last year. That said, he’s not the ideal solution but he may be best one available.
—Give Tom Compton a shot—The 2012 sixth-round pick could be ready to start by the time opening day rolls around in September. It’s not something the team can count on; they can’t, for example, cut Polumbus and his $2.5 million salary and hand the job to Compton. But they could have a legitimate competition between the two starting from the first day of workouts going through training camp, the preseason, and right up to the final round of cuts.
—Bring in another free agent—The pickings are getting rather slim at the tackle spot. Eric Winston might have been a good pickup a few years ago but he allowed seven sacks with the Cardinals last year and they are willing to let him walk despite being rather thin along their line. Charles Brown was pulled from the Saints’ starting lineup out of fear for Drew Brees’ safety. Ryan Harris is on the market but he is more of a backup, with five starts in the last two seasons combined. In short, there are no players out there the Redskins could sign, plug in, and say that they are clearly better off with him at right tackle than they would be with Polumbus.
—Look to the draft—The best option could be to take a tackle with their second- or third-round pick, make him the starter and roll from there. The very top tackles will be gone by the time pick No. 34 rolls around but the Redskins might have a choice of Cyrus Kouandjio or Morgan Moses there and both should be able to start right away. Antonio Richardson and some others who might be around at the top of the third round might be able to start at some point early in the season, if not right away.