After almost a week of free agency, the Redskins’ depth chart has undergone some transformation already. We looked at the offense yesterday and now we examine the defense.
If you would have said a week ago that the Redskins’ biggest acquisition to this point would be a defensive lineman most would have scoffed at the notion. But that was before they signed Jason Hatcher for four years and $27.5 million. He said that he will move all over the line but it seems likely that his basic position will be right end. The acquisition of Hatcher puts the future of Stephen Bowen in doubt. He is attempting to return from microfracture surgery and his $4.7 million salary will be tough for the team to swallow. Barry Cofield is the starting nose tackle and Chris Baker and Jarvis Jenkins will compete for the starting job at left end. They likely will keep seven linemen so Clifton Geathers, Chris Neild, Doug Worthington, Kedric Golston, and Dominique Hamilton will battle it out for the last two or, if Bowen is out of the picture, three spots.
With Brian Orakpo getting the franchise tag, he is set on the right side with Ryan Kerrigan on the left. Perry Riley re-signed and he will be in the middle. As of now, the other starting inside linebacker is Darryl Sharpton, who agreed to terms on Saturday. But that is subject to change via another free agent signing, draft pick or possibly the insertion of third-year player Keenan Robinson into the Jack position. The rest of the depth chart is very much a work in progress. Adam Hayward will be one of the backups on the inside and if they decide to keep a fifth inside backer Will Compton will be in the mix. On the outside, the only reserve certain to be on the roster is Brandon Jenkins, who played sparingly last year. Perhaps if the team can’t close a deal with Anthony Spencer other targets will emerge.
The top three cornerbacks are DeAngelo Hall, David Amerson, and Tracy Porter. They could fill out the depth cart with Richard Crawford and Chase Minnifield and call it a day but more competition could come there in the draft or in free agency. That was the team’s black hole until Brandon Meriweather agreed to terms to return to the Redskins. The rest of the depth chart has Jose Gumbs, Phillip Thomas, and Bacarri Rambo. The other starter could emerge from that group, free agency, or in the draft.