When free agency opens March 11, the Redskins will have about $30 million in cap space and lots of holes to fill. Over the next few weeks, Redskins Insider Tarik El-Bashir will examine the field of potential free agents, by position, and evaluate who might be a fit in Washington.
Today, we’re looking at cornerbacks.
Background: The Redskins took an important step toward solidifying the backend this week when they re-signed veteran cornerback DeAngelo Hall to a four-year extension. Still, many questions remain. What are the team’s plans for pending free agent Josh Wilson? If Wilson is not re-signed, does that mean David Amerson steps into the starting lineup? And what about No. 4 corner E.J. Biggers, another pending free agent? The bottom line is Hall and Amerson are a solid foundation but the Redskins need two more cornerbacks who will see the field a lot in 2014. Even if GM Bruce Allen believes those players are on the roster (Biggers, Richard Crawford and Chase Minnifield are candidates), it never hurts to explore your options.
Best available: There are a number of quality corners who could become free agents next month. Among the big names: Brent Grimes (Dolphins), Vontae Davis (Colts), Aqib Talib (Patriots), Alterraun Verner (Titans), Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Broncos) and Sam Shields (Packers), to name a few. By re-signing Hall, it’s possible, if not likely, the Redskins took themselves out of the market for players of that caliber. It’s also possible Allen will be able to find a bargain given the flooded marketplace.
Best fit: Captain Munnerlyn (Panthers) could be an option to replace Wilson. Munnerlyn, 25, started 16 games for the sixth-ranked passing defense. He can play in the slot and is coming off his best season, having returned two interceptions for touchdowns to go along with three sacks and 12 defended passes. The one drawback: The Redskins need to get a little bigger at cornerback. And Munnerlyn measures only 5-8.
Best of the rest: Biggers (Redskins) is valuable because of his versatility and is among the players Washington has reportedly shown interest in re-signing; Walter Thurmond III (Seahawks) is talented but missed four games due a drug suspension and is one slip-up from a year-long ban; Tarell Brown (49ers) is 29, 5-10/193 and has defended 40 passes the past three seasons.