Redskins stay or go: Cornerback E. J. Biggers

Redskins stay or go: Cornerback E. J. Biggers
February 25, 2014, 10:30 am
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Jay Gruden is a big fan of Trent Williams

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrance Williams (83) catches a touchdown pass against Washington Redskins cornerback E.J. Biggers (30) in the third quarter of the game at AT&T Stadium.

(Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)
Tandler - Tarik

With 20 Redskins set to hit the open market in a few weeks, GM Bruce Allen and his staff have some tough decisions to make. There are some big names on the list (i.e. Brian Orakpo, Brandon Meriweather and Perry Riley, to name a few). There are some obscure ones (like J.D. Walton) as well. All of the decisions, though, have the potential to have a lasting impact. In the coming days, Redskins Insiders Rich Tandler and Tarik El-Bashir will give you their thoughts on who should stay and who should go.

Position/name: DB/E.J. Biggers
Age: 26
2013 cap number: $1.5 million
2013 stats: 35 tackles, 1 interception, 2 passes defended

Background: The Redskins signed Biggers as a free agent last offseason with the intention of using him the No. 3 or No. 4 cornerback. He ended up playing corner and free safety, a position he had not played since high school. It wasn’t by choice; the cap-strapped Redskins lacked depth, experience and athleticism at the position. In all, Biggers played 432 total snaps on defense, a fraction of the 816 he saw in 2012 as a member of the Buccaneers. As a result, his numbers also declined. Biggers was out of position at safety, but he played with effort and also contributed on special teams. The bottom line: did he show enough to warrant an extension? Or should the Skins seek an upgrade?  

RELATED: [Hall's contract has team friendly cap hit in 2014]

El-Bashir: Stay--Are there better options out there? Perhaps. But I’d be inclined to keep Biggers, put him at his natural position and pencil him as the fourth corner. He’s young (doesn’t turn 26 until June), has impressive speed, possesses some upside and plays special teams, too. He also would be returning to a familiar scheme and coaching staff, having played for secondary coach Raheem Morris for three of the past four seasons. And just two years ago, if you recall, Biggers started 12 of the 13 games in which he appeared, so he’s got enough experience to step into a larger role in a pinch. To me, Biggers is good enough to be a reliable reserve—when deployed properly, that is.

Tandler: Go—Allow me to modify Tarik’s opening argument—there are definitely better options out there. They signed Biggers last year because he was cheap and available. This year the Redskins have some money to spend and there is no need for them to settle for the guy who is ranked 24th among available cornerbacks by our friends at Rotoworld. If they need to sign a veteran here they should upgrade to someone like Captain Munnerlyn or Drayton Florence. Or, better yet, pluck DeAngelo Hall’s eventual successor out of the deep pool of quality cornerbacks in the draft and let the rookie cut his teeth as the nickel back. The good thing is, if you fail to do either one of those there is a good chance that Biggers will be there waiting for a deal in mid-May so he can be your fallback position.