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: CB Josh Wilson
2013 cap number: $3.3 million
2013 stats: 16 games started, 1 interception, 2 sacks, 68 tackles
Background: He took a pay cut to stay with the Redskins last year but it did not involve a contract extension. So Wilson, who has started every game and played almost every snap for the last three years, is a free agent. In his time here, he has hasn’t done much spectacular for the Redskins but he hasn’t given up many big plays, either. Per the guys at Pro Football Focus Wilson, Wilson was thrown at 85 times last year and gave up just two passes of longer than 30 yards. The bottom line is that he hasn’t been bad enough to make replacing him urgent but there has always been a feeling that they could do better at the position.
Tandler: Go—This is among the easier decisions the Redskins have to make. They have seven free agent starters on defense and this is the one and only position where the Redskins have drafted a suitable replacement. David Amerson, last year’s second-round pick, is as ready as he’ll ever be to step into a starting role. In fact, if Amerson is not ready then the entire scouting department needs to be evaluated. Letting the free agent walk and plugging in the guy you drafted is how good teams operate. There might have been a reason to hold on to him as a lifeline in case Hall decided to go elsewhere but that is no longer needed as Hall is on board for four more years. The Redskins need to thank Josh Wilson for his three years, make Amerson the starter, and move on to the rest of their myriad of needs.
El-Bashir: Go—I completely agree with Rich on this one. Change for change’s sake isn’t a sound business strategy. But in this case, change is warranted and perhaps overdue. In 2012, the Redskins gave up 31 passing touchdowns (tied for 29th) and 4,511 yards (30th). In 2013, the unit surrendered and 29 touchdowns (tied for 21st) and 8.0 yards per pass attempt (31st). Was all that Wilson’s fault? Of course not. But bringing back the same coaches, the same scheme, the same players and expecting marked improvement is the definition of insanity. GM Bruce Allen has committed to D-Hall and it looks like Amerson will step up to the No. 2 corner position. Bring in a quality starting safety (or two) and now you’re getting serious about improving. Again, at 28, it’s possible Wilson can still play at a high level. But it’s also high time for some new blood in Washington’s secondary.