Redskins stay or go: Safety Reed Doughty

Redskins stay or go: Safety Reed Doughty
February 27, 2014, 10:30 am
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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: S/Reed Doughty
Age: 31
2013 cap number: $1.5 million
2013 stats: 80 combined tackles, one interception, nine tackles on special teams.

Background: Doughty entered the season in the role where he’s best suited: reserve. But once again depth issues bit the Redskins and he was forced into the starting lineup. In all, Doughty started eight games in 2013 and played 414 snaps. If he returns next season, those numbers will need to be lower. That’s not meant as slight. Doughty is tough. He’s prepared. He’s effective in the box. He was also elected special teams captain by his teammates and led the struggling coverage units with nine solo tackles. His ability on special teams is not in doubt. The question is whether there will be room for a 31-year-old backup in a secondary that must get better.

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El-Bashir: Stay—I could really go either way on this one. But I’d be inclined to bring back Doughty and let him compete for a backup job. He’s been a member of the Redskins since 2006. He’s affordable, reliable in a limited role, knows the schemes and can serve as a mentor to second-year safeties Phillip Thomas and Bacarri Rambo. Doughty can also provide some leadership on a special teams unit that’s set to start all over with a new coordinator. My biggest concern is that he'll be 32 in early November and he's logged some hard miles. Are there younger, better options out there? Perhaps. Sometimes, though, you’re better off sticking with what you already know.

Tandler: Go—Just like yesterday, Tarik and I differ on the future of a 30+ Redskins safety. Look, it’s a great credit to Doughty, who has limited physical tools, that he has lasted for seven years in the NFL and has started 54 games. But that fact is also an indictment of the Redskins’ inability to solidify the safety position. As far as Doughty in 2014, it comes down to numbers. The team is going to have to find two starters either in free agency or early in the NFL draft. They are going to want to keep Phillip Thomas and Bacarri Rambo to try to get something out of almost a third of their 2013 draft class. The team will carry four, maybe five safeties. Is the possible fifth Doughty? Or is it the younger and cheaper Jose Gumbs, who played fairly well in spot duty and on special teams. I don’s see a spot for Doughty. 

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