Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Redskins free agency nuggets
By Dan Graziano
Cullen Jenkins, left, and Kris Jenkins both could draw interest from the Washington Redskins.
Jason La Canfora's report on the Redskins' free-agency plans came up in the comments on the breakfast links, and given the level of Redskins interest I get on a daily basis, I thought it was worth its own post. Things are getting interesting around the league, and my own phone-call efforts are finding that more people have been willing to discuss potential free-agent scenarios this week. There's a sense that we're not far away from some of these moves actually happening. So in light of Jason's report that the Redskins are targeting Santonio Holmes, Marshal Yanda, Cullen Jenkins, Kris Jenkins and Barry Cofield, as well as planning to re-sign Santana Moss and Jammal Brown, I thought I'd fill you in a little bit on what I've been hearing.
First, I don't believe the Redskins will get a shot at either Holmes or Yanda. The Jets are planning to make Holmes, who was a savior for young quarterback Mark Sanchez last year, a top priority once they're allowed to talk to him again. I think they would sign him at the expense of signing other players they value, such as Braylon Edwards and maybe even Antonio Cromartie. Rex Ryan loves Holmes, thinks he's a difference-maker in the passing game and would like to make sure he's in the Jets' plans for 2011.
Yanda likes it in Baltimore and, from what I am told, isn't the sort of guy who's going to be out looking for every possible free-agent dollar. If the Ravens come with a good deal, I would expect him to take it and stay put. And while he played right tackle last year, teams will look at him as a guard, which is where he's played the most, and pay him as such. If he can get tackle money on the open market and the Ravens jerk him around, maybe he leaves Baltimore. But my sense is that he has value to the Ravens and they will make sure he knows that.
The Jenkinses make some sense. Cullen will be sought-after, and the Cowboys also have him on their wish list. But the Redskins will have money, and if the Packers are going to let Cullen hit the market as most expect them to, there's no reason to think the Redskins can't just outbid everybody to get him. There will be questions, of course, about whether he'll want to play for a non-contender, but he did just win the Super Bowl, so maybe he feels like that's already checked off his bucket list. As for Kris Jenkins, he makes a lot of sense for Washington as a l0w-risk, high-reward guy. He's a game-changer at nose tackle when healthy, but his injury history over the past three years will severely limit his earning potential if he finds himself on the open market. It would make a lot of sense for the Redskins to take a chance on him if the cost is low, and I expect you will hear a lot of chatter about the Redskins and both Jenkinses. Jason's report is the first mention I've heard of Redskins interest in Cofield.
As for the two veterans the Redskins need to unload once they're allowed to, I think the Donovan McNabb situation and the Albert Haynesworth situation are very different from each other. There will be more of a market for Haynesworth than there will be for McNabb, and people I've talked to say the feelings between Haynesworth and Redskins management are much harder than those between McNabb and management. The Redskins would like to try to get something for McNabb in a trade, but there aren't too many starting-quarterback opportunities for him right now, and it's hard to imagine them getting much. I don't think they'll make McNabb twist in the wind. They'll try to get something, and if they can't, I believe they will cut him and let him find his next team on his own. There's no real animosity there, from what I can tell -- just a mutual wish that things had worked out better.
Big Al, on the other hand ... different story. Not only do the Redskins think there will be a market for him, but they don't intend to cut him loose if they fail to find one they like. When he was actually on the field, Haynesworth played very well for Washington in 2009. Last year was a disaster, of course, but he's not far removed from his time as a very productive and even great 4-3 defensive tackle. There are teams out there that could use him -- Denver, Chicago, St. Louis, to name a few -- and coaches out there who undoubtedly believe they can motivate him and make him happy. Mike Shanahan will ask a lot for Haynesworth, as he should, but if he doesn't get what he wants, I do not think he intends to cut him and let him just go sign with the Eagles. From what I have been told, Shanahan doesn't fear the lingering presence of Haynesworth as a distraction and would have no problem just leaving him inactive for all 16 games if that's what it came down to.
Anyway, that's what I've got for you on Redskins. I'll do my best to keep you posted on what I and others keep hearing.