- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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Interesting little transaction of NFC East interest today as the Washington Redskins announced the signing of former New York Giants linebacker Jonathan Goff. Nice pickup for the Redskins. A year ago, before tearing his ACL in the preseason, Goff was slated to be the starting middle linebacker for a team that would go on to win the Super Bowl. Now, he comes into Washington as insurance (assuming he's healthy) at a position at which the Redskins suddenly have some interesting depth.
Goff won't be a starting inside linebacker for the Redskins, as those two spots in Washington's 3-4 defense belong to London Fletcher and Perry Riley. But Fletcher's quite old and Riley's still quite young and so you never know when you might need help at one of those spots. Adding Goff to a backup mix that includes Lorenzo Alexander, recently signed Bryan Kehl and fourth-round draft pick Keenan Robinson is a low-risk, high-upside move.
From Goff's perspective, it appears he misread the market. The Giants would have had him back (at their price, which was what they told all of their own free agents), but he wanted to see if he could find greener pastures. But while he visited places like Cleveland and Miami, the Giants went out and traded for linebacker Keith Rivers, likely costing Goff a chance to go back to New York and reclaim his starting middle linebacker job. Now, if he'd like to be an NFL starter again, he'll have to work his way back into such a role from a backup spot. At least the Redskins' linebacker group is a good one around which to spend time. Prolonged exposure to Fletcher is the kind of thing that can help a guy's career if he pays attention.