Redskins avoid big splash, seek free-agent bargains

LEESBURG, Va. -- The Washington Redskins didn’t have a lot of cap space and, possibly, the desire to spend big early in free agency. But they also recognize free agency lasts more than a few days.

The Redskins signed their first player from outside the organization Friday: defensive end Kendall Reyes, who received a one-year deal for $2.5 million. He’s viewed as a rotational/depth player who could possibly win a starting job. So it’s far from a big splash.

It’s not as if they’re not looking around: They already hosted end/linebacker Chris Long and hosted tight end Vernon Davis, end/linebacker Andre Branch and inside linebacker/special teamer Terence Garvin on Friday. They also showed interest earlier this week in lineman Haloti Ngata, but he opted to re-sign with Detroit. They’ve shown interest in safety Reggie Nelson, though no visit has been planned.

They also might bring back Dashon Goldson, who was cut earlier in the week. The Redskins wanted him to return but did not want to have his $8 million cap hit.

Redskins president Bruce Allen said after the three-day open negotiating period before free agency that they had a good feel for what they might, or might not, be able to do in free agency. Also: They only have approximately $18 million to $20 million of cap space and plenty of needs. They still have to sign linebacker Junior Galette, as well, though he might end up needing to take a smaller one-year prove-it deal.

“We thought those players were going to do well with other teams,” said Allen after a breakfast in which the Redskins received the Legacy Award Friday from the Loudoun School and Business Partnership for their work in the community. “I’ll remind you that free agency is less than 48 hours old and we’re going to make sure we’re competing in free agency all the way up to training camp.”

The Redskins' biggest moves have been re-signing their own players: quarterback Colt McCoy, linebacker Mason Foster, defensive lineman Kedric Golston and safety Duke Ihenacho. They also placed the franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins.

But, as Allen pointed out, they made two other moves last summer in re-signing linebacker Ryan Kerrigan and tackle Trent Williams.

“The best thing we did for free agency was addressing Trent Williams and Ryan Kerrigan,” Allen said. “That was a well thought-out plan and we’re going to keep doing that because it’s the Redskins players that we’re keeping.

“Our division has been pretty active. We’re following it and we’ll make sure we find some guys who can help us.”