Washington Redskins: Terrell Thomas

Resetting the roster: Cornerback

March, 21, 2014
Taking a look at the Washington Redskins' cornerbacks 10 days into free agency:

On the roster: DeAngelo Hall, David Amerson, Chase Minnifield, Richard Crawford, Peyton Thompson, Ryan Mouton.

Added in free agency: Tracy Porter.

Still unsigned: E.J. Biggers, Josh Wilson. Biggers seems to still be in their plans, though I have not heard much in the last several days on this front. My guess is he will be re-signed, likely on another one-year contract. Wilson was replaced as the slot corner by Porter.

On the market: Dimitri Patterson, Carlos Rogers, Phillip Adams, Terrell Thomas, Jabari Greer. This group is more about adding depth than finding starters, but the Redskins do need depth. Patterson started out with Washington as an undrafted free agent, appearing in one game. Rogers is another ex-Redskin, of course, and is probably limited to slot duty at this stage. Thomas has drawn interest from Carolina and Oakland. I don’t think he would add a whole lot. I have not heard of them being in on any other corners since signing Porter. Walter Thurmond and Brandon Browner never visited.

What it means thus far: The Redskins still need to add players here even if Biggers returns. He was OK for them last season, showing enough versatility to line up at safety. However, as other coaches have said, there is a difference between lining up there and actually being a threat, say, in the box. That’s not a knock on Biggers, who was put into a role he had never played or should be playing. Biggers at least has length and, if he’s your fourth corner you’re in OK shape. I would not say the Redskins are in great shape here, however. Hall is coming off a solid year, but can he maintain that level? Amerson definitely improved and should be ready for the starting job.

I wonder about Minnifield and what sort of improvement he’ll show this spring and summer. He was feisty in press-man coverage last summer, but needed work on other coverages. That’s common for new players, let alone one coming off two knee surgeries in six months. There’s also Crawford, who showed improvement in the slot before tearing ligaments in his knee. But he needs to prove he can get back to that level. But I’d draft one in the first four rounds, a bigger one at that; doesn't have to be 6-foot-2 or 6-foot-3, but a legitimate 6-footer would be helpful. Porter could be a one-year guy and even though he’s coming off what Raiders observers termed a good season, this will be his third new team in three years. Good players don’t bounce around that much. Hall is not a long-term answer. This is an excellent draft for corners, so that should help them.

Top free-agent roundup: NFC East

March, 10, 2014
Here are the top 15 free agents, followed by their rankings, entering Tuesday's signing period as compiled by NFC East reporters Dan Graziano, Todd Archer, Phil Sheridan and John Keim. There are some strong options at the top, but there is not a lot of depth in the NFC East when it comes to free agency. And if Dallas' DeMarcus Ware gets released, he vaults to a top spot on this list. As always, ESPN's free-agent tracker will keep you updated during this period.

1. LB Brian Orakpo, 8.5: The Redskins used the franchise tag on him, so barring a surprise, he’ll be back. It’s a controversial move among fans, but the Redskins need his pass rush and promise to unleash him more often. His career best for a single season is 11 sacks.

2. DT Linval Joseph, 8: A very big, strong and young (25) interior run-stuffer who has also shown the ability to create pressure from the interior, Joseph could be available because of the Giants’ depth at defensive tackle and their many needs.

3. DT Jason Hatcher, 8: He is coming off an 11-sack season, but he turns 32 in July and Dallas doesn’t have much cap space.

4. LB Jon Beason, 7: The Giants are working hard to sign him before free agency opens, as his leadership and high-energy play at middle linebacker helped transform their defense during the 2013 season.

5. WR Hakeem Nicks, 7: This grade is based on talent and past accomplishments, and a feeling that he was being overly careful in 2013 in order to hit free agency healthy. Lacks his early career speed, but knows how to play the position as well as anyone.

6. WR Jason Avant, 7: For a team in need of a third-down possession guy, the sure-handed Avant will be a great value.

7. P Donnie Jones, 7: The Eagles are expected to re-sign Jones, who was an underrated contributor to their NFC East title team.

8. DE Anthony Spencer, 6: He is coming back from microfracture surgery, so the cost won’t be high.

9. LB Perry Riley, 6: The Redskins need to re-sign him because they already have a hole at inside linebacker after London Fletcher retired. But they won’t break the bank for Riley, who needs to improve in coverage.

10. DE Justin Tuck, 6: Coming off an 11-sack season that came out of nowhere after two down years, Tuck turns 31 later this month but is a locker-room leader and a 4-3 defensive end who can set the edge against the run.

11. QB Michael Vick, 6: With Nick Foles' ascension, Vick is looking for a chance to start elsewhere.

12. RB Andre Brown, 5: He played very well in his first few games back off a broken leg, but faded down the stretch and fumbled too much in the final few games. He is likely not a guy who can be relied on as a starter, but potentially a valuable piece.

13. TE Brandon Myers, 5: A huge disappointment in New York after catching 79 passes as a Raider in 2012, Myers also contributed little as a blocker. The Giants are likely to let him go. He could fit better with a different system.

14. CB Terrell Thomas, 5: He played all 16 games after missing the previous two seasons because of ACL tears in the same knee. Thomas believes he can hold up as a starter off a real offseason, and would like to cash in.

15. S Danny McCray, 5: He is a core special teamer only, so the Cowboys could find value here.

Orakpo sits out practice

December, 26, 2013
ASHBURN, Va. -- Washington Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo did not practice Thursday and his strained groin remains sore, putting his status for Sunday's regular-season finale in jeopardy.

Orakpo will test his groin again Friday. If he can't practice, it's hard to imagine the Redskins putting him on the field given their record (3-12) or the fact that he's a free agent after the season. Orakpo said Tuesday that he wants to play.

"If we feel he can't go, he won't go," Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said. "We're not going to jeopardize his leg to play. It's a little sore right now, but there's still a chance."

Orakpo is the only Redskin who did not practice; everyone else was full participation.

For the Giants, corner Jayron Hosley (illness), corner Trumaine McBride (groin), guard Brandon Mosley (hand), defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (shoulder), tight end Adrien Robinson (knee) and receiver Reuben Randle (knee) did not practice. Guard David Diehl (knee), defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins (shin/quad) and corner Terrell Thomas (knee) were limited.