The Washington Redskins had one of the most disappointing seasons of any NFL team in 2013. After winning the NFC East the previous year, the team finished with the worst record in the NFC.
Under new head coach Jay Gruden, Washington looks to have a bounce-back season in 2014. Robert Griffin III will be another year removed from ACL surgery, and should be completely healthy for training camp.
Below is an update on some of the best free agents that have been linked to the Redskins.
The linebacker will likely return to Washington next season, after the club placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on him. Another team can sign Orakpo, but they’d be forced to give the Redskins two first round draft picks as compensation. The two sides still have until July 15 to agree upon a long-term contract. Having reached three Pro Bowls since 2009, Orakpo is probably the best free agent at his position. He had 10 sacks in 2013.
Washington has signed away one of their rivals’ top defenders. Hatcher will come to the Redskins for a four-year contract worth a reported $27.5 million. He was one of the best defensive tackles last year, recording 11 sacks in 15 games for the Dallas Cowboys, more than doubling his previous career high.
Hatcher might not be the only member of the Cowboys' defensive line that signs with Washington. The Redskins also have interest in Spencer. According to reports, the two sides met on Thursday. Spencer might be more of a risky signing than Hatcher. After recording 11 sacks and 95 combined tackles in 2012, he played just one game in 2013, due to microfracture knee surgery. The defensive end is still recovering, and it’s unknown if he’ll be ready for the start of training camp.
Clark played for the Redskins in 2004 and 2005, and he could be making a return in 2014. The free agent reportedly met with Washington on Thursday, after being replaced in Pittsburgh by Mike Mitchell. Clark was very consistent at free safety for the Steelers, missing just four games in the last six years. He recorded at least 100 combined tackles in each of the past three seasons.
It looked like the Redskins might be out of the running for Browner, when it was reported that his meeting with Washington was canceled, because he was ready to sign with the New England Patriots. However, that report has been shot down, and the Redskins are one of a few teams that still have a chance to sign the cornerback. Browner made the Pro Bowl in 2011 with the Seattle Seahawks. He missed eight games in 2013 and sat out the Super Bowl, because of a suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. The suspension will force him to miss the first four games of next season.
Washington’s leading tackler from a year ago will return to the club in 2014. Riley and his 115 combined tackles will be back with a reported three-year contract. It was important for the team to retain Riley, considering their second-leading tackler, London Fletcher, retired at season’s end. Linebacker Rob Jackson also stayed with the club.
The Redskins have also improved their offense through free agency. After spending the first four years of his career with the Arizona Cardinals, Roberts is headed to the nation’s capital. He signed a four-year deal with the Redskins, where he joins a receiving corps that includes Pierre Garcon and newly re-signed Santana Moss. As Arizona’s No.3 receiver, Roberts caught 43 passes for 471 yards in 2013.
The guard is headed to Washington after starting with the Cleveland Browns for three seasons. He’s set to receive $17 million over four years.