Redskins fans are not used to having players becoming unrestricted free agents at the end of a season. For years under Dan Snyder the practice was to renegotiate veterans’ contracts well before they expired in order to create salary cap room to sign free agents. Mike Shanahan have chosen to use other methods to clear up salary cap space so we are now finding that a number of
After the lockout ended the Redskins had several players become free agents. Some, such as Santana Moss and Reed Doughty, were resigned. Others, like Carlos Rogers, moved on.
The same thing will happen in 2012, although free agency will unfold in the spring as it usually does instead of while training camps are getting cranked up.
Here are the Redskins major restricted and unrestricted free agents with a quick, early look at what their prospects for returning are.
DE Adam Carriker—This will be an interesting call. He has been competent as a starter for the past two seasons. But the Redskins are extremely high on Jarvis Jenkins, their second-round pick this year who is out for the season with a knee injury. Will Carriker be willing to come back for less than starter’s money?
TE Fred Davis—He was having a breakout year at just the right time. Then, of course, came the four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s drug policy. Davis was not going to get paid like a top tight end but his deal would have lined up solidly in the second tier. But the threat of a one-year suspension hanging over his head will cost Davis some serious money.
LB London Fletcher—Look for a three-year deal with a solid guarantee for Fletcher, who will be 36 next season. He is still going strong and the Redskins are not yet ready to replace him either as a player or as a leader.
DE Kedric Golston—While Jenkins threatens Carriker’s status, newly acquired Kentwan Balmer imperils Golston’s job. If Balmer can get his act together he could make Golston, who is out for the rest of this season with a knee injury, expendable.
QB Rex Grossman—The Redskins will have a “help wanted” sign up next year to be a bridge to the quarterback they are likely to draft. That job could be Grossman’s if he wants it and if he can shake his career-long turnover bug. The first is iffy, the second highly unlikely.
RB Tim Hightower—Before his knee injury he could have been headed towards a solid payday after working on his restricted free agent tender this year. Now he is looking at a deal that is will be short, both in terms of length and guaranteed money. It seems likely that he will stay with the Redskins but nothing is certain.
S LaRon Landry—His breakout 2010 season was cut short by an Achilles injury. That injury plus a hamstring problem landed him on the PUP list during training camp and he didn’t play until the third game. After the injury red flags, the Redskins are going to want him but they won’t pay him crazy money or anything close to it. The franchise tag is an option.
LB Rocky McIntosh—Assuming that Perry Riley continues to develop at inside linebacker, McIntosh will be gone without so much as a solid contract offer.
OL Will Montgomery—The Redskins may try to upgrade the center position in the draft but Montgomery should be back whether or not that happens. He won’t cost a lot of money and can fill in at either guard spot if necessary.
We do not have contract information on the following veteran players who signed either during training camp or since the start of the season. It is likely that they will be unrestricted free agents as well: Kentwan Balmer, Dominique Byrd, Tyler Polumbus, Donte Stallworth, Sean Locklear
K Graham Gano
G Kory Lichtensteiger
CB Byron Westbrook
All three should get tendered and it seems unlikely that any other teams would go after them. They may want to offer a longer deal to Lichtensteiger if he remains on schedule for recovery from his knee injury.