By Rich Tandler
With NFL free agency starting in less than seven weeks, we have started to delve into looks at players whose contracts will be expiring to see who might be a fit with the Redskins.
But the scheduled free agents are only part of the market. There also will be an influx of players whose contracts are terminated by their teams for financial or other reasons.
According to a report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Steelers could be forced to undertake a major salary purge on the defensive side of the ball and add some players to the free agent pool. Some pretty well-know Pittsburgh defenders could become free agents. Here is the list of potential releases and their 2012 salaries from the article:
- DE Aaron Smith ($2.1 million)
- CB Bryant McFadden ($2.5 million)
- LB James Farrior ($2.82 million)
- NT Casey Hampton ($4.89 million)
- LB Larry Foote ($3 million)
A few years ago, this group of players may have been of interest to the Redskins. However, the philosophy appears to have changed in Washington with Mike Shanahan and company targeting younger players. Here are the ages of the players listed above (as of next season):
- Smith 36
- McFadden 31
- Farrior 37
- Hampton 37
- Foote 32
It is possible that the Redskins might go after someone like Foote for depth and special teams. But they will not be pursued as starters.
Should any or all of these players hit the market, however, it could benefit the Redskins simply because of the law of supply and demand. If the Redskins are looking for cornerback, for example, they might not want McFadden. However, another team will and that is one less team in the bidding for the player Washington is targeting. That increases the chances they can get the player they want at a reasonable value.