The Washington Redskins have been quiet during the 2013 NFL free agency period. That’s because they’re paying the price for the horrible free agency signings and trades they’ve conducted in recent years. The loss of draft picks, as well as a salary cap circumvention penalty of $18 million, restricts any roster additions the Redskins may want to make.
Free agent cornerback Antoine Winfield, late of the Minnesota Vikings, is scheduled to visit Washington in an effort to sign with the Redskins. It sounds like the same old song for the Redskins. They pursue another big name free agent well past their prime, with disastrous results.
Despite limited resources, signing Winfield would make perfect sense for Washington. The Redskins need to add quality depth to the cornerback position after releasing 2012 starter DeAngelo Hall. They will need to do so at relative bargain basement prices. While Hall made $8 million in 2012, it can’t be reasoned that Washington would sign a cornerback in Winfield, who is six years Hall’s senior, at that price.
In an effort to address depth concerns at cornerback, Washington signed free agent cornerback E. J. Biggers, late of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Biggers has the potential to become a serviceable NFL cornerback. However, Redskins’ fans want immediate improvement at the cornerback position. Biggers’ three year career consists of three interceptions, 135 tackles, and 28 passes defensed. Using this limited sample size, it would be unreasonable to believe that Biggers can step in at cornerback and provide big play ability that Hall could provide at times.
Winfield is a tough, physical corner that plays a lot bigger than his five foot nine, 190 pound frame would indicate. He’s also one of the best run support cornerbacks in the NFL. That assertion is evidenced by the 100 tackles he recorded with the Vikings in 2012. Winfield earned three interceptions for Minnesota 2012 in comparison to Hall’s four for Washington. But the difference is that Winfield didn’t surrender a touchdown reception to opposing receivers in 2012. The same can’t be said for Hall, who anchored the Redskins’ 30th ranked pass defense.
One thing that Winfield and Hall have in common is that each are three time Pro Bowl performers in their respective careers. That would reason that Winfield would be an adequate, if not superior, replacement for Hall at cornerback for the Redskins. If Winfield and the Redskins can reach an agreement, Washington would be that much closer to solving its pass defense issues.