The Washington Redskins have done a lot to improve their team this offseason. The Redskins bolstered their pass rush by adding free agent Jason Hatcher, re-signing Chris Baker, drafting Trent Murphy and using the franchise tag on linebacker Brian Orakpo. The Redskins also added depth at inside linebacker adding Adam Hayward, Akeem Jordan and Darryl Sharpton in addition to re-signing Perry Riley Jr.
On the offensive side of the ball the Redskins have added two starters at receiver in DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts. The offensive line was also addressed in free agency by adding guard Shawn Lauvao, and drafting two potential starters in Morgan Moses and Spencer Long.
The Redskins have made an effort to improve their special teams that were ranked dead last in the NFL last season. Many of their free agent signings and draft picks have a history as solid special teams players such as Akeem Jordan and Bashaud Breeland; they even drafted a kicker Zach Hocker that should help the Redskins improve on kickoffs.
Obviously the Redskins can’t fix all of their problems in on offseason, and it’s simply unreasonable to expect the Redskins to improve every position of weakness from a 3-13 season in one offseason. However, you can’t help but feel that the Redskins haven’t done enough to improve a secondary that has been a weak point on this team for years.
The Redskins did make some moves to attempt to improve their secondary; they re-signed DeAngelo Hall and Brandon Meriweather, and signed Tracy Porter and Ryan Clark in free agency. Hall is coming off his best season and it was a smart move to re-sign the corner, and Porter will be an upgrade over former Redskin corner Josh Wilson, but not a huge one. Adding Breeland paired with second year corner David Amerson gives the Redskins two young corners to be excited about.
However, safety is the position that it feels like the Redskins haven’t done enough to improve. Meriweather was average at best last season, and is not the long term answer at the position. As for Clark, he will turn 35 during the season, and it is largely thought that the safety has lost a step and isn’t the player he used to be. The Redskins do have high hopes for Phillip Thomas, but he has never played a down of regular season football and cannot be relied on. The Redskins are also getting Tanard Jackson back from suspension, but after two years out of football he also cannot be relied upon.
The Redskins chose not to overspend in free agency by opting not to sign players like Jairus Byrd or T.J. Ward. That’s fine — the Redskins had a tendency to overpay free agents and it’s good they didn’t continue that trend. However, the Redskins also failed to address the position in the draft, even with a few interesting players on the board in the 7th round when they chose to select a kicker.
The Redskins have had a solid offseason and have addressed many of their weaknesses. However, I don’t believe they have addressed the secondary enough, and the safety position in particular. The secondary still remains a weak spot on the roster, and the Redskins will regret that when they are playing the Philadelphia Eagles twice this year.