Redskins re-sign Lichtensteiger: Wunderbar
The Washington Redskins finally reached five-year deal with Korey Lichtensteiger and all I can say is: Wunderbar, German for wonderful. The Redskins offensive line in 2012 was one of the best in the NFL and Lichtensteiger was one of the best members of that line. Alfred Morris could not have had his rookie record-breaking season without that offensive line.
The only question it raises is about 2012 third round pick Josh LeRibeus. With Lichtensteiger signed to a long-term deal means LeRibeus should be viewed more as depth, than as a starter that most experts projected him to be when the Skins drafted him in the third round.
However the real question is what the Redskins do to open up some cap space, because the Skins are still 3,392,362 over the cap. So who will get the cut before free agency begins?
The top cap casualties are DeAngelo Hall, London Fletcher and Santana Moss. Releasing all three would save 15.9 million in cap space.
That would put the Redskins at about 12.5 million in cap space for free agency, and that should be enough to bring in players to fill holes that won’t be filled in the draft. An estimated 2.6 million will go to rookies, and that gives the Skins about 10 million to play with.
The top position the Redskins will target is the secondary in free agency. Hall gone is the hardest hole to fill, and Sean Smith comes into the picture.
Smith will command the majority of the cap room, because there are multiple teams pursuing him. So I’d say the Redskins will look toward players who don’t get a lot of news about them.
Antoine Cason, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Chris Gamble, Chris Houston and Derek Cox will command cheaper contracts who are all starter caliber players. The Redskins will just have to let the feeding frenzies happen, before they get involved.
However it doesn’t happen unless they release Hall, Moss and Fletcher. It’s nice the Redskins re-signed Lichtensteiger, Logan Paulson and Darrell Young, but the offense wasn’t the issue in 2012.
It was the defense that was the majority of the problem, and the draft can fix these issues, but you have to go out to acquire free agents to fill holes. And hopefully the Redskins can fill some of the holes in the secondary in this 2013 free agency cycle.
James Cobern is a Featured Journalist for TPF and can be contacted at JCobern@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com.