At 3-9, the Washington Redskins are mathematically eliminated from the Playoffs, and they now face the 9-3 Kansas City Chiefs coming to let off some steam from their loss to the Broncos last weekend. However, though the 2013 season is officially lost. It doesn’t mean there are not still five players who you should watch in this game, because they will be free agents in 2014. Big changes are in store for the Redskins after a season like this, and these five players must be evaluated to decide whether they should be on the team for the future.
1. Brian Orakpo
The five-year, two-time Pro Bowl, outside linebacker is the biggest free agent the Redskins will have in 2014. With a career 38 sacks, he looks like a surefire candidate to receive a contract extension, but getting the right price will be crucial. Orakpo has never been a consistent double-digit sack artist in his career, and overpaying a defender just because he did just enough to get a big payday doesn’t always sit right. Keep a close eye on Orakpo against the Chiefs who lost their best offensive tackle, Branden Albert for the rest of season. If Orakpo dominates an inferior offensive tackle like he should, then he may be well worth the payday at the end of the season.
2. DeAngelo Hall
Josh Wilson has worn out his welcome in Washington, but DeAngelo Hall is still waiting to see some coin. Hall signed a one-year deal, and he might be up for a contract extension, because he’s been one of the Redskins’ best cornerbacks. However, there will be other cornerbacks in the 2014 free agency cycle that are better than Hall for his price tag. So checking out how Hall does against Dwayne Bowe, who is one of the better wide receivers in the NFL will be a good measuring stick. There will be a lot of secondary turnover next season, but Hall might be one of the lucky ones to stay.
3. Aldrick Robinson
Josh Morgan and Santana Moss may come back, but the more intriguing wide receiver is Aldrick Robinson. He’s been hot and cold for most of his career, but the hots were really hot. Consistency will be key for Robinson to get another shot. And the Chiefs are probably the worst team to find consistency against. Yet if Robinson has a big game, it will go a long way in leaving a good impression for his chances of re-signing.
4. Perry Riley
Linebacker turnover will be big in 2014 as well, because this is likely the last season for London Fletcher. But the 25-year-old Perry Riley is still kicking and screaming. He’s been a solid contributor on defense for the Redskins, but it’s tough to gauge what his value truly is. Riley’s been racking up the tackles this season to the tune of 91 total so far this season. How well he does against a Andy Reid offense will be another piece to the puzzle of how good Riley really is.
5. Fred Davis
Jordan Reed may have already dampened the prospects of Fred Davis getting a nice extension, but Davis should still be in the discussion. Davis is in the same predicament as Robert Griffin III, because he’s coming off a torn ACL too. It takes time for those injuries to heal and get back to full strength. Davis might be a bargain this offseason, if it’s just the lingering effects of his recovery from that ACL that have hurt his game. However, watch how Davis does against the Chiefs to see if he’s worth re-signing to keep some continuity in the weapons RG3 has.
This concludes the top 5 five players to watch against the Chiefs, but I want to hear from you. Who are you going to be watching against the Chiefs and why?
James Cobern is a Division Leader and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @Jmcobern1