The Washington Redskins’ free agency strategy, with the exception of their pursuit of Amari Cooper, has been to hand out low-risk contracts to players who could potentially outperform their deals.
The team’s latest signing is former Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby. Washington will bring him in on a one-year deal worth $4 million, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com.
Darby has spent the past three seasons in Philadelphia where he won a Super Bowl with the club. He showcased the ability to play at a high level, though injuries ultimately headlined his tenure with the Eagles.
Darby appeared in just eight games in 2017 and he tore his ACL in 2018, which limited him just nine contests. He returned in 2019 to play 11 games, though his play wasn’t up to his standards.
Washington’s Revamped Secondary
The franchise released Josh Norman earlier in the offseason, watching him ink a deal with the Bills. The team also traded away Quinton Dunbar, shipping him to the Seahawks for just a fifth-round pick.
Although Dunbar was looking for a new contract, the decision to move on from him was a curious one. Dunbar had a fantastic 2019 season. Richard Sherman was the only cornerback to have a better campaign, per Pro Football Focus. The University of Florida Product played 347 snaps last year, allowing just two touchdowns, and he allowed just 17 first downs across his 52 targets, which is the 10th best rate in the league.
Washington brought back Kendall Fuller, giving him a four-year deal. Behind him is Fabian Moreau and not much else. Darby should have a chance to start across Fuller next season.
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What’s Going on at Quarterback in Washington?
While the franchise revamped the defensive side of the ball, it seems as if the offense may not look all that different from a personnel standpoint, including at quarterback.
Yes, the Skins brought in Kyle Allen via trade, though it appears that the club will roll out Dwayne Haskins to start the season.
Haskins doesn’t have the same kind of backing from the Redskins as other QBs in his rookie class, like Daniel Jones in New York and Kyler Murray in Arizona. It’s not a given that Haskins will be named the starter in Washington and even if he wins it, he may not be given a long leash.
“Quarterback is a position you’ve got to have competition in,” new coach Ron Rivera said during the NFL Scouting Combine earlier this offseason. “Very competitive competition.”
Allen, who started 12 games (13 appearances) for Rivera last season, may be that competition but he’s hasn’t proven to be that skilled at throwing the football in the National Football League.
He appeared to be a risk-averse game manager, tossing seven touchdowns and no interceptions over his first four starts in Carolina. He followed that up by throwing 16 interceptions over his next nine appearances.
As I wrote in the Redskins 7-Round Mock Draft, the team needs to take Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa at all costs.
Telling their defensive-minded head coach that they are passing on Chase Young will be no easy conversation. Young is a cornerstone piece that would set up the franchise for years on the defensive end, though he can’t provide the kind of ceiling that an elite quarterback can. Tua would give the team a better chance at that coveted asset, though all signs point to Washington heading into camp with Allen and Haskins vying for the starting spot.