Washington Redskins 2017: Revamping of defensive line continues
We hate to beat a dead horse when it comes to the Washington Redskins and their defensive woes in recent seasons. But we also give credit where it’s due. The organization is not standing pat when it comes to revamping a three-man front in need of an overhaul.
Heading into the free-agency period, the Redskins had four unsigned veteran defensive linemen. Ends Chris Baker and Cullen Jenkins as well as nose tackles Kedric Golston and Evander “Ziggy” Hood. Meanwhile, the primary incumbents included Ricky Jean-Francois and rookie Matt Ioannidis, a fifth-round pick from Temple University last April.
As we now know, Baker has moved onto the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It’s a big loss considering his overall performance the past two seasons. Jenkins and Golston (who missed 14 games in ‘16) remain unsigned. The latest update has Hood back in the fold with a new contract while the organization has opted to part ways with Jean-Francois.
Of course, the ‘Skins have also added Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee from the Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders, respectively. The former appears to be the likely replacement for Baker (according to Master Tesfatsion of the Washington Post), while McGee could find himself in a battle for the starting nose tackle job with Hood and Golston – that is if he indeeds re-signs.
All told, this a group that must do a better job making life easier for inside linebackers Will Compton and Mason Foster. Washington has finished 26th and 24th in the league, respectively, against the run the past two seasons. And don’t be surprised if the front office not only adds another big body in free agency, but it wouldn’t be a shock to see the ‘Skins invest an early draft choice on this vital area.
Russell S. Baxter is the Washington Redskins lead writer for Pro Football Spot. You can follow him on Twitter at @baxfootballguru. Looking for more Redskins news and features? Like our Facebook page HERE and also follow @spot_redskins on Twitter.