NFL free agency officially opens this week. While the Redskins aren't expected to target high-priced talent, they need additions in several areas. Overall, money will be spent. Therefore, Breaking Burgundy turned to Insiders within Scout's NFL community for the scoop on various potential free agent options at areas of need for Washington. Check out our newest profile and the list of previous entries.
Need: The Redskins, 25th in passing defense last season, played with a patchwork unit throughout in part because of Chris Culliver's season-ending injury,
Player: Casey Hayward
Former team: Denver Broncos
Age for 2016 season: 27
Insider: Bill Huber, Packer Report
Hayward, the second of the Packers’ two second-round picks in 2012, set the bar high – maybe impossibly high – with six interceptions and 21 passes defensed as a rookie. After missing most of the 2013 season with nagging hamstring problems, Hayward played in every game the past two seasons. He’s been solid. He just hasn’t been the dynamic game-changer he was as a rookie.According to league stats, Hayward had three interceptions and seven passes defensed in 2014 and no interceptions and seven passes defensed in 2015. While he started 11 games this season, his performance on the outside vs. Denver at midseason pushed the Packers to go with veteran Sam Shields and first-round rookie Damarious Randall on the outside with Hayward in the slot. Hayward played about 88 percent of the snaps, by far the highest rate of his career, but his zero interceptions – fairly or unfairly – took some of the glow off of his season.
Take: How much the Redskins invest in another corner probably depends on some combination of Culliver's injury and whether they hope to deploy Kyshoen Jarrett more at safety rather than slot corner. Hayward is one of the top free agent corners remaining now that the likes of Janoris Jenkins and Pacman Jones are off the board while Josh Norman and Trumaine Jackson were slapped with franchise tags. Ultimately the Redskins need more help along the defensive line than anywhere else on defense, but nobody should balk about tacking on a talented corner.
Free agent list:
- Defensive end Chris Long
- Nose tackle B.J. Raji
- Wide receiver Jermaine Kearse
- Running back Ronnie Hillman
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