Insider talks free agent: S Reggie Nelson

The Redskins secondary needs more playmakers. How about the NFL's co-leader in interceptions? More free agent insight from Scout's NFL insiders.

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. 

Position: Safety

Need: The Redskins released Dashon Goldson, leaving an uncertain plan with DeAngelo Hall, Kyshoen Jarrett and Duke Ihenacho in the mix.

Player: Reggie Nelson

Former team: Cincinnati Bengals

Age for 2016 season: 33

Insider: Marc Hardin, Bengals Insider

Reggie Nelson turns 33 Sept. 21, and that's why he could be a bargain for the Bengals, if they can re-sign him. Nelson's play of late belies his age. He tied for the NFL lead in 2015 with eight interceptions.  He shared the lead with Kansas City rookie cornerback Marcus Peters after failing to come up with a pick over the final three regular-season games. He had a great opportunity for a ninth pick in the regular-season finale against Baltimore, but couldn't come up with it. Even so, Nelson has made a habit of contributing key plays, especially late in games, to set up or help seal Bengals victories.


Known for taking great angles on deep pass patterns and arriving just in time to contest the catch, Nelson had an interception in five straight games Weeks 10-14, tying the longest streak in Bengals history. His eight picks fell two short of cornerback Deltha O’Neal’s Bengals single-season record of 10 in 2005. Nelson tied David Fulcher’s Bengals record for interceptions in a season by a safety. Fulcher had eight in 1989.


Nelson earned his first career Pro Bowl berth in 2015. He also was a tackling force, ranking fourth on the Bengals with 72. He ranked second on the team with 92 tackles in 2014 and led the team with four interceptions, including a key pick in the playoff-clinching win at home against Denver. Nelson added two fumble recoveries in 2015, which led the team. He ranked second in passes defensed with 14.


Nelson has 30 career interceptions, 23 with the Bengals. He began the 2015 season tied for ninth on Cincinnati's all-time list with 15 interceptions. Among the eight this past season were three against the Steelers, two on Nov. 1 at Pittsburgh. If he remains a Bengal, he'll enter 2016 alone in sixth place, just one behind teammate Leon Hall, fifth-all-time with 24. Nelson has one Bengals pick for a touchdown, a 75-yarder in 2011 at Seattle.


He's been with the Bengals six years after Cincinnati gained his services in a notorious trade in 2010 with Jacksonville. The Jaguars received in the deal cornerback David Jones, who was out of the league in three years. Jones started five times in 2010 for the Jags, then played just five games with them in 2011 and five more for the Redskins in 2012. Nelson has 14 interceptions since Jones was forced to retire. Nelson also has the Bengals' longest current starting streak with 47 straight. He's missed just three games in six seasons in Cincinnati. Nelson was a Bengals defensive captain in 2015.

Take: Hard ignoring the advanced NFL age, but same for the production seeing as Nelson had only three less interceptions than the entire Redskins team last season. Nelson plays free safety so adding him would possibly move to Hall the other spot or more slot corner with Jarrett and Ihenacho handling strong safety duties.

Free agent list:

Ben Standig is the Publisher of Breaking Burgundy. You can find him on Twitter @benstandig and on Google+

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