There may be safety in numbers, but there is little secure with the Washington Redskins' depth at safety right now.
Dashon Goldson and Duke Ihenacho opened last season as the safety starters. Now Goldson is a free agent and Ihenacho is on the comeback trail following a season-ending wrist injury. Ihenacho's initial replacement, Jeron Johnson, was waived. Kyshoen Jarrett played all over the secondary during an impressive rookie season, but now an injury clouds his future.
DeAngelo Hall might be the safest option of the bunch and we're talking about a veteran who turns 33 during the season, is in the midst of a position change and isn't far removed from significant Achilles injury. Newly signed David Bruton is known for his special teams work than his safety skills.
No wonder coach Jay Gruden answered "no doubt" when asked at this week's NFL owners meeting in Boca Raton, Florida whether the Redskins were still looking for safety help.
"Very concerned, really, if you think about it," Gruden continued. "So the depth at safety is a little challenging right now."
The free agency window remains open as does the door to Goldson possibly returning, though general manager Scot McCloughan passed on addressing any specifics this week.
The most uncertainty among the current players exists with Jarrett, who burst onto the scene last year as a sixth-round pick. The former Virginia Tech standout shined in Washington despite often playing out of position as a slot corner. His season was cut short in Week 17 after suffering nerve damage in his arm in the win over Dallas.
McCloughan declined offering any specific, but his message veered toward pessimism. "He had a really good rookie year for us. He gave his heart and soul and hopefully we’ll get him back,"the GM said of Jarrett.
Ihenacho (dislocated/fractured wrist) and Bruton (broken fibula) are also "coming off injuries", Gruden noted.
Hall played last year after recovering from two Achilles tear and made the transition to safety late in the season. Gruden mentioned Deshazor Everett, an undrafted rookie cornerback last season, will be part of the safety conversation. Same for veteran cornerback Will Blackmon.
For now, the Redskins "have three safeties that we really like," according to Gruden. Hall, Ihenacho, and Bruton apparently comprise that trio.
Tack on another viable option in free agency/ or the draft and the Redskins probably have enough talent on their roster for a reasonably proficient secondary. Having enough healthy bodies to start voluntary OTAs and mandatory training camp to work out the wrinkles would help.
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