Redskins should focus on receivers, improving defense in free agency

The Redskins may focus on Paul Richardson to be a target for Alex Smith. Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports

Here are the moves the Washington Redskins should consider when free agency opens at 4 p.m. ET Wednesday, March 14:

Add a wide receiver: The Redskins need to provide quarterback Alex Smith more targets -- and they need to make sure the trade ends up working. They can do so by signing one of the free-agent receivers. Allen Robinson is heading to the Bears so Paul Richardson will be a top target (others such as Albert Wilson and Taylor Gabriel would be next). The Redskins want more speed and playmaking ability opposite Josh Doctson. Richardson, who had his own ACL tear in January 2015, has the speed coach Jay Gruden wants and does well in 50-50 situations.

Help the secondary: The Redskins will lose slot corner Kendall Fuller in the trade with the Kansas City Chiefs. They also need safety depth (and are expected to eventually part ways with safety Su'a Cravens). Washington inquired about veteran safety Kurt Coleman after his release from the Carolina Panthers. They could use a steady veteran at safety, more so as a third option behind starters D.J. Swearinger and Montae Nicholson. The Redskins have other options at corner, but they will look at more. They could replace Fuller in the slot with in-house options or pursue someone such as Aaron Colvin, who excelled in this area last season with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Re-sign Zach Brown: The Redskins have waited for his price tag to come down as sources said in January that he was looking to be paid among the elite inside linebackers. If the price tag stays that high, the Redskins will move. But they would like to keep him if possible. His speed worked well when paired next to Mason Foster and behind Jonathan Allen. If they don't retain Brown, then another name to watch is the Buffalo Bills' Preston Brown (who still could re-sign with the Bills). He's coming off his most productive season with Buffalo. The Redskins also might keep Will Compton.

Improve the front: That includes re-signing linebacker Trent Murphy, coming off a torn ACL. If not Murphy, then it would be wise to retain Junior Galette. Neither one should be expensive, but Murphy appeared to be the higher priority. It can't end there. The Redskins need to check out options along the defensive line. Their run defense has been bad for too long and they'd like to add more interior pressure. They could wait until the draft, but there are players available such as Sheldon Richardson, Dontari Poe and Bennie Logan. Not all of them pressure the passer, but they would add a quality starter.