The first big wave of NFL free agency is over, but there's still plenty to talk about -- and what might still take place for the Washington Redskins' Topic of the Week. Thanks to @chadalanrich, @mikemasonmusic and @Gcarmi21.
How much money should be put in leadership. A decent amount, but with a caveat: The guy has to actually be able to play. Dashon Goldson was an excellent leader for Washington last season, as was Jason Hatcher. A year earlier Ryan Clark displayed his leadership skills, but he was done as an effective player, so it's tough to have the same impact he had in Pittsburgh when he was in his prime. I remember talking to Kedric Golston after the season ended about possibly having to replace some strong leaders. His reply echoes something Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan said earlier this week: You replace character with character. Hence: Goldson gone; David Bruton in. (There's still a chance Goldson returns, but not sure at this point what percentage I'd give it). And the point is that if you place an emphasis on character (in terms of football; professionalism, etc.) and leadership, that's what you'll pursue and sign.
Alfred Morris... Robert Griffin III ... and compensatory picks in 2017. The comp picks are only awarded for players who are unrestricted free agents (Morris), but not for players who once were cut (Griffin). They're awarded based on a formula that includes deals received by players and if they signed more than they lost. It's a little complicated, but the Redskins' lack of activity this offseason will help their case. However, based on overthecap.com's chart, Morris' signing is offset by adding Kendall Reyes at a similar cost per year; and Keenan Robinson is negated by David Bruton. As of now, Frank Kearse's leaving might result in a seventh-round choice, if the Redskins fail to sign another player. Had the Redskins not offered the option to Griffin last year, he'd have left as a free agent and likely would have resulted in the gain of a comp pick. Then again, had they not done so and he ended up starting and playing well, they'd have him for nearly $4 million less than the franchise tag.
Likelihood of adding another starter in free agency. It's hard to imagine them doing so, but you never know when a guy you like becomes available sometimes (DeSean Jackson, 2014; Junior Galette, 2015). Barring a surprise cut, what starter would you want from the remaining cast of free agents? I get asked about Reggie Nelson a lot, but I've heard no interest in him since an early inquiry -- and it should make you wonder why they didn't pursue considering Jay Gruden was in Cincinnati with him. Also, if they somehow fail to draft a nose tackle, they could always bring back Terrance Knighton (I think they will draft one, though). And Knighton would be a starter. Dashon Goldson also might return (not sure how likely this is, but the door remains somewhat ajar), but I don't know that he'd be a definite starter. Regardless, any starter added would not cost a whole lot. They definitely have more of an eye on their 2017 free-agent class and want to extend a couple players.