The Washington Redskins want to improve their defensive line, which is one reason why they'll host free agent Muhammad Wilkerson next week, according to multiple sources. The Redskins also will host free agent Benson Mayowa, who played defensive end at Dallas but likely would be an outside linebacker in Washington. Mayowa will visit Tuesday.
The Jets released Wilkerson last week after two disappointing seasons in a row following his five-year, $86 million extension in 2016. Numerous reports this past season detailed how he'd show up late for meetings and was benched for the final three games. But Wilkerson clearly is a talented lineman, and whatever team signs him would hope that a change of scenery helps. The first-round pick in 2011 has recorded 44.5 sacks in his career.
The Redskins want to boost their defensive line by gaining more help stopping the run. But they'd like to also find someone who could do that plus apply consistent pressure inside. Wilkerson, if he's motivated, would help in that regard. The Redskins have expressed interest in the past in defensive linemen Sheldon Richardson, Dontari Poe and Bennie Logan -- all of whom will be free agents. They have draft options with their 13th pick, too, between Vita Vea and Da'Ron Payne.
Wilkerson has visited Green Bay and Kansas City.
Mayowa has nine career sacks in five seasons, the last two of which were spent with Dallas. He's also played with Seattle and Oakland. He has spent his career as a 4-3 defensive end, but at 6-foot-3, 265 pounds he'd be best suited as an outside linebacker or as a situational rusher. He recorded six sacks in 2016. Mayowa was released last week.
The Redskins have two edge rushers who are free agents in Trent Murphy and Junior Galette. They know Galette will test free agency and they would like to keep Murphy. It's hard to know what the two players would receive in free agency. Murphy is coming off a torn ACL and served a four-game suspension. If he's caught again with performance-enhancing drugs, he'd be suspended for a year. Galette's value could be lowered by his age (30). He applied good pressure but finished with only three sacks.