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2015 Free Agency Outlook: Defensive Ends

Posted Feb 11, 2015

With free agency set to begin March 10, Redskins.com will preview the 2015 NFL free agent class position by position. Today's focus is on defensive ends.

With free agency set to begin in less than one month, Redskins.com's Stephen Czarda previews the 2015 NFL free agent class. Today's focus is on the defensive ends.

If the Redskins implement a defensive line rotation similar to that of the 2014 season, then most of the defensive ends on the roster will see extended game action throughout the season.

Currently, the Redskins are retaining six defensive ends that were on the roster last season (Stephen Bowen, Frank Kearse, Chris Baker, Kedric Golston, Jason Hatcher and Robert Thomas), while four-year veteran Jarvis Jenkins is set to become an unrestricted free agent.

Drafted by the Redskins in the second-round of the 2011 NFL Draft, Jenkins has appeared in 44 games with 33 starts. In those games, he’s accumulated 75 tackles.

But, while he’s been stout against the run, he has only two sacks during that span, something head coach Jay Gruden would like to see increase if he returns.

“Transitioning from a run defender to a pass rusher we would like to see a little bit better [numbers],” Gruden said of Jenkins in December. “Obviously we would like to see a little bit more from a pass rush standpoint but overall he has had a pretty decent year.”

Here's the complete list of free agent defensive ends set to hit the open market next month from NFL.com: 

Defensive ends

  • Tyson Alualu, Jacksonville Jaguars
  • Da'Quan Bowers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Alan Branch, New England Patriots
  • Alex Carrington, St. Louis Rams
  • Adrian Clayborn, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Brandon Deaderick, New Orleans Saints
  • Greg Hardy, Carolina Panthers (on Commissioner's Exempt List)
  • Jerry Hughes, Buffalo Bills
  • Jarvis Jenkins, Washington Redskins
  • George Johnson, Detroit Lions
  • Fili Moala, Indianapolis Colts
  • Ryan Pickett, Houston Texans
  • Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants
  • B.J. Raji, Green Bay Packers
  • Cory Redding, Indianapolis Colts
  • George Selvie, Dallas Cowboys
  • Jabaal Sheard, Cleveland Browns
  • Anthony Spencer, Dallas Cowboys
  • Darryl Tapp, Detroit Lions
  • Osi Umenyiora, Atlanta Falcons
  • C.J. Wilson, Oakland Raiders
  • Jarius Wynn, Buffalo Bills

Three of the biggest names on this list are B.J. Raji, Jason Pierre-Paul and Jerry Hughes.

Raji missed all of the 2014 season with a torn biceps, but when healthy, he can be quite the force.

Pierre-Paul, meanwhile, can make quite the impact in the passing game, as he’s recorded 42 sacks in five seasons.  

His 16.5 sacks during the 2011 season were the most by a Giant other than Lawrence Taylor or Michael Strahan, while he recorded a team-high 12.5 sacks in 2014.

Hughes is coming off back-to-back 10-sack seasons with the Buffalo Bills, and he recorded a career-high 53 tackles in 2014.

Cory Redding and Osi Umenyiora are veteran presences, as each have played at least 11 seasons in the NFL.

RELATED LINKS:
-- 2015 Free Agency Outlook: Quarterbacks
-- 2015 NFL Free Agents: The Comprehensive List 

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