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A Look At The Redskins' 2017 Free Agents

Posted Mar 7, 2017

With the legal tampering period set to open today at 12 noon, the Redskins have 12 players from last year's active roster that are set to become unrestricted free agents.

With the legal tampering period set to open today at 12 noon, the Redskins have 12 players from last year's active roster that are set to become unrestricted free agents..

In the coming days, the Washington Redskins will have to make roster decisions on 12 players set to become unrestricted free agents – free to sign with any team -- when the NFL calendar turns to a new year.

While Redskins head coach Jay Gruden understands that all the unrestricted free agents that were on the roster in 2016 won’t return, the team must determine which players due for new contracts should return to Washington.

“It’s our job to make sure we target the ones we definitely want back that really have an impact on this football team, not only from a talent standpoint but from a leadership standpoint,” Gruden said. “Both of those areas are very important to me, almost more so as a leadership standpoint. A lot of these guys have talent, but we have got to make sure we keep the great leaders in this building.”

The Redskins have already re-signed veteran long snapper Nick Sundberg and placed the exclusive franchise tag on Kirk Cousins. But here's more on the unrestricted free agents who spent the 2016 season on the Redskins' active roster:


Chris Baker
After bouncing around the NFL early in his career, Baker caught on with the Redskins’ practice squad in 2011 before being promoted to the active roster. The Hampton product’s growth is evident in the numbers, as he’s collected more than 45 tackles in each of the last two seasons and registered a career-high six sacks in 2015.

“I would love to stay here as a Redskin, but at the end of the day I have to do what’s best for my family,” Baker said. “We’ll see what happens, what the numbers will be, and hopefully I’ll be back.

Every time I got my chance to play, I always did [well]. Each and every year, people were like, ‘I didn’t know you were this good.’ I was like, ‘You didn’t let me play.’ Every time I got a chance to play and show the kind of player I can be, I always took advantage of it.”


Vernon Davis
Perhaps no player was more of a surprise this season than Davis, a 32-year-old who had quite a few doubters following a tough 2015 season.

But the University of Maryland product shined as the team’s No. 2 tight end behind Jordan Reed, catching 44 passes for 583 yards (the most for him since the 2013 season) and two touchdowns.

“I know that I want to continue to play football, because I still love the game and I’m enjoying myself and I’m having fun,” Davis said. “I’m like a kid out there. I mean, these guys, we have so many young guys in this locker room. You can only be a kid, that’s all you can do is be a kid. They’re full of energy, they’re fun to be around and it’s been amazing. It’s been an amazing year.”


Pierre Garçon
Completing his fifth season in Washington, Garçon’s steady play already has him ranked as one of the best wide receivers in Redskins history.

He’s 10th all-time in franchise history in receiving yards (4,549), 12th in receiving touchdowns (21) and ninth in receptions (376).

The 30-year old also tallied two 1,000-yard seasons and established a new single-season receptions record with 113 in 2013.

“I definitely want to play here, but its football,” Garçon said. “It’s different from January to March. It’s football, it’s not the Xs and Os, it’s the business side of it, which I have no control over.”


Terence Garvin
Signed as a free agent last offseason, Garvin led the team in special teams tackles with 16 during the season. He also served as a backup linebacker, finishing the year with 57 appearances on defense.

A native of Upper Marlboro, Md., Garvin grew up a Redskins fan and idolized safety Sean Taylor.


Kedric Golston
The Redskins’ longest tenured player on the roster, Golston started his career in Washington as a sixth-round pick in the 2006 NFL Draft.

The team’s starting nose tackle to open the season, Golston suffered a season–ending hamstring injury early in Week 2 against the Dallas Cowboys.

While Golston is 33 years old now, he’s one of the team’s leaders.

“As long as my body is well, I’m going to go out there and do it,” Golston said. “I have an opportunity, and that’s my plan. Goal No. 1 is to get healthy so that I can go out there and compete at a high level, and that will take care of itself this offseason.”


Ziggy Hood
Signed to a Reserve/Future contract last January, Hood was not only able to secure a spot on the active roster, he finished the season with 661 defensive snaps. That was the second most among defensive lineman behind only Baker.

The 2009 first-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers finished the year with 33 tackles and a sack in 16 games.


Duke Ihenacho
The San Jose State product joined the Redskins as a waiver wire addition in 2014, but suffered season-ending injuries in both 2014 and 2015.

He returned healthy last offseason following a wrist injury suffered in the 2015 season opener against the Miami Dolphins to collect 66 tackles and two passes defensed in 2016.

Ihenacho also led all Redskins safeties in defensive snap counts (636) along with 181 appearances on special teams.

"I’m going to take two weeks off, get my body back to 100 percent, see family, see friends and train, just training," Ihenacho said last week. "Try to be a better player, and just work on my game outside of football so when it comes time for free agency, or wherever I go, if I’m here, don’t matter, I’ll be ready. That’s my mindset. I don’t really have an idea of what it’s going to be like. I'm not somebody that’s guaranteed money, I’m not somebody who’s going to be a headliner. Regardless of what happens I’ll be ready."


DeSean Jackson
Despite turning 30 years old in December, Jackson proved down the stretch that he’s still the league’s top deep threat. He finished the season with 56 receptions for 1,005 yards and four touchdowns.

Jackson led all qualified NFL receivers with a 17.9 yards-per-reception average, marking the second time in the last three seasons that Jackson has led the NFL in that category (No. 1 with 20.9 in 2014).

The three-time Pro Bowler will certainly have quite a few suitors wanting his services, should he hit the open market.

“It’s been a great three years,” Jackson said in December. “I’ve had a great time here in Washington. I love the city, a lot of great memories. As far as me thinking about my time being here, if it could be my last, I don’t really look at it like that. We’ll see how it plays out. That’s all I can say.”


Cullen Jenkins
Originally joining the Redskins during the last week of the preseason, Jenkins was released during the team’s cutdown to 53 players but returned following Golston’s injury.

The 35-year-old was the team’s eldest player on the roster, but still was productive, finishing the year with 16 tackles and 1.5 sacks.


John Sullivan
Signed midseason following a Kory Lichtensteiger injury, Sullivan appeared in 13 games with a start against the Philadelphia Eagles.

An eight-year veteran with 93 starts with the Minnesota Vikings prior to signing, Sullivan provided a veteran backup to Spencer Long, who was thrust into starting center duties but thrived.


Greg Toler
The veteran cornerback appeared in 16 games for the Redskins in the regular season with two starts – both coming against the New York Giants.

The St. Paul’s (Va.) product finished the year 18 tackles and two passes defensed. Turning 32 years old earlier the month, Toler would be the Redskins’ oldest cornerback should he be re-signed.


Donte Whitner Sr.
Like Sullivan, Whitner Sr. was a mid-season veteran signing for the Redskins. He would ultimately earn a starting role in nine games, but was placed on Injured Reserve prior to the regular season finale.

The 2006 first-round pick recorded 66 tackles and a fumble forced.

Linebacker Will Compton and running back Chris Thompson, meanwhile are restricted free agents. That means either can negotiate a deal with any NFL team, and if they accept an offer sheet, the Redskins have five days to determine if they want to match what is being offered.

Tackle Ty Nsekhe, offensive lineman Vinston Painter and cornerback Dashaun Phillips are exclusive rights free agents. The Redskins tendered the two offensive linemen last week.

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