WASHINGTON — With an energetic coordinator finally in place, the Washington Redskins are headed into a pivotal offseason that has been a long time coming for the defensive side of the ball.
After decades of dominant defense, the Redskins have struggled with consistency and identity in recent years. With Greg Manusky at the helm, Scot McCloughan in charge of personnel, and a number of contracts coming off the books this year, NFL insider Mike Garafolo warned of major changes this offseason.
“I truly believe that there are going to be massive changes from a personnel standpoint with the defense this offseason,” he said in an exclusive interview with 106.7 The Fan. “Scot McCloughan came in knowing that he had made some tweaks on the offensive side of the ball over the last few seasons, particularly through the draft, and I think he realized going forward that this was going to be the big offseason for the defense.”
On the defensive line, versatile lineman Chris Baker represents a key free agent, with elder statesmen Ziggy Hood, Cullen Jenkins and Kedric Golston also hitting the market.
In the linebacker corps, Junior Galette has expressed interest in returning but is heading for free agency along with Terence Garvin.
In the secondary, Donte Whitner, Greg Toler, Duke Ihenacho and Josh Evans are also headed for the open market. Garafolo expects a lot of new faces on the defensive side of the ball, but not necessarily through free agency.
“Maybe not from a free agent spending spree standpoint–it’s not going to be what the Giants did last offseason–certainly not that,” he explained. “But start to really load up on defensive draft picks and get these guys in right away.”
That could make for some growing pains on defense early next season.
“This team has shown a willingness to play rookies right away if they’re ready to go and expect contributions from them–and even when they’re not ready, like Josh Doctson,” Garafolo said with a laugh. “I truly believe that going forward, there’s going to be so many new faces that it wasn’t going to be so much of a concern to make sure things were consistent.
Catch the full interview with Mike Garafolo here: