COMMENTARY | As we head toward free agency, the Washington Redskins have some options for improving what they can do on the open market. However, before they go out on the market to look for talent, they must first retain talent that they already have.
In total, there are 21 free agents on the team and 11 of them are starters. While some have reached the end of their run in Washington, other's deserve another chance or have earned the right to keep playing. Here are five players that the Redskins should bring back in 2014:
Brian Orakpo - Linebacker
After missing 2012 due to injury, the fifth-year linebacker returned and put together one of his best performances yet. Orakpo finished with a career-high 60 tackles and 10 sacks. Washington would be foolish to let Orakpo walk away as it will be tough to find a legitimate replacement.
The only thing that stands in their way is financing. Orakpo isn't going to come cheap since he's viewed as the best defensive end/outside linebacker in this year's free agency class. He will be coveted and he won't come cheap. If the Redskins can find the cash, they need to give it to him.
Reed Doughty - Safety
Reed Doughty is a do-it-aller for the Redskins and they should bring him back because of his skill set. Doughty plays all over the field and does whatever is asked of him. He plays special teams with heart and plays better than most people want to give him credit for on defense. He may not be making highlight reel plays, but he's playing some solid defense in the middle of the field.
It don't see a reason that would stop them from re-signing Doughty. He's not a highly coveted player, so he'll come at a cheap price that will make him worth their time.
Perry Riley - Linebacker
Re-signing Perry Riley is almost as much of a no-brainer as the other two. Riley appears to be the heir-apparent to the throne left vacant by the retiring London Fletcher. For the kind of numbers that he's been putting up the past two seasons, he has to be the team's least-talked about player.
In the past two seasons, Riley has finished in the top-two on the team in total tackles. He made 129 stops in 2012 and followed that up with 115 total tackles in 2013. He's been a part of the defense for four seasons now and has only gotten better each year. Give him an opportunity to shine. He shouldn't be that expensive, either.
Aldrick Robinson - Wide Receiver
Speed kills. If there's one thing that Aldrick Robinson has, it's speed. It's a wonder to me why they never lined him up to return kicks or punts. He's one of the fastest guys on the field and that should be used. Robinson is the team's best deep-threat and they need to bring back for the sake of the offense.
Dezmon Briscoe - Wide Receiver
Since he's been sitting behind Josh Morgan and Santana Moss, we haven't seen much of Dezmon Briscoe since he joined the Redskins two years ago. With Morgan and Moss both free agents this year, this could be Briscoe's year to come out if they re-sign him, which they should.
Morgan has been a total bust when you look at the millions they paid him and Moss is old and ready to retire. Re-signing either of these two would be a big mistake. Bricoe's price tag will be fairly low considering the potential they are getting in him. At 6-2 and 210-pounds, they are getting a fairly big receiver that can contribute in the short game and down on the goal line.
With new head coach Jay Gruden bringing in an offense that will ultimately focus on the passing game, re-signing one or two of the four receivers that are currently free agents will be good. When you look at the defense, there's a lot more work to be done that what these three guys can fix. However, before you can plug other holes, you need to make sure that you don't create new ones in the process.
Brian Skinnell is a contributor for RantSports.com and Yahoo Sports covering the Washington Redskins, Wizards and NASCAR among others. You can follow him on Twitter, @Brian_Skinnell.
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- Brian Orakpo
- Reed Doughty
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- Perry Riley