The League

Sean McCann
Beat Writer

Sean McCann

Former Philadelphia Eagles beat writer for Gannett

Holes to fill

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Nobody seriously expects new Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan to significantly correct the googly eyes Dan Snyder has for splashy free agents. Unfortunately for Washington, the lack of a collective bargaining agreement going forward has made the 2010 class of available players historically thin, especially where their needs are, on offense.

Coming off a 4-12 season, the Redskins scored just 16 points a game thanks in large part to an outmatched and injury-ridden offensive line. They also just watched six-time Pro Bowl left tackle Chris Samuels retire at the age of 32.

Will such a glaring set of needs stop Snyder from blowing the whole arsenal in the pursuit of a pass rusher with a glamorous pedigree? Not a chance.

Julius Peppers is a Snyder sort of player all the way -- freakishly gifted, prone to competitive disinterest, dollar signs in his eyes -- and the only thing keeping him out of burgundy is a bunch of Bears execs playing for their jobs. Washington may yet have the edge, since Peppers has said he'd like to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense at his next stop.

Whether or not they land the big fish, it wouldn't be a huge surprise to see the Skins mix it up with the other elite free agents, like safety Darren Sharper, linebacker Karlos Dansby or running back Darren Sproles.

With an uncapped year looming, there's no guarantee that Snyder won't try to buy them all, a strategy that could earn him patron sainthood in the NFL Players Association.

One guy the Redskins won't be wooing is Denver wide receiver Brandon Marshall, one of the league's top talents and reportedly available for the right number as a restricted free agent.

Ordinarily, Marshall -- with his incandescent talent and spotty character -- would be a prime Snyder target, but Shanahan is not a fan. In fact, multiple sources had the former Broncos head coach planning to cut Marshall before Shanahan himself was fired.

By Sean McCann  |  March 5, 2010; 12:00 AM ET  | Category:  Free Agency , NFL , Washington Redskins Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Will Redskins do as the Yankees do? | Next: Time for a new gameplan

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