Fresh out of the draft, Ron Rivera was touring the media on Monday. One of his stops was on the Chris Russell and Pete Medhurst show in the afternoon. He’s covered a variety of topics – it’s worth listening to below – but the one that really caught my eye is what he plans to do in the coming week: sign some veteran free agents. Having signed just one undrafted free agent, Jaret Patterson (RB), Rivera now turns to patching the rest of the squad with vets:
“We have 4 more places, and we haven’t filled those places with university free agents. We’re going to take a look around, and we’re going to take a picture of some guys over there. So we’ll be adding through Free Agency, hopefully in the next week or so as we start to prepare for OTAs. “
Here are 3 potential targets, as I see it.
Steven Nelson (CB)
Nelson probably isn’t going to be cheap, most likely – his previous contract with the Steelers was $ 8.5 million / year – but there aren’t many teams left with the cap to afford it this year. Washington is one of them.
Could Nelson have taken less with the Steelers? We may never know:
“It was coming back to me to be traded or released, and I just want to make it very clear to those who might not know or assume that there was never a discussion with me about getting a salary.” cut, ”Nelson explained. “I never even had the opportunity to take a pay cut. It was either an exchange or a release. I just want to clarify this.
Why do I love Nelson? Well, in 2019 he was PFF’s 6th highest rated men’s blanket corner in the league. Nelson weighs 5’11 “, 194 lbs and is built in the same mold as William Jackson III and Benjamin St. Juste. If Rivera and Jack Del Rio are serious about switching to a more physical high school men’s coverage program, Nelson, 28, on a 2-year contract, could be a perfect addition to the roster’s new cornerbacks. It would also very clearly allow Kendall Fuller to move into the slot machine, where he excels.
Human protection index: 73.4
Nelson’s 2019 season flew under the radar, but by many metrics you look at, it was one of the best seasons of any NFL cornerback. His level of human coverage is one of those metrics. The Steelers are another team that doesn’t handle a ton of men’s coverage (23rd highest rate in the NFL last season), but Nelson played well when asked to play. He allowed only 12 of the 28 balls thrown in his blanket to be completed, of which only eight were first downs. Minkah Fitzpatrick gets a lot of recognition for his impact on high school – and rightly so – but Nelson made a huge impact himself in his freshman year.
Josh Bynes (LB)
By drafting Jamin Davis in the first round and Shaka Toney in the 7th, Washington has taken clear steps to improve the speed and athleticism of its linebacker body. That said, most would agree that some second-rate depth would be welcome.
Bynes is an interesting case. Now 32, Bynes is playing the best football of his career after ten years in the league. Like William Jackson, he played on the Bengals’ terrible defense last season. Still, he had a year of career.
“For me, it’s just to keep playing this game. Let me go out there and keep showing that I can play this game to the fullest.” This will be my 11th season to come, and I still have a lot of stuff in the tank and I want to play as long as possible. I want a team to have confidence in me knowing that I can go out there and play every game like it’s the last. And I have shown that this last season in all 16 [games] and stayed strong. I know I’m capable of doing that this coming season and moving forward another season, so I can’t wait to finally find this opportunity with Cincy or with another organization in the next few weeks, ”said Bynes.
Bynes, who was on a one-year, $ 1.65m contract with the Bengals was not re-signed, but he’s definitely a guy who I think might be worth picking up a flyer at. $ 2 million / year one or two years.
Mycole Pruitt (TE)
My initial instinct is that with John Bates writing, the narrow end room is full. But, if not, blocking the extraordinary tight end, Mycole Pruitt, would be my target. I’ve written about him elsewhere, but I’m not sure we can do better than Pruitt as TE3 on this team. Pruitt is only 29 years old and had a higher PFF score than Jacob Hollister, Kyle Rudolph and Trey Burton last year.
With Logan Thomas, John Bates, and Pruitt on the roster, we’d have the full complement of skills and two great mentors for Bates to help him hone his receiving and blocking skills.
[Pruitt] signed with the Titans in 2018 and hasn’t looked back since. He is an underrated member of this high scoring attack. He plays an unannounced role. Pruitt does the dirty work and rarely gets the credit for it. He’s an underrated wide receiver who often takes advantage of the opportunities he gets in this area, but where Pruitt really shines is in the running game where he’s often used as an offensive sixth lineman.
Pruitt was also a free agent last offseason and came back with a one-year contract. Before signing again with the Titans, Derrick Henry met son Pruitt’s agent at a public event. Henry told him, and I quote, “Make sure Pruitt is back in Tennessee. I can’t do what I do without him.
Which of these three players would you most like to see Ron Rivera sign this week?
Steven Nelson (CB) – 5 M $ / an
Josh Bynes (LB) – 2 M $ / an
Mycole Pruitt (TE) – 2 M $ / an
None of them
291 votes au total