With free agency set to begin in less than one month, Redskins.com's Stephen Czarda previews the 2015 NFL free agent class. Today's focus is on interior defensive lineman.
New Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Joe Barry has already confirmed that he would like to stick with the 3-4 scheme that the team has deployed on the field over the last few years.
"I'm a 3-4 guy," Barry told Larry Michael, Voice of the Redskins, on "Redskins Nation" shortly after joining the coaching staff. "I think the great thing about the 3-4 – you can disguise a bunch of things. You can give the illusion that you're in 3-4 and play 4-3 and vice versa. I think it gives you many, many options, and that's the thing that I'm excited about."
With that in mind, the Redskins have some pieces already in place at the center of the defensive line, but also stand to possibly lose unrestricted free agent Chris Neild.
Neild – drafted by the Redskins in the seventh-round of the 2011 NFL Draft – made some noise in his NFL debut, sacking New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning twice.
But the West Virginia product has struggled to remain on the field in his four seasons in Washington, suffering two season-ending injuries in the last three seasons.
Chris Baker and Barry Cofield, meanwhile, split reps at nose tackle last season.
If the Redskins elect to add depth at nose, here's the veterans scheduled to become free agents next month:
- Terrence Cody, Baltimore Ravens
- Colin Cole, Carolina Panthers
- Dwan Edwards, Carolina Panthers
- Kenrick Ellis, New York Jets
- Nick Fairley, Detroit Lions
- Andre Fluellen, Detroit Lions
- Letroy Guion, Green Bay Packers
- Nick Hayden, Dallas Cowboys
- Tommy Kelly, Arizona Cardinals
- Karl Klug, Tennessee Titans
- Terrance Knighton, Denver Broncos
- C.J. Mosley, Detroit Lions
- Chris Neild, Washington Redskins
- Jared Odrick, Miami Dolphins
- Stephen Paea, Chicago Bears
- Corey Peters, Atlanta Falcons
- Ryan Pickett, Houston Texans
- Ahtyba Rubin, Cleveland Browns
- Pat Sims, Oakland Raiders
- Ndamukong Suh, Detroit Lions
- Kevin Vickerson, Kansas City Chiefs
- Dan Williams, Arizona Cardinals
- Kevin Williams, Seattle Seahawks
- Corey Wootton, Minnesota Vikings
Taken with the second-overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, Suh has solidified his spot among the best players at his position.
Recently named the top free agent in this year's class by NFL.com, Suh has 239 tackles and 36 sacks for his career.
Terrance Knighton – a former third-round pick for the Jacksonville Jaguars – has started all 32 regular-season games for the Denver Broncos over the last two seasons, recording 61 tackles and five sacks.
He has connections to the Redskins, more specifically with Baker, as the two actually attended Windsor (Conn.) High School together.
Nick Fairley may also be a hot free agent target for several teams, as the former first-round pick has 98 tackles and 13.5 sacks in 46 career games.
If teams are looking for a veteran presence that can still contribute on the field, they may want to set their sights on Kevin Williams.
The six-time Pro Bowler, who will be 35 years old when the season starts, started the last seven regular-season games for the Seattle Seahawks this past season and was in the starting lineup for the team's three playoff games.