Redskins cornerback Bashaud Breeland will finally have his chance to test the market.
The Clemson product, taken by the Redskins in the 2014 NFL Draft, finishes his rookie contract with a formidable resume during his time in Washington. Appearing in 60 regular season games for the Redskins over the last four years, the fourth-round pick has recorded 270 tackles along with 60 passes defensed and eight interceptions in his career to date with the Redskins.
Breeland never missed more than two games in a season, last year compiling 50 tackles, 19 passes defensed and an interception for a touchdown.
“When we first got him, he was thrust in the lineup as our No. 1 corner basically and did some great things,” head coach Jay Gruden said. “He’s grown as a player and as a person and we’ve had some ups and downs with him from time to time, but for the most part, I love the way he competes every Sunday. That’s the one thing about Bree is that we know we’re going to get a very competitive player. He’s handled adversity from time to time very well and he’s been a consistent performer for us for the four years that he’s been here.
“He’s another one of the key free agents that we have that we’d love to keep, but at the end of the day, I know he’s got an agent like all of these other players and we’ll have to evaluate what we’re going to do with him when the season’s over. But I’ve always liked Bree. I like his competitive nature and he can play zone, he can play man and he’s long and tough.”
Breeland is the only cornerback from the Redskins’ roster that faces free agency. Josh Norman is still in the midst of his multi-year contract, the team recently gave a contract extension to cornerback Quinton Dunbar and Fabian Moreau and Joshua Holsey are entering their second year in the league.
Depth will be the prime area of focus then for the Redskins this offseason, regardless of whether Breeland returns to the Redskins. So far, the team has talked to Breeland’s camp “a little bit,” according Senior Vice President of Player Personnel Doug Williams, and may have another conversation closer to March 14.
Along with Breeland, here are the other cornerbacks set to become free agents according to Rotoworld.com:
The name at the top of this free agent list, Trumaine Johnson, has spent his entire career six-year career with the Rams, the last two of which were under the franchise tag.
Johnson, a third-round draft pick out of the University of Montana in 2012, had 65 tackles and two interceptions last season, totaling 328 tackles, 67 passes defensed and 18 interceptions in his career.
Another intriguing name the Redskins could pursue is cornerback Malcom Butler, who finished his tenure with the New England Patriots not exactly on positive terms. Despite reaching the Super Bowl as a member of the defense, he didn’t start, which led to some controversy after the Patriots’ loss to the Eagles.
Butler is most famous for intercepting Russell Wilson at the goal line in New England’s Super Bowl victory over the Seahawks in 2015. Since then, Butler has played in every game, most recently collecting 60 tackles, 12 passes defenses, two interceptions and three forced fumbles in 2017.
Meanwhile, the Redskins do have familiarity with cornerback Prince Amukamura from his years with the Giants. He’ll become a free agent after a 14-game season with the Bears in 2017. Entering his eighth year in the league, Amukamura totaled 48 tackles and seven passes defensed in Chicago.
A potential flyer option for NFL teams could be Sam Shields, who missed all of 2017 after suffering his fourth concussion in 2016 with the Packers, which landed him on Injured Reserve. Shields is reportedly gearing up to play this year and might be a cheaper option for the Redskins looking to add a couple more players in the secondary.