SNIDER: Redskins may find help via XFL

Chris Lingebach
March 13, 2020 - 12:44 pm
XFL players who could help the Redskins

Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

XFL players are now free to sign with NFL teams. Could the Redskins perform a USFL 2.0 and grab some playmakers?

The USFL's demise in 1987 led to the Redskins signing Doug Williams, Gary Clark, Ricky Sanders and Earnest Byner, who helped win the team's second and third Super Bowls. Otherwise, the team's decade of dominance might have tapped out after one championship.

The pickings might be a little slimmer this time, though. The XFL spring league showed little offense and virtually no offensive linemen that the Redskins need most. At best, maybe Washington should sign receiver Cam Phillips, who led the league with 455 yards in five games. The Redskins need another receiver.

The other hot names are quarterbacks P.J. Walker, Josh Johnson and Jordan Ta'amu. The Redskins are looking for a veteran backup for Dwayne Haskins if they don't surprisingly draft one. But if Johnson is one of the top passers, there can't be much there. After all, he showed very little with the Redskins in 2018. Cardale Jones of the Defenders flashed some potential, but seemed to worsen by the game. And, the Redskins aren't in the market for a third-string passer that they can draft.

Matt Jones was second in XFL rushing. What does that tell you? Jones barely cracked two yards a carry with the Redskins as a third-round pick.

If there's help coming, maybe it's defensively. There's not a standout corner, but linebackers could help Washington. Seattle's Steven Johnson led the XFL with 48 tackles while Houston’s Beniquez Brown was third with 36. Both could be reserves for Washington along with Los Angeles safety Ahmad Dixon, who was second with 44. That's where the Redskins improve through XFL signings.

Every NFL teams needs cheap, productive players. That's what the XFL offers. Surely many will sign NFL deals, but expect few to make rosters come September. After all, there's a reason they played in the XFL.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks