Washington Redskins 25-year-old inside linebacker Perry Riley broke out last season with 128 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and seven passes defended, and the LSU Tigers product followed that performance up with 115 more tackles this past season. Riley also added three sacks and nine passes defended, and it’s clear that both he and Brian Orakpo are the two most important impending free agents for this team to keep. Orakpo is the most important and is easily one of the team’s best players, but Riley is an underrated and important piece of a defense that simply can’t afford to lose a valuable starter, especially with the needs they have in the secondary. London Fletcher- not that he was actually good last year- is set to retire, so that adds to the urgency of locking up Riley.
Earlier today, Mike Jones of the Washington Post reported that while the Redskins and Riley have been in talks regarding a new deal, neither side doesn’t seem to be “close” to agreeing to terms. They still have a bit over a month to get a deal done before the March 11 deadline, but Redskins fans will obviously be hoping for more progress as the months move over. And while there are potentially more attractive guys on the open market, Riley has been very good over the past couple of seasons and is cheaper and more well-rounded than the likes of Brandon Spikes and Donald Brown.
It will be interesting to see how much Riley fetches from the Redskins in offers, and his asking price will likely dictate how things go. I expect him to be affordable, but I’m sure Bruce Allen and the team will allow him to walk if he asks for too much. They want to keep him, but there are alternatives out there that could be cheaper or, more importantly, drive down Riley’s price.