The Washington Redskins made a few big splashes this offseason, and one of those big moves was signing away ace interior pass rusher Jason Hatcher away from the rival Dallas Cowboys, who replaced Hatcher with another top pass-rushing 4-3 DT in Henry Melton. Hatcher will move back to the 3-4 DE spot with the Redskins, and he should shine on a front seven that boasts one of the best pass-rushing pairings in the league at outside linebacker in Brian Orakpo, who was franchised and will need a new deal, and the steady Ryan Kerrigan. The pass rush will take plenty of pressure off of a secondary that improved this offseason but will still most likely be a sizeable weakness next year.
Hatcher recorded a whopping 11 sacks in an absolutely monstrous 2013 season, and there’s no reason to think that more isn’t on the way after his performances in the past two years. The late-bloomer, however, is dealing with a knee injury this offseason, and ESPN NFL Nation’s John Keim reports that the star DL will undergo an MRI on his knee.
Per Keim, Hatcher is dealing with pain in his knee, and the Grambling State product will miss the remainder of minicamp. Redskins head coach Jay Gruden expects Hatcher to be back out there for training camp, so this MRI looks precautionary (Gruden even said “precautions” when speaking about the injury). Although Hatcher could use more time to get familiar with his Redskins teammates on the field, his health is obviously more important to Gruden and the organization given that they signed him to a four-year, $27.5 million deal as a major piece on defense.