The Washington Redskins signed three more players to reserve/future contracts on Friday. Among them was defensive tackle Phil Taylor.
Since the NFL offseason has began, many of the teams eliminated from postseason contention have been signing players to reserve/future contracts. These deals bind players to a team’s 90-man roster for the 2017 league year, but are not enacted until the first day of the league year. On Sunday, the Washington Redskins signed three players to such deals, including a high upside player at nose tackle.
Phil Taylor was the man. Taylor, a former first round pick by the Cleveland Browns in 2011, has played four seasons in the NFL. However, he has not logged an NFL snap since 2014. He has spent some time with the Denver Broncos, but has not been able to get back on the field. Regardless of his recent lack of production, Taylor offers a large amount of upside.
At the beginning of his career, Taylor looked like a solid all-around tackle. He was able to use his 6-foot-3, 337 pound frame to clog running lanes while also posting some solid sack numbers. For his career, he has recorded seven sacks, which is a good number for such a big nose tackle. Some thought that he could have Vince Wilfork type potential, but his career took a bad turn.
Taylor declined thanks to the numerous coaching changes that the Browns went through. At the same time, he dealt with some injuries and also has had issues due to his weight. Being 337 pounds is good for a nose tackle, but it is difficult to maintain. Gaining extra weight slowed down Taylor and caused him to lose some quickness. All of those factors led to his decline.
Still, Taylor offers an immense amount of potential. If he can get healthy and get some good coaching, he could develop into a solid starter or backup. The Redskins have virtually no talent at nose tackle, so this was a smart move for Taylor. The Skins had also worked out Taylor during the 2016 season, so obviously they saw something they liked during that workout.
In addition to signing Taylor, the Redskins signed linebackers Khairi Fortt and Pete Robertson. Fortt played a few games with the Saints in 2014, but his ceiling seems to be as a special teamer. Meanwhile, Robertson has never played in the NFL, but notched 22 sacks over his five year college career. He could be a developmental project at the 3-4 rush linebacker position, and it will be interesting to see how he fares in the offseason.