Redskins: one-dimensional NT, Cofield released
A day after adding to their defensive line in the shape of Ricky Jean-Francois the Washington Redskins let a defensive lineman go — veteran nose tackle Barry Cofield was released in a move to gain $4 million in cap space.
The former Giant had been an effective interior pass rusher for Washington in the previous two seasons, but could not replicate that form this year after missing most of the first 10 weeks of the season due to injury.
Cofield played just 252 snaps this season, continuing to grade poorly against the run (eighth straight season with a negative run defense grade) and couldn’t rediscover his pass rushing form to balance that. Cofield’s playing style was reflected in the disparity between his pass rushing and run defense grades looking to get upfield for pressure consistently to the detriment of his run defense.
Turning 31 next month, Cofield’s hopes of continuing in the NFL will rest on him being able to put his poor 2014 season down to injury and delivering as a pass rusher as we saw in 2013 (+12.3, 41 pressures) and 2012 (+11.6, 35 pressures); producing two of his best seasons as he approached 30 years of age. In Cofield’s stead this season Chris Baker produced a similar, though less extreme, performance to Cofield with improved (though still subpar) run defense and solid push as a pass rusher for a nose tackle. After Cofield’s release this may be a position the Redskins look to address this offseason.