The addition of a free safety might now be the last piece to make the Washington Football Team's defense a consensus top-three unit in the NFL. They might be finding that piece sooner than one expects.
As reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter, WFT is expected to host former Miami Dolphins defensive back Bobby McCain next week. McCain was released from Miami early Thursday morning.
McCain, 27, started in 15 of 16 games played last season and recorded 46 combined tackles, five passes defensed, and one interception. In 87 career games for Miami, he's tallied 254 combined tackles, 30 passes defensed, and seven interceptions.
McCain was a two-year captain for coach Brian Flores' team, but the Miami addition of rookie second-round selection Jevon Holland made the veteran expendable. With McCain's departure from South Beach, Miami is expected to save $5.66 million in cap space.
Coverage skills are where McCain is at his best. A fifth-round draft pick out of Memphis in 2015, Flores asked him to move from the nickel cornerback role to free safety in 2019. He rapidly improved against receivers, positing a 69.9 grade in 2019 and a 63.4 grade in 2020, according to Pro Football Focus.
According to WFT defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, third-round pick Benjamin St-Juste is expected to be a cornerback to begin camp. The 6'3" defensive back was rumored to be in the running for free safety, but for now, he'll play the perimeter.
The same could be said for Landon Collins, who despite suffering an Achilles injury, will remain at strong safety. The 27-year-old was rumored to move down into the box as a coverage linebacker but Del Rio shot down the report Wednesday evening.
The addition of McCain would provide stability at a position of need. Last season, WFT finished No. 2 in pass defense, allowing an average of 191.8 yards per game in coverage.
Washington also became more athletic via the draft with the selection of Kentucky linebacker Jamin Davis at No. 19.