Sunday’s season finale may be Bashaud Breeland’s last in a Washington Redskins uniform. The cornerback is set to become a free agent this off-season, as the Redskins will allow him to test free agency, according to J.P. Finaly of NBC Sports Washington.
Breeland has played 56 games with the Redskins through four seasons. He blossomed on the scene as a fourth-round pick in 2014. As a rookie, he started 15 games playing throughout Washington’s secondary before settling as primarily an outside cornerback. However, he has struggled with consistency over the past two seasons.
In any given game, Breeland showcases technique and abilities that warrant recognition as one of the better corners in the NFL. However, in the same game he can display lack of judgement and technique that hurts the team as well as himself.
Friday’s news does not come as a surprise given the nature of the recent roster moves at the cornerback position. In 2016, the Redskins drafted Josh Norman to a lucrative five-year deal. They also drafted Kendall Fuller out of Virginia Tech in the second round that same year. The Redskins may have thought the move was to give them a trio of good cornerbacks. However, Breeland initially took it as a sign of “disrespect” and struggled with splitting assignments against the No. 1 opposing receiver.
While he eventually settled down, Washington drafted Fabian Moreau in the fourth-round of the 2017 NFL Draft out of UCLA. Despite him being relegated to mostly special teams, the general feeling was Moreau was an eventual replacement in the secondary rotation.
The Redskins also have gotten positive results out of converting Quinton Dunbar from a wide receiver to defensive back. Dunbar has settled in as a solid outside cornerback. In fact, during a Week 13 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, Breeland was benched in favor of Dunbar. Breeland would eventually return as the score was out of reach, and intercepted a late fourth-quarter pass for a pick-six.
Entering Week 17, Breeland is the fourth-rated corner of the Redskins, according to Pro Football Focus.
If Breeland tests free agency, he has enough tools and upside to draw significant offers from suitors. The Redskins will have cap restraints initially and while Dunbar is a restricted free agent, he is expected to be a cheaper option than Breeland. With that said, it’s hard to imagine something being worked out to keep Breeland a Redskins.
In an interview with Finlay, Breeland answered “no” to the question if talks had started between his agent and the team.
“I’m just patiently waiting to see whether that’s still with the Washington Redskins or with a new family,” Breeland said, per Finlay. “I understand the business. There’s no hard feelings. I just want to play ball.”