Mar 212014

Jason Hatcher, now going into his age 32 season, has been a late bloomer in the NFL, but he’s a versatile defensive lineman who can really get after the quarterback. He graded out as Pro Football Focus’ 10th ranked 3-4 defensive end in 2011 as a talented reserve on 428 snaps and then he became a starter in 2012. In 2012, he graded out as Pro Football Focus’ 4th ranked 3-4 defensive end and in 2013 he was their 8th ranked 4-3 defensive tackle.

He’ll be going back to a 3-4 in Washington and will serve as a much needed difference maker on that defense. He’ll play on a defensive line with Barry Cofield and fellow ex-Cowboy Stephen Bowen, serve as a needed 3rd starter and probably leading the line in snaps played. 27.5 million over 4 years is a very solid deal for him, though his age is a slight concern. That being said, only 10.5 million of this contract is guaranteed and nothing after the 1st season. This could end up being a 2-year, 13.5 million dollar contract if he declines quickly and they’d endure a 4.5 million dollar cap hit (with 2 million in cap savings) by cutting then. Having that kind of out is helpful when dealing with an older player.

Grade: A-

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