The Washington Redskins re-signed running back Chris Thompson on Friday, but are still interested in adding another back to their roster, possibly in next week’s draft.
Thompson, who was a restricted free agent, signed his second-round tender, which guarantees him $2.746 million. Had another team signed him, they would have had to forfeit a second-round pick. That leaves linebacker Will Compton as the only unsigned restricted free agent, but he’s expected to sign his deal soon. Compton received an original-round tender, but because he was an undrafted free agent the Redskins would not have received any compensation.
Even with Thompson back, the Redskins are interested in adding another running back to supplement him and starter Rob Kelley. Thompson is best in a third-down role, and Kelley’s deficiencies in the pass game limit his role. Regardless, Washington would like to add a starting back who is more dynamic. Thompson’s return does not alter that desire.
Coach Jay Gruden has been clear all offseason that he likes Kelley and would only select another back high in the draft if it’s a home-run hitter type. There are two backs who will tempt Washington in the first round Thursday: Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey and Florida State’s Dalvin Cook.
But Thompson helps the Redskins’ passing game if nothing else. He has caught a combined 84 passes for 589 yards and four touchdowns the past two seasons. He’s become a more patient route-runner, and ball-carrier, which has helped him make longer plays. Last season, he averaged 5.2 yards per carry on a career-high 68 runs. He’s also become an excellent pass protector.