In the history of the Redskins franchise, the team has been wryly crowned ‘the offseason champions’ many times for its expenditures in free agency. We don’t need to revisit those.
But those days appear to be a thing of the past, as the Redskins–for the second-consecutive year–are earning high praise for their measured additions in free agency.
Even while preparing for an unexpectedly amended salary cap number, the Redskins have managed to add quality talent on both sides of the board, earning praise from industry gurus.
ESPN NFL expert John Clayton named the Redskins among his three winners after the first three days of free agency. Coming at it from a fiscal responsibility angle, here’s what he had to say:
3. Washington Redskins: Give the Redskins credit for scrambling. As free agency opened, the Redskins were given a $36 million salary-cap deduction over two years…That didn’t stop owner Dan Snyder from being aggressive.
The Redskins went 2-for-3 in upgrading the receiving corps, adding Pierre Garcon as a downfield threat and Josh Morgan as a possession receiver.
That still gives coach Mike Shanahan the option of keeping Santana Moss and using him in the slot. On Thursday, the Redskins added hard-hitting safety Brandon Meriweather.
This piece came out after Clayton had written earlier in the week (before the penalties were announced) that the Redskins would be the leaders in free agency. Especially on short notice, Clayton gives the Redskins high marks for being able to add top talent without blowing the cap.
Former Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington also gave the Redskins high marks in his recent column, approaching it from a player chemistry standpoint. Here are clips of what he has to say:
The Redskins have signed players in free agency who clearly address some of the team’s needs.
At receiver, the deals with free agents Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan would appear to help with the Redskins’ biggest problem, the lack of a playmaker.
On the defensive side of the ball, they added safety Brandon Meriweather.
Arrington also addresses recent rumors and reports of players signing in Washington, which I must defer to him. He gives the Redskins an ‘A’ so far in free agency, and says that he would most like to see the team re-sign defensive captain London Fletcher, who remains a free agent.
Redskins officials have repeatedly said that they have a mutual interest in reuniting with this Iron Man, but the market has yet to play out for other inside linebackers. As I’ve explained before, Fletcher is in a curious situation of being one of the best at his position, and also being nearer-than-most to the end of his career. Once other top linebackers start to sign, the market value will be set and you’ll hear about more activity on this front.
In the mean time, as frustrating as it may be for fans to hear no news, they shouldn’t assume that they means bad news. It’s just the natural progression for a position that has yet to be addressed in free agency.
More on this, and every other topic, as things become official here at Redskins Park.