Like so many athletes in today’s social media landscape, Leigh Torrence made his Redskins’ signing official with a few Tweets yesterday evening. The first was dedicated to the next Redskins chapter of his career, and looking forward to moving ahead with his new old team:
The second was dedicated to the Saints team that he left behind, where he registered the only pick-six on defense last season, and won a championship ring in Super Bowl XLIV:
In the 12 hours since his tweets, his page has been covered in Saints fans and players bemoaning the loss of No. 24, as well as Redskins players and fans welcoming him back.
But why all of the excitement? With only two interceptions and 3.5 sacks in 73 career games, Torrence seems like an odd candidate to move the needle on social media. But if you ask any of his former teammates or beat reporters, Torrence is hot commodity in the locker room and community.
Of the 52 other men on the squad when Torrence was released in 2008, only nine remain under contract. Of those nine, two (plus Westbrook) were excited by the news of Torrence’s return, and shared their congratulations on Twitter:
Former Saints teammates and one New Orleans beat reporter also shared their congratulations, albeit with a hint of remorse:
“The Saints will miss his presence in the locker room.”
That says a lot for any player on a veteran team talented enough to make the playoffs in four of the last six years and win a Super Bowl. That’s the type of presence that the Redskins need on a roster that currently has 36 players under four years of experience.
This is not to say that Torrence is not a quality reserve corner and special teams player, because he is. But in order for the team to take the next step, the young players have to develop. This type of signing is an investment in the young players on the team, with the hope that Torrence can offer guidance in addition to his play on the field.
And if all goes according to plan, Torrence will return to New Orleans at some point this season to play against his old team. Who Dat, indeed.