As we await the legal wranglings of the current NFL situation, I’m taking a look at what moves NFL teams might make when the eventual free agency period starts, this installment- the Washington Redskins. The Washington Redskins have become quickly one of the most troubled teams in the NFL. Washington signed DT Albert Haynesworth in 2009 for a record $100 million dollars and then benched him by the end of the 2010 season. The Redskins traded for QB Donovan McNabb, then benched him, gave him a contract extension and then benched him again. Everything is not well in Washington.
The Washington Redskins finished the 2010 season near the bottom of every statistical category. 30th in rushing offense, 31st in passing defense and 26th in rushing defense. Washington was 31st in the league surrendering 389.3 yards per game, only the Denver Broncos were worse.
Th the Redskins credit, they entered the 2011 NFL Draft with only a handful of draft picks and moved around the draft board through trades and came away from the tree-day event with 12 selections. Great for a team with as many holes as the Redskins have. So, heading into free agency, one has to wonder if whether or not the Redskins are finally going to stop their exorbitant spending ways in free agency and commit to a youth movement. And, if that is the case, will Washington owner Daniel Snyder finally be patient enough to allow a few seasons to allow the franchise to get back on track?
It appears as of right now, the Redskins seem content to move forward with John Beck under center for 2011. Rex Grossman is a free agent, and if the Redskins do trade or release Donovan McNabb, it might be wise for the franchise to try to re-sign Grossman. Neither Beck nor Grossman under center should ignite any passion for the Redskins heading into 2011.
32 year old veteran WR Santana Moss who is a free agent, most likely will not be brought back in 2011. Washington saw WR Anthony Armstrong post a strong season in 2011 and the organization used three draft picks on wide receivers in April of this year.
RB Clinton Portis has been released already and Washington drafted Nebraska’s Roy Helu, who is physically almost identical to Portis at 5’11″ 220 pounds. Third year RB Ryan Torain always shows signs of promise, but cannot stay healthy. There will be a flood of veteran runners available this year, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Redskins sign one of them.
Washington only selected one offensive line player in this year’s draft, Maurice Hurt, OG from the University of Florida. OT Jammal Brown is slated for free agency and this is a unit that the Redskins could seriously upgrade after not being able to run the ball and the same unit surrendered 46 sacks. Look for the club to sign a few offensive linemen this free agency period.
Washington addressed their defensive issues to a degree in the draft, selecting four defensive line players. Look for the Redskins to add more depth through free agency.
The Redskins have to improve their pass defense. CB’s Carlos Rodgers and Phillip Buchanon are scheduled free agents. Let Buchanon walk and re-sign Rodgers. This year’s crop of free agent cornerbacks is exceptionally thin except for Nnamdi Asomugha and Ike Taylor. I see teams this season overpaying for those two players.
You never know what to expect in free agency with a Daniel Snyder club, once the offers start flying, all bets are off. Regardless of what happens, this is a Washington club which is at least another season from seriously competing in the NFC East for a playoff berth.