Here’s what the Redskins’ team needs looked like a few weeks ago…
and what they look like now:
The ONLY priority for the Skins this offseason is to fix the QB position, whether that means trading a bundle of picks to move up and select Robert Griffin III out of Baylor, or signing… uh… you know. Or the other guy. Or the combination of the other guy and using a later draft pick on one of the other guys. I think all the scenarios have pretty much all been talked out by now. Whatever route they go, they better be right. Mike Shanahan is entering Year 3 of his tenure, and so far, he only has 11 wins to show for his efforts. If he doesn’t start winning… now… or at least show some serious strides with a promising rookie QB in 2012, he may not be around for years 4 and 5. The Skins have to find a way to get a legitimate QB. Everything else is secondary.
OL (almost across the board): I felt that Trent Williams improved quite a bit from Year 1 to Year 2, and can still be a really good LT in the NFL. He’s only 23 years old, although an immature 23. There isn’t much of a need at LT, in my opinion, at least for now. If there’s a guy sitting there at 6 that the Skins’ scouts fall in love with, maybe you draft that guy with the intent of moving Williams over to RT? That’s the only way I see LT being addressed. The other Skins’ offensive lineman that I like as a player is Kory Lichtensteiger. Unfortunately, he tore both his ACL and MCL in a loss to the Eagles in Week 6 last season. If you’re the Redskins, you better have a better plan in place than “I hope he’s OK by Week 1 next year,” which he likely won’t be. Expect them to address that spot. Otherwise, free agent Will Montgomery is “just a guy,” as is Chris Chester (although a highly paid one), and Jammal Brown is probably done-zo in D.C. The Skins could use help almost across the board here.
The Redskins had Demetrius Bell in for a visit, but have done nothing to get better along the OL. They gave Pierre Garcon a 5 year $42.5 million contract, and yet, Eric Winston, a player that would have been a picture-perfect fit for the Skins’ blocking scheme, signed with the Chiefs for 4 years, $22 million. Winston only became available after Garcon signed with the Skins, and it’s certainly possible that by the time Winston hit the open market, they could no longer afford him because of the stiff penalties handed down by Commissioner Roger Goodell for dumping money into the uncapped season. Still, who would you rather have? Eric Winston, a proven solid starting right tackle protecting your franchise’s savior from edge rushers like Jason Babin and Justin Tuck… Or Pierre Garcon, a promising WR, but one that no opposing team is ever going to spend many calories game-planning against? Some teams know how to play free agency, and some don’t.
WR: I should be clear here. I actually like some of the Skins’ receivers, but most teams these days have a stud WR. Some have two. The Skins have a bunch of good role players at WR and even a few starting quality types, but nothing that is going to make opposing defensive coordinators lose sleep. They need that guy that can be the centerpiece, with the existing mix of polished vets (Santana Moss, Jabar Gaffney) and youth with upside (Leonard Hankerson, Niles Paul) as surrounding pieces.
They added a few more 2’s.
CB: The Skins, in my opinion, would be crazy not to rid themselves of DeAngelo Hall’s terrible contract (2012: $6 million, 2013: $7.5 million, 2014: $9 million), as they can do so with little cap repercussions. I see the Skins’ corner situation more as an “opportunity” and than a true “need.” There are plenty of corners available in free agency this season, from Brandon Carr to Brent Grimes to Cortland Finnegan. They have a chance to upgrade that spot while actually shedding dollars off their cap.
DeAngelo Hall is going to count $6.5 million against the cap in 2012, $8 million against the cap in 2013, and $9.5 million against the cap in 2014, and they can get out of that contract with little to no pain whatsoever. And it appears they’re choosing to stick with him. Wow.
S: With the Skins likely to use the franchise tag on TE Fred Davis, LaRon Landry will probably be heading elsewhere in 2012. I remember back in the preseason, I kept seeing the same guy around the ball over and over again. Turns out that guy was DeJon Gomes. Unfortunately, Gomes struggled in the meaningful games when he had opportunities in 2011. I’m not sure he’s the answer to step right in as a starter, and I know for sure that Reed Doughty isn’t the answer. The potential loss of Landry opens up a gaping hole at safety, and one they’re used to, as Landry hasn’t been able to stay on the field. On the other side, Oshiomogho Atogwe still has some skills, but he’s aging, often banged up, and in decline.
The Skins cut Atogwe, and brought in two extremely questionable players in Brandon Meriweather and Cedric Griffin. Here’s what Packers beat writer Bob McGinn had to say about those two signings:
The Skins had two major holes at safety, and somehow, they may have managed to get worse.
ILB: If the Skins can re-sign London Fletcher, one spot is filled for the next couple years, but the Skins still probably need to fill in some youth behind the soon-to-be 37 year old great. If Fletcher bolts, ILB becomes a gaping hole. The Skins benched Rocky McIntosh in-season, and Perry Riley played well enough to get a shot at starting in 2012. Not to mention, there was this report about Rocky:
Keyaron Fox is decent in terms of depth, but he’s a free agent. They’ll need to either re-sign Fox, or bring in another piece for depth.
The bad news is that Fletcher remains unsigned by the Skins, but the good news is that nobody else has shown much interest.
DE: I gave it a yellow, but there’s not much of need here. Just worth noting that Adam Carriker is a free agent. The Skins are set with Stephen Bowen on the other side. They’ll also have 2011 2nd round pick Jarvis Jenkins returning from injury this season.
Done. The Skins locked up Carriker long-term.