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Redskins entering detox program


Burgold

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If the Redskins' front office looks pale and shakey recently there is good reason. Despite declarations that we "are going build the team the right way" and focus on the draft, the Redskins are free agent addicts. They crave that vet fix. We saw it last year with more trades for picks and though we didn't pick up a lot of high name free agents we sure did grab a lot of scrap heap vets.

Now, because of the lock out, the Redskins are forced to go cold turkey, but like any addict they couldn't leave without a least one last fix. We picked up a safety. He sounds like a great pick up, but almost all of them have. That's been the problem with the Redskins. They just can't resist. They have a hard time stopping themselves.

For once, the draft will be the key to the Redskins' offseason plans. The Redskins in their rehab mode can't indulge or at least it will be much harder to indulge in trades. So, that infusion of youth so long put off can finally start. Can this team draft well? We did well last year in udfa and so-so in the draft itself.

I'm excited to see what happens to the Redskins after they emerge from detox. I expect it to be a long process, but in a strange way this may have been the only way to get a youth movement started. After all, even while saying we were going to focus on the draft and building the 'skins the right way, Shanahan also declared we would be very active in free agency.

Never trust an addict.

The Redskins' by the luck of the worst possible labor outcome have a chance to do things differently and maybe it will start them on a better track. I hope so.

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I kind of agree with you Burgold. In a way, this lockout could be a blessing in disguise for this franchise. Like you said, we're now forced to use the draft to add new talent to the team. I have faith in Shanahan and Allen that they'll make some good picks in the upcoming draft.

I do think signing Atogwe was needed and is a good pick up. We needed help in the secondary and Atogwe is an instant upgrade there. We aren't going to be able to fill all our needs through the draft, so when a player like Atogwe is avaliable, it makes sense to bring him on board.

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I'm not sure what I'm saying about Atogwe to be honest. Even if he is a great pick up he is still a symptom of a long standing philosophy that has not done well by us. We do have an addiction (especially we fans :D ) about chasing the biggest and brightest. Sometimes, that lands us with London Fletcher or Marcus Washington or Brad Johnson, but more often our say the ratio has been on the down side.

Honestly, I think there is a veteran addiction to this team. Look how much better this team did in the last few games when because of injury and what the heck when we put the no names and pups out there. There's a part of me that thinks that the only way this team will begin an honest youth movement is if they are forced to. I'm not saying the Redskins are Lindsey Lohan, but then again... she was an extremely talented, pretty, charismatic person once upon a time who let her addictions destroy her bit by bit...

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Well you make a good point, and a youth movement that starts fresh with players willing to learn the professional way can only be a blessing, but we don't have The Village Idiato make decisions with his Magic 8ball anymore so the equation has changed.

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I do hope you're right, Burgold. This lockout might be a blessing in disguise for the Redskins. They keep saying they're going to start doing it the right way and not chase after every FA that comes along, but like many addicts, they just let us all down in the end.

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They did the right thing for the following reasons:

1. Upgraded a position of need with a good player

2. Did not breadk the bank for said player

3. Player knows and fits the system we are running

4. Player is by all accounts, a professional who can/will teach young players how to act like a pro

So how anyone can see this move as gloom and doom and some ol' Vinnie Skins is beyond me....

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Well you make a good point, and a youth movement that starts fresh with players willing to learn the professional way can only be a blessing, but we don't have The Village Idiato make decisions with his Magic 8ball anymore so the equation has changed.

Which bodes well for the chances of the rehab program working. The gentleman you refer to was the chief supplier to our addiction.

Just remember, one day at a time.

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I was lucky enough to attend a "Chalk Talk" event with Mike Shanahan recently and I have to say that the coach doesn't agree with you Burgold. Shanahan said that he didn't think FA would be as restrictive as it was last year and was frustrated. He noted that there are 500 free agents this year and that the FO has a plan to bring in the right kind players.

The right kind of player to Shanahan is one that is "passionate about football", has a "great work ethic" and one that has "talent." He said he can work with a talented player if that player doesn't have the other two qualities as long as he a team made up of passionate, hard-working players.

I left the event thinking that we are going to very active in free agency this year. I think we go defense in the first round and a QB in the second. I asked him about Mallett and he said he wasn't concerned about his lack of mobility because "the runninig back takes care of that." I asked if he would take him in the second and he said "absolutely" but he doesn't think Mallett will be there then. When he was asked which three players impressed him the most at the combine he said, "Julio Jones, Ryan Mallett, and Petterson."

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They did the right thing for the following reasons:

1. Upgraded a position of need with a good player

2. Did not breadk the bank for said player

3. Player knows and fits the system we are running

4. Player is by all accounts, a professional who can/will teach young players how to act like a pro

So how anyone can see this move as gloom and doom and some ol' Vinnie Skins is beyond me....

Some of our fans can be just as gullible as the media. The media still thinks we go out and sign the shiniest diamond. In what way can someone explain to me how OJ Otagwe was the "diamond" of safeties available. I think he's just a solid player who is 28 years old (29 during the season) who was signed to fill a need we couldn't/can't fill in the draft at a relatively low cost.

The old Redskins way has everyone jaded everytime we sign a FA. Fact is, 7 picks with only 2 in the first 4 rounds will NOT help rebuild this team. Most 5th, 6th and 7th rounders are hard pressed to make the team in the first place and most of them will be on the practice squad or play special teams. Rare that you get a 10 year starter after round 3.

Using both the draft and free agency is vital to putting together a winning team. Neither has been a very good tool for us over the last 10 years, because we haven't signed the "right" players in free agency and we sure as hell haven't drafted the "right" players in the draft.

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I was lucky enough to attend a "Chalk Talk" event with Mike Shanahan recently and I have to say that the coach doesn't agree with you Burgold. Shanahan said that he didn't think FA would be as restrictive as it was last year and was frustrated. He noted that there are 500 free agents this year and that the FO has a plan to bring in the right kind players.

The right kind of player to Shanahan is one that is "passionate about football", has a "great work ethic" and one that has "talent." He said he can work with a talented player if that player doesn't have the other two qualities as long as he a team made up of passionate, hard-working players.

I left the event thinking that we are going to very active in free agency this year. I think we go defense in the first round and a QB in the second. I asked him about Mallett and he said he wasn't concerned about his lack of mobility because "the runninig back takes care of that." I asked if he would take him in the second and he said "absolutely" but he doesn't think Mallett will be there then. When he was asked which three players impressed him the most at the combine he said, "Julio Jones, Ryan Mallett, and Petterson."

Thanks for sharing man, much appreciated! :)

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Someone tell Green Bay that they shouldn't have used FA to get Charles Woodson, or New Orleans to get Drew Breese, or Arizona to get Kurt Warner, or NE to get Moss....and the list goes on. Point being is that to have any type of sustained success you must utilize BOTH FA and the draft. The problem with us in the past was the trading away of picks and over valuing/paying washed up FA's.

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Well last season the CBA was nullified and we went to an uncapped season, so a substantial chunk of quality FAs was lost due to the 4 year requirement for FAs expanding to 6. Add to that the limited draft picks due to the previous regime and the loss of a 2nd rounder to acquire McNabb (that move is up for debate), and the team didn't have a lot of options other than FA.

Here's the difference: we now have been signing players who fit the current system, and at reasonable contracts too, which is a departure from the old method of chucking a pile of money at top FAs.

Building the "right way" is too ambiguous. There's more than one way to skin a cat, there's more than one way to field a competitive NFL team. A team can be champions without building exclusively through the draft. Even the Pats bring FAs (Dillon, Adaelius, Moss, Welker, to name a few).

Other than McNabb, who are the hi-priced FAs the current regime has brought in? I don't think a neutered draft and FA pool essentially forcing the team to field vets, nor the recent signing of Atogwe, qualify the current regime as being free agent "addicts." I think such a label needs more than 1 season of evidence to be qualified also.

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Well you make a good point, and a youth movement that starts fresh with players willing to learn the professional way can only be a blessing, but we don't have The Village Idiato make decisions with his Magic 8ball anymore so the equation has changed.

Exactly. This is new management and we need at least 2 more years to see if they're professionals or pretenders.

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Boy, some of you sound just the addicts I'm discussing. Rationalizing, making excuses, and trying everything you can just so you can get that next free agent high. ;)

Heck, I included in the OP some of the free agent moves that weren't busts. You are not breaking ground to suggest that we can't go absolutely cold turkey.

Regardless, I was pretty sure this thread wouldn't be received well or it would be received too with too much of a black and white perspective. After all, how do you expect people with a habit to react when you suggest changing practices might just be a good thing. The addiction imagery is sadly apt.

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Giving up the 2nd and the 4th for McNabb was a bad move. No doubt...However, I'm not sure if you can logically make the case of totally not utilizing FA. Even if we had 10 picks this year, there is nothing wrong with supplementing your roster with some players that you feel can upgrade your team. And the fact remains that (Bmore, NE, Philly, Pitt, NYG) all teams known for having great FO's, have utilized both. So why do we need to go "Cold Turkey". I hope i'm not misunderstanding your arguement.

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I totally understand the point but its a little unfair to pain this FO with that brush. We can't put the sins of Vinny and Co on them. These guys didn't sign archuleta. They weren't trying to package two #1s for Cutler.

They DID make the Mcnabb trade which I guess we can criticize but I for one thought it was a decent move at the time. I really thought he had at least 4 years in the tank, came from a West Coast system and we weren't drafting anyone better in the 2nd round last year. He was going to bring veteran leadership, work ethic and stability to a position that had been a joke for a decade. In retrospect that move is being lumped in with the Deion deal and the Brandon Lloyd deal but I don't think its the same.

We traded a later pick for a pro bowl right tackle on the mend but he isn't old and I still think he will hold down the fort for a while at RT as he gets healthier. He was getting better every day.

We get a lot of crap for galloway and Larry Johnson/Willie Parker but they were cheap incentive laden deals. Galloway was a pro's pro and I am sure he helped show the young guys how to be pros themselves. He obviously was never intended to be the future here. All in all, I think we got the value we spent on Galloway.

Last year was a weird year with the CBA expiring and no cap. We didn't go crazy (nor could we I guess). I want to at least give this regime one year of actual free agency (real free agency) before we start lumping them in with all of the mistakes this franchise has made since Dan bought the team. They should have their own slate. They can be criticized but mortgaging the future for crappy old free agents is jumping the gun a bit and imputing the sins of the past regimes to this one.

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what we did last year which I thought was smart was instead of using an uncapped year to go nuts and buy a ton of aging superstars we did the opposite and used it to cull some underachievers from our roster.

And we are more or less going "cold turkey" until the draft is over. I think that might be an interesting change in dynamic.

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I'm not against free agent signing especially with the more frugal approach Bruce takes. What I'm more concerned about is the trading away of draft picks. Like some of you have said, a healthy mix of using the draft and free agency is important. You can't use the draft when you're trading picks away.

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what we did last year which I thought was smart was instead of using an uncapped year to go nuts and buy a ton of aging superstars we did the opposite and used it to cull some underachievers from our roster.

And we are more or less going "cold turkey" until the draft is over. I think that might be an interesting change in dynamic.

I think the big change has come in contract structure. We used to back load so every FA signing had to fit in with escalating salaries. Now we give contracts that pay each year. Given this we should be signing FAs if they are right for us medium/long term.

What remains to be seen is if the FAs we do sign actually work out ;)

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Yeah, the real addiction isn't FA's, its overpaying old broken down, past their prime FA's. All teams sign FA's, not all teams make it rain for thirty somethings in the twilight of their careers, still eating off of their past accomplishments. This seems to be where Washington corners the market on FA's.

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The old Redskins way has everyone jaded everytime we sign a FA. Fact is, 7 picks with only 2 in the first 4 rounds will NOT help rebuild this team. Most 5th, 6th and 7th rounders are hard pressed to make the team in the first place and most of them will be on the practice squad or play special teams.

There is a reason that we only have 2 picks in the first 4 rounds and Shanahan had everything to do with it. We could do this every year and every year you could still say that 2 picks in the first 4 rounds will not help rebuild the team. It still doesn't mean that we have to go out and sign 4-5 high priced FA's every year to make up for the stupidity either.

Remember how Shanahan was year after year trying to rebuild the Denver defense with FA's. What's changed if we sign 3-4 more FA's later this year? Is he somehow a genius this time if our defense is 20th-26th over the next couple seasons instead of 31st?

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