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Forget Marquee Free Agents: Redskins To Follow Pats, Saints Lead


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The previous thread about free agent stars that can come in and contribute to the Redskins ignores the fact that Marty is slowly but surely de-emphasizing using free agency as a way of garnering starting caliber talent at a high cost.

Beyond the monetary issues, signing high profile free agents means less power and control for Marty as these players like Deion and Bruce tend to operate somewhat more independently because of their contracts.

Look for the Redskins to sign a few solid players to medium range deals, but I don't expect any blockbusters.

The Saints signed Joe Horn, Norman Hand, Darrin Smith, etc. as bargain free agents and they have helped turn the Saints fortunes around.

The Patriots signed unwanted and unloved players such as Antowain Smith, David Patten and drafted Tom Brady in the 6th round and are in first place in the AFC East at 10-5.

Those are the blueprints of what to look for with the Redskins.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Dalton from Baltimore or another run-stopper DT brought in during the free agent period.

I would also expect a younger middle linebacker and a veteran receiver to be added as well.

The major question, though, revolved around whether the team is going to go with Banks or is going to go into the draft or free agency to attempt to find an immediate replacement.

The draft picks are a key for development of some depth on this team and I would be opposed to trading away multiple high picks to acquire a veteran quarterback unless absolutely necessary.

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I think you're right. Marty may of not had the cap room last year, but I don't think he believes in rebuilding through FA. We will resign as many of our FAs that we want. Again the biggest question is QB. If it was just a money issue, I think Snyder's pockets are deep enough were that doesn't matter. I don't think Marty as GM will trade picks. I think he'll bring in a FA. These last three games will determine Tony Banks future with the 'skins.

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Very true Bulldog.

I see that same formula he is using that is the one Ditka, Gibbs, Parcells and Walsh used. Actually Marty was one of those top echolon folks, too, in the 80's with that touch.

You are exactly right in the "reasoning" dept. on these facts.

To maintain stability, constant nuturing of developmental players from a serious pool, you need, heady, cagy, determined and dedicated players, who want to contribute to the team concept everyday. These are, as Matt Millen once stated, your 5,6, and 7 players.

The 9 and 10's are very hard to keep, come by, maintain any order, rely on for leadership and can be very distractive to the lockerroom: WR in NE, Sanders, Moss, etc.

When you put a serious, determined #10 (Green) with a bunch of #5-7's, like Millen was with the defense under Gibbs, Flores and Walsh, you get results. All are reaching where the #10 is on that level for acheivement and the coach is often leading them to the playoffs. St. Louis has a load of em, 9's on offense, but Martz has somehow weathered the egos to keep them focused. Hmmm, Martz was with the Skins too, huh.

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Guest Matt Kyriacou

Oh how I long for the pre-free agency days. Imagine players actually remaining with their teams for season after season. Remember the days when we were able to draft players in the, I don't know, 7th or 8th rounds and develop them into Pro Bowlers because you had a great coaching staff? Remember when a player changing teams, a la Wilber Marshall, made headlines?

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Bulldog, I agree to a point. We should, and hopefully will, look within our organization first to resign players. Even lesser players like Coleman, Lyle, Jones, Raymer and Carter must be priorities. Still, we will be a team with some pronounced weaknesses that can become dramatic strengths if we play things right.

A guy like Crowell or even a troublemaker like Glenn -- especially if we go for Bledsoe -- might come at a lesser cost than one might believe. Cowart may be more stout in the middle than Trotter, and certainly could be a less costly option. In this last offseason I thought all signs pointed to a major free agency splash this offseason. But, that splash was to be Moss.

Gonzalez is a great tight end, but he's just a tight end. He's not worth the sure two firsts he'd cost. Bledsoe might cost a lot, but, his value is also questionable, especially if you don't see him play again first, to assure he's not a little gun shy. There really aren't any super names available. And low cost options, like Horn, are surprise stars, not regular happenings. Low cost options like Hand, who are proven performers, are available every year, and we have a number of them here.

The Saints mined free agency well, getting some super players very cheap, and landing a QB who is dynmanic enough to make the Saints compelling on a good day. This, though, is not a model to follow. It's an exception. You don't get lucky with Cleamons and Horn, like the Saints have, very often. And if we sign lesser players hoping for Saint-like results, we could also get lucky, but, I do think we are going to focus on somewhat proven people coming off less than proven years, and we will try to make a play for a good young linebacker, whether it works out or not.


Doom is in the box.

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The whole trick to dealing with Free Agency is getting value for the dollar. Let's leave other teams-- the Cowboys immediately come to mind-- to make big, splashly, PR driven signings. I'd rather spend big money on good scouting than paying players whose best years are already in the record book. That's a lesson we should have learned by now.

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