No splashy offseason moves for the first time in Snyder era
Ever since rich, young and impulsive owner Dan Snyder bought the Washington Redskins in July 1999, the offseason has been the best time for the Redskins. Each offseason is normally a time of landing the storied free agents, who never seem to produce in the nation's capital, the newest coach, a supposed genius on the field and promise for the next season. Alas, maybe Snyder has understood that his Yankee approach to football does not work and has decided to change his style.
The Redskins are retaining their coach, Joe Gibbs, for a second straight season, a magic number for this squad. No coach under the Snyder era has stayed for more than two seasons; hopefully Gibbs will reverse this trend. Instead of overpaying free agents this year, the Redskins have decided to lose several of their better players.
The biggest story dealt with the complaining of Laveranues Coles. Two years ago, the signing of Coles was to change the Redskins offense. His speed down the middle of the field was supposed to be a game-breaker under former coach Steve Spurrier's Fun N' Gun system. Coles thrived under Spurrier amassing 82 catches for 1,204 yards with six touchdowns and he made a Probowl appearance. Last year, despite catching 90 balls under Gibbs' more conservative system, missing the long ball and the losses caught up to Coles who wanted out of DC.
Snyder and the Redskins have been handing out large contracts with different means to reduce their impact on the salary cap. One way Snyder has done this is with guaranteed money, as in Coles' case a $13 million signing bonus. When the Redskins sent Coles back to the New York Jets in return for Santana Moss, the Redskins had to absorb the monstrous hit on the salary cap that this singing bonus made.
Moss and New England Patriots wide receiver David Patten are the only major acquisitions the Redskins made. With streaky wide receiver Rod Gardner on the trade block, Washington will not have a starting wide receiver standing taller than 5' 10". Thus, with the depth of wide receivers in this upcoming National Football League (NFL) draft, rumors about drafting a solid wide receiver with their ninth pick were floating.
Instead of focusing on improving one of the worst passing teams in the league, the Redskins have to concentrate on their formerly solid defense. The loss of Fred Smoot on defense, who has emerged as one of the best cover corners in the league, left the Redskins without two proven corners. Their ninth pick focused on filling this void drafting the third best corner in the draft, Carlos Rogers from Auburn after University of Miami shutdown corner Antrell Rolle and Adam "Pacman" Jones from West Virginia were taken.
Just when we thought that the Redskins would be quiet, Snyder decides to pull a trick out of his sleeve. The country began talking about the Redskins again because of their acquiring another first round pick. They traded a third round pick and future picks for the Denver Broncos' first round pick this year, the 25th overall. After passing up on drafting Mike Williams, quite possibly the player with the most potential, with the ninth pick, they make yet another blunder. The team's second greatest void on the team was still at wide receiver but Snyder and his crew decide to draft Jason Campbell from Auburn - a quarterback.
Cannon armed Patrick Ramsey is entering his fourth year with the Redskins. In his first four years, he has shown flashes of brilliance but he has still never started for a complete season. If the Redskins and Gibbs would let him play, he could probably develop into one of the better passers in the league. Instead, they now want to draft a new quarterback and give him time to improve. This methodology is ridiculous; hopefully Snyder is doing all this to create a buzz involving Washington again.
Let us hope that this new style of offseason, a relatively quite and bad one, might bring victories next year. Every other year while we have been the champions of the offseason, the championship on the field has steered clear from us.
Adith Sekaran. Adith Sekaran is finally a senior at Blair. Adith is a man who is a big time sports fan and can spend any day to its' entirety watching sports or ESPN. Football season is his favorite, which he spends cheering on his ‘Skins to no … More »