Only two of the Washington Redskins ten highest paid players were drafted by the Redskins. And half of those eight free agents may not be with the team next year. The Redskins always seemed to be a team that tried to build itself through free agency, even though most successful teams have done it mostly through the draft.
The Redskins should follow this philosophy and not go too crazy in free agency. Although at some positions they won’t have a choice. But the difference is with rookies, especially ones drafted in the higher rounds, you add talented but inexpensive players who are hungry, and eager to prove themselves to the team and the rest of the league.
But with free agents you get some players who were hungry leading up to that big pay-day, but once they get it, they sometimes lose that hunger to prove themselves because they already have. And now they have the money to prove it. This doesn’t happen with all free agents, but it would be better for a team to promote from within.
A player like Alfred Morris, one of the best running backs in the NFL. This is a player who will truly have earned his free agent money. He’s hungry to prove himself. And he’s a player that the Redskins should feel good in paying a lot of money to because they know him, and they know how hard he’s worked to get to where he is.
Free Agents should be used to strengthen your weaknesses, to help support the foundation of the team. But not to be the actual foundation. The better you draft, the better your salary cap situation will be. As you don’t want to end up in cap hell, because you have some decent players whose performance doesn’t justify what they’re being paid.
Like Stephen Bowen, a decent player but not worth a $7 million cap hit. And London Fletcher is retiring, but if he wasn’t, it would make no sense to pay him like a top linebacker, when he no longer was one.