I don’t envy Bruce Allen (well I do, but not for the purposes of this article). An NFL GM rarely seems to get it completely right, at least not in the eyes of the all the fans and journalists anyhow. No matter what your strategy is in free agency or the NFL draft, you are going to upset probably half of each.
For years the Redskins were known as the team that wins the off-season, spending bucket loads of cash on over priced and aging free agents. Last year coming off a division winning season in 2012, Allen was lauded for his modest moves, re-signing most of the starters while also seeking to find some bargains.
Although it has to be pointed out that his hands were tied due to the salary cap penalties the past few years. In the early stages of free agency this year, the Redskins have re-signed some home grown talent. Perry Riley, a veteran player (Santana Moss), and franchised (arguably) the Redskins best defensive player in Brian Orakpo.
We have also signed a defensive tackle/end, a linebacker, wide receiver and a guard, all four positions of need. Not a bad start you would think. But, it depends on who you want to listen to really. If you want to believe that we should have lined up some high priced free agents within the first couple of hours of free agency like we used to, then there are plenty of people who will agree with you.
Conversely there are plenty of people applauding the steady approach. Many are saying we should have signed Aqib Talib, Darelle Revis, or another top flight cornerback. Or a top tier safety like Jairus Byrd or T.J. Ward. But last year we tried to address these positions through the draft and then head coach Mike Shanahan was happy to land three highly rated secondary prospects.
But are the Redskins going to give up on Amerson, Rambo and Thomas already? Can we afford to write off second, fourth and sixth round picks after just 12 months? After the first week of free agency and with only Tracy Porter signing for the Redskins and with Brandon Meriweather re-signed, it seems there will be many familiar names roaming the secondary in the burgundy and gold.
So, we lost out on some of the high priced free agents, but we have the draft approaching. Again, a GM and head coach is likely to please half of the fan base and upset the other half with their draftees as the age old Team Need vs. Best Player Available argument raises its ugly head as it does every year.
Any holes that aren’t filled in free agency are bound to be through the draft aren’t they? Or will we draft another QB after trading the farm for our franchise leader, or two more running backs to add to our stable of young runners that will certainly send the fan boards into a frenzy.
Oh to be an NFL GM; it’s a thankless task when only a super bowl win will justify your moves…