Saturday, February 28, 2009

What I've Learned From Free Agency 2009 Day 1



(Your New Washington Redskins: Albert Haynesworth #92, DeAngelo Hall #23, Derrick Dockery #66)

1. When Vinny Cerrato addresses a need he doesn't just address it, he kicks the hell out of it Bruce Lee style. The Redskins not only addressed two glaring needs at OG and DT but they brought in the top tackle in the league and brought back a former Skin who is in his prime.

2. When it comes to the cap, never say the Redskins can't afford it. 2009 was the first year I doubted the Redskins could make two of the following three moves (namely Dockery and Haynesworth)....and I was wrong. I will never doubt it again.

3. Eric Schaffer (the Redskins cap genius) is the Front Office MVP. How the Redskins, a team that according to NFL.com's Adam Schefter was only $8.1 million under the cap at the beginning of free agency compete and sign Haynesworth against other teams with large cap room (like Tampa ($61 mill.), KC ($57 mill.) and Philly ($48 mill.) and then signing Dockery late today is amazing to say the least.

4. The Shawn Springs cut was no real surprise but IIWII wishes him well. With exception to the injuries, Springs played exceptional during his tenure a real shutdown corner in my opinion.

5. I know I'm critical of Vinny and Mr. Snyder (of course I've also been accused of being a blind homer) but I still respect the fact that Snyder is willing to pull the trigger and make the moves (ie. spend the money) to bring in top talent to DC. If you really want to be cynical, I guess you can argue that it helps sell premium seats and merchandise. It does (expect Hall jerseys to sell and a ton of Skins fans wearing #92 this season). But I really do believe that Dan Snyder is trying to field a winning team and he may be closer to that goal than we think. A little more patience and a draft to bring in more talented starting quality O and D linemen and the Skins could be right there.

6. By signing Haynesworth and tendering Golston and Montgomery, the Redskins may have turned one of the weaker areas (DT) into a well depth laden position. Now the Skins have: Haynesworth, Griffin, Golston, Montgomery and Alexander. 5 solid DTs. Now to address the future of the DE position......do the Skins look at a DE in the draft at some point?

7. Similar argument could be said about the Dockery signing. With Dockery, Randy Thomas (who may be demoted at some point b/c of age and injury) and Rinehart (who will need to prove he can be a starter- he should since both he and Dockery are former third round picks) the Skins have some depth at the Guard position. But center and (right)tackle positions could still use an upgrade.

8. I've warmed to the Haynesworth move over the day. Like you know by now, I wasn't for the move and I also felt that it was too much (even if the Skins were paying market value) for a team that has cap issues and an aging O-line. But, IF (BIG IF HERE) Haynesworth plays to the level he has for the past few seasons with the Titans.....he will radically make an already good defense even better. If he can help generate pressure and sacks (either by himself or by freeing up Griffin, Carter and Taylor) then it will help generate potential turnovers (Hall, Landry and Horton have good hands). Turnovers shortens the field and the Skins score more (hopefully).

Here's some footage of Big Al in action:


What really impressed me however was his introduction presser. Haynesworth addressed the "head stomping" issue and how he's grown from it. He addressed how he should be expected to be an impact player and cause disruption. Haynesworth did mention that if his numbers did drop then the numbers for other teammates should be much better (he's taking double and triple teams to give them opportunities to make plays) and he wants to be the best player on the field and eventually be looked at in the upper echelon of defensive linemen like Bruce Smith or Reggie White. So I'm sold by the move.

9. If I had to give a grade for free agency so far, it would be an A. The Skins re-signed Hall who the team considered to be the top priority before looking at UFAs. They then addressed both the D and O lines by adding young and proven veterans......of course if the Skins aren't successful on the field it won't matter. But right now, I think they were the right moves.

10. The Redskins are pretty much done in free agency (at least with notable players) for now. Time to start focusing on the draft and figuring if we stay at #13 and try to land Andre Smith or Michael Oher or Orakpo; or trade back and look at guys like Loadholt, Jackson, Robinson or one of the centers.

11. Good Job Vinny!!!!! I'll be critical when I don't get moves that the team makes but I will also give credit where credit is due. And this was a stellar job in getting these three under contract and with the Redskins for years to come and in the process making the team younger and deeper in talent.

(Vinny Cerrato: Hero of the Day- Most Redskins fans surprisingly happy for a change)

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