Sunday, March 7, 2010

So Long, Farewell, Welcome and Welcome Back

As you might know by now the Redskins released 10 players on Thursday night as they began to prepare for free agency, the draft and the 2010 season. Just in case you missed it, here are the players (full article on the Redskins Blog):

 So Long
Ladell Betts
Rock Cartwright
Todd Collins
Cornelius Griffin
Marcus Mason
Antwaan Randle El
J.D. Skolnitsky
Fred Smoot
Randy Thomas
Eddie Williams


Most of these moves didn't surprise me too much. Randle El was brought in by the Redskins to be the #3 WR/punt returner and gimmick guy. The Redskins overpaid him (more or less gave him starter money to not be a starter) and then he had to step up after the failed Brandon Lloyd experiment and at times he did. But he can't return punts anymore and guys more built for Shanahan's WCO scheme (Devin Thomas, Malcolm Kelly, Marko Mitchell) need to be on the field.

-Ladell Betts and Randy Thomas just can't stay healthy and are at or above 30 years old. When you're 30 in the NFL that means your days are numbered. Same can be said for most of the other guys on the list. A few of these guys I am going to deeply miss. Fred Smoot and his mouth is one in particular. It will be weird going to a game at FedEx and not screaming SMOOOOOOTTTT!!!! I hope that if Randy Thomas can't find a new team, he comes and works for Comcast and does segments with Kelli Johnson.

- I will never forget Todd Collins' 4 game performance in 2007 that sent the Redskins to the playoffs in Joe Gibbs final year. It was inspirational and for that Todd, I thank you.

- Rock Cartwright has had an amazing run with the Skins and in the NFL. How many players can you name that were 7th round picks and have remained in the league for seven years. I think he'll find some team as a specialist/KR.

Thank You guys for your time here in DC, I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

And where would I be to not mention the retirement of Chris Samuels.

Farewell
Samuels has been the anchor of the Redskins O-line since 2000. Drafted #3 overall in the 2000 draft, Samuels has played ten full seasons with the Redskins in the Dan Snyder era. Yes, a player has remained that long on the Redskins during the Dan Snyder/Vinny Cerrato era. That pretty much says how good this guy has been to the Skins. Samuels saw 7 different head coaches here during his tenure and sadly didn't get to see nearly enough playoff opportunities (2005, 2007 -3 games). He did get sent to 6 pro bowls and while I doubt he'll be inducted in Canton, he should eventually get added to the Redskins Ring of Fame.

Chris, you will be deeply missed and I hope that your future as a coach develops into a career after football.

Welcome

It might say Tackle next to his name in the picture, but the Skins have brought Hicks in to compete at the RG position. With Randy Thomas gone and nobody else earning the title of incumbent, it will be a good opportunity for Hicks to earn a starting spot.

Outside of that, no non-Redskin free agents have signed. It had looked like OT Tony Pashos was signed, but the the reports were not correct.

It does appear however that the Skins have some free agents that are coming in for visits like LB Larry Foote, RB "Fast" Willie Parker and NT Ma'ake Kemoeatu. There are also rumors of Rex Grossman and Jason Babin being possible interests for the Redskins.

Welcome Back
Lorenzo Alexander, Phillip Daniels, Mike Williams and Casey Rabach.
All three were re-signed to the team in the last few days.

-To me, Alexander has the best upside based on his special teams ability (He was an Honorable Mention for the 2009 IIWII Special Teams MVP).

-Daniels should excel as a 3-4 DE as long as he remains healthy. He really fits the skill set required to do the job.

-I've been pretty hard on Mike Williams. The ire really isn't aimed at the player, because what BMW has done to get back to the NFL and get on the field has been amazing. He put himself in a spot to make the Redskins take a look at him and give him a chance to win a roster spot. My bigger problem was with management and the coaches (Zorn and his staff) for keeping Williams on the roster (when you let guys go who could have contributed more) and activating him when he was more or less a project. Williams probably shouldn't have played a single down last year. That said, Williams played fairly well as a RG and should be competing with Artis Hicks for the starting RG spot.

-Don't count out Casey Rabach as the starting C this season. He's been reliable and generally durable during his time here. His critics will tell you that his major struggles deal with getting blown off the line by bigger DTs and NTs (it's true) and some will also argue that on occasion he holds too much and might have lost a step. That may also be true, however he may be a better fit in a Zone blocking scheme than a power blocking scheme that the Skins have used since Joe Gibbs returned. Rabach will be one to watch when camp and the preseason starts.

?

Still haven't heard any updates on Todd Yoder, Hunter Smith or Ethan Albright. Although, Albright has commented to The Post that he'd like to come back to the Skins.

- No Redskin RFAs have been given offer sheets by another team so far (that I'm aware).

- No recent Jason Campbell trade rumors, which is nice (unless you want Campbell gone) I suppose.

-All of the rumors about the Skins targeting Peppers, Dansby and Rolle were just that.......rumors.
Bruce Allen has come out and said:
"It's very clever how all these rumors start,"
"So we just smile about them and let them go."
(full breakdown from The Post here)

I will have a breakdown on what these moves will mean for the Redskins for the upcoming season and the draft.

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