So there is a mixed reaction, especially here in D.C., about the signing of the premier defensive lineman on the planet, and his admittedly outrageous deal in this economy.
First of all, no one should be surprised about the deal that Haynesworth got. Someone, Tennessee or elsewhere, was going to pay out the ass for him. I predicted we'd go for Haynesworth when we realized that the best player in the league at our biggest positional need was going to be a 27-year-old free agent. And it's a great signing.
If this were any team but the Redskins, the media would be salivating. The media would be saying: "What a get for this team. They get the most dominant DL we've seen in years to add to a line that already has Carter and Jason Taylor. They will be tough to stop." Especially considering we see Romo, McNabb, and Eli 6 times a season -- what an asset to be able to get pressure on those guys.
But because of the failures of Adam Archuleta, Deion Sanders, (signings from years ago -- Deion and Bruce Smith and Jeff George were almost ten years ago already!), Haynesworth is getting damned before he starts.
Albert Haynesworth is, flat out, the best defensive lineman in football. Every talking head said it last season. No one is more dominant on the line of scrimmage, maybe on either side of the ball. Even if he gets NO sacks this season, his presence will mean that Carter, certainly Jason Taylor and Griffin/Golston/etc are getting more sacks and pressure. So he doesn't play every snap -- what DT does? We'll take him out and be able to play Golston and Montgomery on certain downs or even certain series -- but Haynesworth is an unstoppable presence when he's in. He's a 320 pound guy -- he's here to play defensive tackle, not play all 11 spots.
Yes, the signing is risky. Any signing is risky. Sure, people think we should build our team through the draft. But the reality is that with four draft picks this year, and only one in the first two rounds, that is not going to get you anywhere in one season. Signing Albert Haynesworth -- and getting DeAngelo Hall for a relative steal considering he's 25, knows the defense, and has been to two Pro Bowls and an NFC Championship already -- injects the team with a sense of urgency. We want to win every single year. Jim Zorn has no excuses now. No one has excuses. We're going to be a better team this year because of Haynesworth. He's young, he's a beast, and he's getting paid to dominate. We don't need a leader on the defense -- we have Fletch -- he is getting paid to help us win games. And if anyone thinks we're better off with Kedric Golston or drafting a DT in the 5th round than with the best DL in the NFL, they're crazy.
Now, what is our next move? Obviously, our DL is pretty much set. I would expect the Redskins to sign Dockery in FA, then aim for a RT or an OLB in the draft. OLB is still a huge position of need with only Blades and McIntosh on the roster.
The other question is -- would we draft another WR?
Would it be wise to grab someone like Heyward-Bey (I'm a Terps homer -- they'd have to trade down) to give the offense an instant boost?
This team IS just one or two players away from being at the top of the NFL. All eyes are on the offense -- and Jim Zorn -- now, as we just made the #4 defense in the league even better. I say we add OL in the draft, hopefully a stud RT (maybe Andre Smith will slide after his Combine debacle?) -- and a backup/ultimately replacement center. With our other two picks, an OLB and either a home-run style RB or WR. What do you guys think? What other positions do we have a need for?
One more question -- Mike Nugent is available in FA -- do we trust in Suisham? I think it could be an interesting move to sign Nugent.