One of my concerns as a Redskins fan is that with the changing of the guard from Vinny and the owner as the front office decision makers to a stubbornly cheap (in a good way) GM and Head Coach, paired with a team that can't generate wins, that solid free agents are avoiding Redskins Park. I (perceived) saw it with TJ Houshmandzadeh. I asked that exact question to Lorenzo Alexander during our last Pickled Hogs Radio broadcast:
Alexander: Ummmm...I wouldn't say they wouldn't want to come here. We just signed OJ Atogwe, and he's one of the premier safeties in the league. The front office is doing a better job of not just offering the biggest name out there the best contract that's ever been done. And we're doing a better job of screening players, and if not, it's a minimal deal and favorable to the team. They're getting better at taking care of their own. Guys that are grinding and producing and have become the face of the Redskins. I can only credit that to Mr. Allen and Coach Shanahan of really wanting guys here who want to work and they're going to reward you for that.
Especially in my case. Last year they didn't have to offer me a contract when they did. I was very gracious and humbled by that where everybody on our team didn't get that and probably should have gotten it over me. Taking care of guys that have been here working hard and moving in that direction. That's what I like. You have to build within your team. You can't just bring in a Pro-Bowler at every position and put him on the field and think you're going to do something. Dallas had 11 Pro-Bowlers one year and didn't win the Super Bowl, so having Pro Bowlers doesn't make you a great team. I think they understand that and their starting to move that way. They're doing their homework and building a team. A whole team. A couple superstars and some role players. Not everyone can be a super star...you know your role to go to the Big Game.
Amen. This certainly makes me feel better. As desperate as we are for wins, and they will come, it'll take a couple years, but the fact we have a functional system in place to weed out bad players will do wonders for this team in the long run. Rewarding the hard-working players is essential, as Ted Leonsis mentioned was a core part of his 10-point re-building plan.