Landry and the general situation in the secondary

One of the stories in the daily slop today reports that Landry has opted out of surgery again; this is contrary to the Redskin's doctors recommendation, and probably won't sit well with management.

Just to make things a little murkier, the Redskins are undergoing a bit of a coaching shuffle involving the position coaches on defense… and of course Landry is an unrestricted free agent.

I've not been able to find any reference to the exact nature of Landry's injury to his Achilles tendon. But I am going to guess that it is something in the nature of tendonopathy. Although I am not able to walk, I have been battling tendonopaphy for almost 4 months; my orthopedic surgeon is not a big fan of surgery for someone in my position, but his reasoning applies to people who are ambulatory as well.

Evidently, the Achilles tendon is one of (if not the only) tendons that is not surrounded by a protective sheath. Other tendons in the body can experience inflammation of this protective sheath resulting in a commonly known condition–tendinitis. My radiologist and doctors had explained that although we hear the term of Achilles tendinitis, it really is not accurate because of the lack of the protective sheath.

So what is a Achilles tendonopathy? generally it is direct damage to the tendon itself… or in some cases, inflammation to the tissues surrounding the tendon. If this is what Landry is dealing with, then I can understand somewhat his reluctance for surgery. There is no guarantee that a surgical procedure will relieve the symptoms (the main symptom is intense pain that is difficult to manage) and like all surgeries, can carry some risk.

Again this is all speculation on my part, but we have heard no mention of partial tears or seen Landry walking around in a protective boot. In the case of a complete separation or tear, walking or running would be near impossible and surgery would be a no-brainer even for non-athletes.

This will mark the second off-season that Landry has refused to undergo surgery for his condition. And even though I can see it as a reasonable decision by him especially when life post-football career is taken into account, it does put the Redskins organization in a bit of a pickle… what should the Redskins do?

The obvious answer from the Redskins standpoint is to sign Landry to a “one-year, show me” contract at a reasonable salary. The problem is that Landry has not expressed publicly one way or another whether he wishes to return to Washington, and there does seem to be some interest in Landry from other team's fans. (I know, I was shocked as well) anyone interested should stop by “Silver and Black pride” and read through the posts on their safety situation.

We seem to lose cornerbacks due to all of the coaching and front-office turmoil that this franchise has experienced for the last decade. Now we have number 30 entering free agency while the team is shuffling it's position coaches, this leaves us with quite a few questions… what does Landry think of his new position coach Raheem Morris? Morris is reported to have an assistant, who might this be? what is Landry's monkey telling him to do?

So if we cannot sign him to a “show me” one year contract, I think the next thing the Redskins need to consider is the franchise tag at somewhere around $5 million. The Redskins don't really have a glaring need for that tag for any other player, so this is a viable option although probably not the best value.

The third option is to let Landry test the free-agent market and then offer him a competing contract. I don't think this option would have Landry playing for the Redskins next season.… we don't have a history of retaining players once they hit the market.

No matter how it plays out, it seems obvious to me that our secondary is going to be unsettled for at least the next two years. In addition to the Landry question (and I really think it is likely he is gone at this moment), I think the Redskins are going to have to do something regarding D'Angelo Hall, either of his contract or his play will need to be addressed soon.

Then there comes the question of our free safety; we have not gotten production out of this position since 2007 and there doesn't seem to be any immediate help on the roster… OJ does have a history of nagging injuries and he is now 30 years old coming off a season where he did not start or play very often. Gomes is a young player and although he has shown flashes, is probably not ready to start next year. Moving Barnes to free safety did not work out well last time we tried it. Reed Doughty is a solid backup at strong saftey, but nothing more.

Last week, I was ready to write a post arguing for signing Branch from the Raiders. In researching the likelihood of him reaching free agency, I was distressed to find that the Oakland fans consider signing him to be the MOST important move (similar to us with London). There are actually looking at strong safety options to fix their secondary problems, hence the interest in Landry.

So really the question that comes to my mind this off-season is this–what moves will the Redskins made to ensure that the secondary is improved or at the very least does not backslide further?

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