In ascending order, my 2012 Redskins Old Timer Awards for outstanding performance by a player with at least five years of experience in the NFL and multiple seasons with the Redskins.
Honorable Mention: TE Fred Davis (5th season, all with Washington)
Though Davis was lost for the season with an achilles injury in Week 7, he was on pace to have one of his best seasons yet. Early in the season, Davis and WR Pierre Garçon quickly emerged as Robert Griffin III's favorite targets. When Garçon injured his foot and couldn't perform at his peak, Davis assumed the role of number one target. Even though he played for less than half the season, Davis still finished the year as the Redskins 5th leading receiver and more yards than TE Logan Paulsen. Hopefully the Redskins will be able to re-franchise Davis this offseason or re-sign him to a cap-friendly contract. Given his injury and 2011 suspension for substance abuse, it seems likely they will, but he is definitely an asset the team would hate to lose.
Honorable Mention: S Reed Doughty (7th season, all with Washington)
Plenty of people will dislike this selection, but I believe Doughty deserves more credit than he gets. A perennial back-up and special team contributor, Doughty has frequently been called upon to take over starting safeties due to injury or performance issues and has, for the most part, proven up to the task. This season, with the Redskins secondary depleted by injury and suspension, he showed once again that he is just about as reliable a back-up as anyone could ask for. Doughty tallied 69 tackles this season, played well up front against the run and recorded his second career interception in Week One against the New Orleans Saints to clinch a Redskins victory. His best single game performance, however, came in the playoff matchup against Seattle on Sunday. Doughty, starting over injured DeJon Gomes, had a season high (and best since 2010) 13 tackles as well as two sacks and a pass deflection. He's never going to be our number one safety, but he sure is good to have around.
Third Place: CB DeAngelo Hall (10th season, 5th with Washington)
This too will likely be an unpopular choice, considering many of the fans prefer to call him MeAngelo and wish he would learn that sometimes silence is best. Hall was, however, one of the Redskins top performing defenders this year, ranking third in solo tackles with 68 (behind linebackers London Fletcher and Perry Riley), second in interceptions with four (behind London Fletcher) and first in pass deflections with a whopping 14. Hall also recorded the only full sack of his career this year in Week One against New Orleans. While it is true that his trash talking could use some tempering, he has shown a commitment to the Redskins this year, especially late in the season, that indicates he may be transforming into more of a WeAngelo than a MeAngelo. Hall has a big contract and will likely need to agree to renegotiate at a lower rate to stay in Washington, but it sounds like he is willing to do that in order to remain a part of this exciting Redskins team.
Second Place: WR Santana Moss (12th season, 8th with Washington)
Throughout the offseason, Moss's future with the Redskins remained uncertain. Would the fan favorite, dubbed the "Cowboy Killer", find a niche in the crowded WR corps? Knowing the competition would be fierce, Moss dropped 15 lbs in the offseason and demonstrated a willingness in camp to assume the role of slot receiver, a position better suited to his slightly diminished speed. Moss finished the season with 41 receptions for 573 yards and eight TDs, the most TDs of any Washington WR. His longest reception in 2012 was for 77 yards, which is the second longest reception of all Redskins WRs this year and only one yard shy of his career long - not bad for the old man of the receiving corps. Moss ends the season as the fourth leading Redskins receiver of all time and ninth among all active receivers in the NFL with 9,715 yards. Unfortunately, Moss's guaranteed money increases slightly next year, which could prove a hindrance to keeping him, so let's hope he and the team can work something out. I was very close to awarding Moss the top prize, but I think we all know that honor belongs to another veteran.
First Place: LB London Fletcher (15th season, 6th with Washington)
Perhaps the biggest offseason contract concern revolved around re-signing the now 37 year old linebacker during free agency. Fans were relieved when a deal was announced, not just because of his on-field talent, but also because of his leadership and locker room presence. Fletcher is one of the unquestioned leaders of the team, a hardworking, mindful player from whom the younger players, especially the rookies, can learn a lot. After dealing with some nagging hamstring issues and suffering an ankle injury, Fletcher struggled midseason and many questioned if he would be able to perform at a high level again. Though he did not practice for most of the second half of the season, Fletcher maintained his streak for consecutive games played - tied for most in the NFL - and lead the teams in tackles with 78 solo and in INTs with five. The five INTs were a career high for Fletcher and the most of any linebacker in the NFL this season. Now the big question for this offseason is will Fletcher return to the Redskins or will he retire while he's still on top?