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Football Outsiders NFC East Review

Ryan Wilson's NFC East Review went up a few days ago. Ryan also does fantastic work at AOL Fanhouse. As I'm an admitted stat nerd, Football Outsiders is a daily read for me and should be for you too. Nerd.

Anyways, here's what he has on Your Washington Redskins:

Washington Redskins
Joe Gibbs is entering his fourth year of un-retirement and in that time the Redskins have drafted 16 players, acquired just as many big-name players through free agency or trades, and posted a 21-27 record. Owner Daniel Snyder would never fire Gibbs, but until the three-time Super Bowl-winning head coach gives up his personnel duties, Washington will continue to stumble through the NFC East.
I don't want to spend too much time defending the personnel decisions of the Washington Redskins, as they have not been especially defensible, but I'll briefly support Coach Gibbs. Archuleta and Lloyd were disasters, but I truly felt that Andre Carter could easily justify his signing as he lead the Defensive Line in tackles and the team in sacks and tackles for a loss. He was unquestionably the best player on the line in 2006.

Although we like to throw draft picks away, when we do draft we tend to get value for our picks. Sean Taylor regressed in 2006, though likely because of the poor state of the defense, but remains one of the better Safeties in the league. Carlos Rogers is still a question mark after a sophomore slump, but I haven't lost faith yet. Chris Cooley is comparable to any NFC Tight End and was scooped in the 3rd round. Kedric Golston could be our starter (and a decent one) in 2007 despite falling to the 6th round of the 2005 draft. Anthony Montgomery earned significant playing time and he was a 7th round pick. Rocky McIntosh has much to prove, but closed out the season with 17 tackles in weeks 16 and 17. We eagerly await Jason Campbell's emergence as a star.

High profile free agency and trade disasters eclipse minor successes. We won on the Moss for Coles deal, we scooped Marcus Washington from the Colts and he's had his best years as a Redskin, and Mike Sellers is playing at a much higher level than anyone could have predicted when we picked him up in 2004.

Does this mean Adam Archuleta and Brandon Lloyd never happened? Should we bury our heads in the sand? No, I think Ryan Wilson has an excellent and founded criticism of the Redskins personnel decisions, I just don't think Joe Gibbs' personnel decisions, viewed holistically, are necessarily prohibitive of a winning Redskins future.

Granted, I wish we had a General Manager.

Who Could Leave?
The Redskins have 11 unrestricted free agents but only linebacker Warrick Holdman was a starter. Holdman was often overmatched last season and will likely be replaced by 2006 second-round pick Rocky McIntosh. Running back T.J. Duckett was acquired last August for a third-round pick and then spent the season buried on the depth chart. Duckett's a free agent and wants to be a starter. With Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts firmly entrenched in Washington, Duckett won't be back. Neither will oft-injured kicker John Hall, who is still under contract but seldom healthy.
He's right on in this assessment. Holdman is supplanted on the depth chart, and perhaps on the roster (if we can sign him for league minimum, I say go for it). Duckett is gone, making us look all the crazier for that nuts trade. Water under the bridge I guess. John Hall is gone as Shaun Suisham is Your Washington Redskins Kicker (Note: unless he's not).
In an effort to create cap room or to just cut dead weight, Washington could choose to release David Patten, Brandon Lloyd, Adam Archuleta, and maybe even Mark Brunell. Archuleta is possibly the biggest free-agent signing-turned-bust during the Gibbs regime. and the team would eagerly listen to any trade offers.
Patten will be released. Mark Brunell should be but instead will be restructured. Brandon Lloyd and Adam Archuleta are safe due to their contracts and our current financial mess, neither of which lends itself to their early departure from this team.
Whom Should They Sign?
(Projected Cap Space: -$2.4 million)
Unlike last off-season, the Redskins will be relatively quiet during free agency. The defense ranked last in the NFL in 2006. The pass rush was nonexistent, and as a result the secondary floundered. Opponents threw away from cornerback Shawn Springs when he was healthy enough to play, which meant 2005 first-round pick Carlos Rogers was exposed as the weak link. Washington would love to upgrade the position with Samuel or Clements, but don't have the cap space to do so.
We agree about our situation, but disagree about the results. That a decision was bad or financially infeasible never stopped us before. I don't want us to go after Samuels or Clements, but we will anyways. The Redskins make noise in the offseason. In other news, the sun rises and diarrhea kills 2.5 million people annually. Life tragically goes on.
There were rumors during the season the Redskins would make a typical off-season run at Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney, but Indianapolis will either sign him to a long-term deal or franchise him. Defensive ends Patrick Kerney and Charles Grant are unrestricted free agents, but Kerney, who is 31, could re-sign with the Falcons, and Grant could be too expensive for Washington given their cap constraints.
Great piece by Ryan Wilson, check out the entire thing at Football Outsiders. Post your own thoughts below.