With the lockout hopefully ending soon I wanted to go over a few things for us all to keep in mind as we build our Redskins Wish List.
1. The Redskins are going to have a ton of money to spend: As I showed in my blog last week the Redskins are going to be rolling in dough whenever free agency starts. Regardless of what the Salary Cap shakes out to, Washington is in a good position, after they eliminate their bad contracts.
2. The Redskins are going to have to spend this money. I know there is a segment of the fan base that is burned out with the big name/big money signings, and want to build through the draft, but that isn't going to be what happens. Always teams have had to spend around 90% of the salary cap, and that amount looks to rise even higher with this new CBA. So one way or another the Redskins are going to spend.
Now the question is what Free Agent strategy would you like to see the Redskins employ. Now I'm going to break it down to three basic Free Agency strategies, but obviously their are caveats and ways to combine them. Also if the Cap is even more than what is projected, then you could see them be even bolder.
Sign 1-3 Big Name Stars, and then sign minor guys to fill in:
This is what you'd call the classic Redskins strategy, by going after the biggest name players regardless of position and then not having the money to fill their biggest needs. While they will have more money this time around they still need to be cautious on what they are spending it on. Targeting a few big name guys can help jersey sales and look good on paper, but it would only make sense if the Redskins were already contenders.
Sign 6-9 Good Players, but no real mega-deals:
This is something we saw somewhat attempted under Joe Gibbs when we signed Griffin/Springs/Washington etc. but didn't lockup any elite players. The problem then is we didn't have enough money to get enough quality players, something that shouldn't be an issue this time around. I think this is personally the best strategy and chance for the Redskins to address as many of their needs as possible. It might not make Washington contenders next season, but it could set them up for 2012 to make a run.
Sign a large number (10-15) 4th tier players, with only 1 or 2 even bigger name signings:
Essentially this was our strategy last year, though we weren't fighting with a cap. In the End McNabb and Jammal Brown were our big name 'signings', while we dumped a ton of money into Willie Parker, Larry Johnson, Artis Hicks, Kemoeatu, Holliday, Galloway, R. Williams, and Buchanon, and resigning others. This year we'd have to sign even more guys of that ilk, and it makes zero sense. Particularly when we just added 12 young cheap guys through the draft.
Obviously it is pretty clear where I fall on the spectrum, and I do recognize that you could maybe ink 1 or 2 big names (which I'm defining as $10 million a year or more) if they are on the cheaper side of the top options (i.e. no Asomugha). By in large though I think the Redskins best strategy is to lock up as many players for the next 4-7 years (who are expected to be good for that long) and fill their biggest need positions. I would love to see us with a capable team that is just 1-2 players away from really being a serious contender. What do you guys hope to see?
Steve Shoup has been a Redskins fan his entire life and dreams of the day they get back to the glory days of his youth. In addition to his regular piece on Hogs Haven, you can find his daily writings at Fanspeak.com.