For a team that's not considered to be in "win now" mode, the Redskins are positioning themselves to do just that. Recent additions along the defensive line, secondary and wide receiving corp all address immediate needs that eluded the Redskins in 2013. These additions do not represent a team that has a three-year-plan. They represent a team that is built to win in 2014!
In 2013, the defensive line was in a state of flux. Adam Carriker found himself on the PUP list to start the season, and he was not healthy enough to contribute at all last year. He found himself out of a job this offseason. Stephen Bowen was ineffective most of the season due to a knee issue he attempted to play through. Jarvis Jenkins was healthy once again, but he played more like a rookie. Barry Cofield was the stalwart amongst the group, and along with Chris Baker, gave the Redskins their only true players amongst the unit.
Free agency saw the team address the front three in a major way. Jason Hatcher was brought in to be another disruptive starter along side Cofield, and his presence should bolster a unit that struggled to get pressure up front. Hatcher, who will turn 32 this summer, is a win now piece for the team. His age alone indicates he is not a long-term option. He should however give the team two good years of high-end play, and stabilize a group who is looking to make an impact this coming season. The team also re-signed Chris Baker, and brought in some solid veterans for depth.
The Redskins secondary was a sieve last season. DeAngelo Hall played well, and was rewarded with a new contract from the team; one which he deserved, but he is no spring chicken. Amerson was a bright spot as a rookie, and the team has very high hopes for him going forward, but aside from him, youth and talent has eluded the unit.
Free agency saw some help come in the form an aging, yet dependable vet. Ryan Clark was signed to play free safety, a position the Redskins have struggled to find consistency with. Clark, who will turn 35 during the season, may be able to give the Redskins another solid season, but more importantly, he is a player who will be looked upon to help mold Bicarri Rambo and Philip Thomas, two young safeties the Redskins hope can take over as leaders of the secondary in the future. This move, along with the re-signing of Hall, and return of Brandon Meriweather, shows the Redskins are more interested in competing now, and less interested in developing for the future.
Wide receiver may have been the teams most glaring need heading into 2014. The unit had just one legitimate target in Pierre Garcon. After him, the group was full of question marks. The Redskins could have chosen to take advantage of one of the best wide receiver classes the draft has seen in the last 20 years, and develop some home-grow talent with an early pick, but instead, went out and secured the services of DeSean Jackson, and Andre Roberts, both established veterans, who can come in and make an immediate impact in Jay Gruden's offense.
Roberts should contribute as a slot receiver, and an occasional outside target. Jackson gives the Redskins one of the best playmakers in the game, and an immediate threat every defense will have to be aware of whenever he is on the field. With Griffin and Morris in the backfield, and Garcon, Jackson, Reed and Roberts as receiving targets, the Redskins went from a pedestrian offense, to one of the leagues most dangerous in just a few weeks.
The only area that is in need of an immediate upgrade is the offensive line. Right tackle and center are positions of great need, and will most likely have to be addressed in next months draft. If these two positions are drafted, the team will have a mix of young talent, and proven veteran leadership heading into the 2014 season.
The outlook is not for three years down the road however. This team will look to win right now, and with the pieces that are in place, and hopefully a few more to come, they may do just that.