ESPN Insider released their offseason grades for every NFL team this morning, and the Redskins and Bruce Allen did not fare well according to the C grade they received. Only the Panther(C-) and Indianapolis Colts(D) received lower grades for their offseasons, and three other teams got the same grade as the Skins(Chiefs, Chargers, and Cowboys). They predictably hit the Redskins for keeping Jim Haslett as defensive coordinator and not revamping the defense more this year.
The Judges:Bill Polian, Louis Riddick, Field Yates and Matt Williamson joined me(Mike Sando) in filling out report cards. We averaged the results, then solicited additional grades from a current general manager for the 10 teams that drew large disparities between high and low votes.
Re-signed: WR Santana Moss, S Brandon Meriweather, OLB Rob Jackson, S E.J. Biggers.
Veteran additions: FS Ryan Clark, DT Clifton Geathers, DT Jason Hatcher, LB Adam Hayward, LB Akeem Jordan, G Shawn Lauvao, QB Colt McCoy, C Mike McGlynn, CB Tracy Porter, WR Andre Roberts, LB Darryl Sharpton, WR DeSean Jackson.
Veteran subtractions: LB Nick Barnett, WR Dezmon Briscoe, TE Fred Davis, FS Reed Doughty, LB London Fletcher, QB Rex Grossman, LB Bryan Kehl, WR Josh Morgan, P Sav Rocca, LB Darryl Tapp, C J.D. Walton, CB Josh Wilson, C Will Montgomery, WR Josh Bellamy, LB Josh Hull.
Draft picks: 2-Trent Murphy (OLB), 3a-Morgan Moses (OT), 3b-Spencer Long (G), 4-Bashaud Breeland (CB), 5-Ryan Grant (WR), 6-Lache Seastrunk (RB), 7a-Ted Bolser (TE), 7b-Zach Hocker (K).
Analysis: Jay Gruden's hiring as head coach did not inspire our analysts. Yates said he did not "understand the allure" of Gruden. Williamson expressed "mixed feelings" on the hire. When Polian was asked about Washington, he paused for a long time before giving them an incomplete grade. "The whole thing turns on Robert Griffin III," said Polian, who has said in the past he thinks Griffin will succeed.
"I give them an A-plus for offense, but on defense, they should be every bit as bad," Williamson said. "They might have to win every game 40-38. That is a tough formula."
If Griffin rights his career and Jackson provides explosiveness at receiver, the Redskins could be in position next offseason to address their defense in a manner similar to the one Chicago employed this year. Yates thought Fletcher's leadership would be missed, and he wasn't convinced the team was right for keeping Jim Haslett as defensive coordinator for a fifth season, but that position could be addressed in the future. The Redskins rank 26th in defensive EPA since Haslett arrived in 2010.
"I hated their draft," Riddick said. "I like Trent Murphy, but not that early. He was a good college player but will have a hard time winning one-on-one battles at the NFL level."
An anonymous GM who helped grade the teams also threw in this little jab at DeSean Jackson as part of the Eagles grade
The GM consulted for this piece gave Philly a B-minus without knowing how anyone else had graded the Eagles. He called Jackson a cancer and predicted good things for Sproles in Chip Kelly's offense, but he also said the draft did not fall right for Philadelphia -- through no fault of the Eagles.
E$PN IN$IDER previously graded every team on their free agency through the first week(pre-DeSean Jackson signing) and gave the Redskins a C+. The DeSean Jackson signing and the Redskins draft have been factored in to the new grade and dropped them slightly.
Key signings: CB Tracy Porter, DT Jason Hatcher, G Shawn Lauvao, S Brandon Meriweather, WR Santana Moss, WR Andre Roberts, LB Darryl Sharpton, LB Akeem Jordan
Key subtractions: DE Darryl Tapp, DL Adam Carriker, LB London Fletcher
The Redskins were quiet when the big money was spent early in free agency and have signed players to relatively modest deals. They went for quantity over quality, perhaps counter to expectations for a team with significant needs and a history of imprudent spending. I was fine with the approach. If we're going to blast Washington for overpaying in past years, we can’t downgrade the Redskins too much for showing restraint.
"Not bad," Polian said. "This one is a little bit like Jacksonville. They added people who can play for them who are system fits at reasonable prices. And they got rid of some guys who really could not play."
The Redskins also managed to retain the rights to Brian Orakpo via the franchise tag.
"They really like Jason Hatcher and feel like, if they get two years out of him, they are good, and three would be awesome," Riddick said. "What scares me is he has only one year of production. He just never previously got the kind of production he got this year, which speaks to how good Rod Marinelli is as a defensive line coach. Look at Henry Melton and Julius Peppers after Marinelli left Chicago."
The Redskins got a good special-teams value with Akeem Jordan, but they needed help in their secondary and didn't get enough of it. Porter is basically a nickel corner with injury concerns.
"I like the Hatcher, Jordan and Roberts signings," Riddick said. "They can get out of the Hatcher deal in the third year with minimal problems."