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Are the Redskins Better at This Very Moment Than They Were Last Year?

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Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

We are only a few days into the start of free agency, and the NFL draft is still over a month away, but are the Redskins a better football team right now, at this very moment, than they were last year?

You must be kidding Mark? Right? You are kidding...aren't you?

Please tell me you are kidding...

Voice of the People:

- Jiminy Crickets,...we just lost our two best wide receivers - two guys who were not only leaders of this team, but had the production to match!  How are we supposed to make up for 135 receptions and 2046 receiving yards? And please don't tell me Josh Doctson is going to become our new DeSean Jackson, and a guy who has only played one full season as a wide receiver is going to match Garcon's production and toughness.

- Our best defensive tackle just went to Tampa Bay, where there is no damn state tax, and supposedly we didn't even offer him a contract!  We signed two JAG's to replace him. How's that going to work out?

- We just signed D.J. Swearinger, but we are already moving Craven's to strong safety. Where is he supposed to play, and which one will get bumped?

- It's been reported Cousin's doesn't even want to be here after McCloughan was fired. He could try and force his way out of DC via a trade. Then what will we do?

- The best general manager we've had here in years was just run out of town by our egotistical team president over some perceived power struggle. Who in the hell is going to be in charge of our draft?

Mark's Take:

- Losing Jackson hurts a lot, as he was the guy who could command a double team over-the-top, and free up other players around him. Garcon was a gritty veteran who did a lot of the dirty work for this team, and his professionalism, leadership and toughness will definitely be missed

...however, with the addition of Pryor, and the health of Doctson(his snap-chat footage has looked good), we have two big, athletic, fast outside receivers. Pryor, in just his first full year as a wide receiver, put up 77 receptions, for 1007 yards and 4 touchdowns - and this is with Robert Griffin, Josh McCown and Cody Kessler throwing him the ball. Can you imagine what he can do with Cousins slinging him the rock! Then you have third year player Jamison Crowder, who should see an increased role in the offense. He can stay in the slot, or line up on the outside. Anywhere you put him, he's a weapon. In my opinion, Doctson/Pryor > Jackson/Garcon. Third year Crowder takes another step forward, and Maurice Harris continues to get better and will add another weapon in just his second season.

- Losing Chris Baker hurts, but when he arrived in D.C., he was a JAG. With Stacy McGee and Terrell McClain, you get two slightly younger, more athletic defensive linemen who are pretty scheme diverse. Both excel against the run, but have the ability to push the pocket in the passing game. Neither one may be quite equal to the player Baker has become, but the two combined will have a greater impact on the defense. Right now, our defensive line is better than it was a year ago.

- The Swearinger signing was a good one. He's much more strong safety than free safety, but he does offer the team some options in the back half. Swearinger excels as a underneath defender in a robber role, and can match up effectively against tight ends in the slot. He can be combined with a true free safety on any down, and in nickle, his signing can allow Su'a Cravens to slide down to dime linebacker - a role he can excel in. Swearinger immediately makes the back half of this defense better, and should be a staple for years to come.

- Look, unless there is a ridiculous trade offer on the table, Cousins will be our starting quarterback in 2017. If we can convince him our organization is in good hands moving forward, maybe we can get him to sign a long-term deal...if we show him the money. This kid can be dynamic in this offense, and a solid offensive line, coupled with a dynamic young receiving corps will only help him continue to get better.

...If a trade were to occur, and we were able to get a compliment of draft picks for Cousins, we could turn those into some solid players, perhaps even a certain very special quarterback prospect in 2018.

- There are so many rumors swirling around the firing of GM Scot McCloughan, that it's hard to believe what is true. One thing that seems to be certain, is that Scot and his scouting department set up their free agent targets, and draft board, and by all accounts, they are, and will, be working off this blueprint. Hopefully, after the draft is complete, the Redskins will hire a GM and do something to limit the power of Bruce Allen.

Summary:

Without having the remainder of free agency play out, and before the NFL draft, I believe right now, we are a better football team after just four new additions and a few re-signs, than we were last year. Undoubtedly, the squad will only get better after entertaining some more free agent targets, and adding quality pieces via the draft, but if we had to start the season today, given just the pieces we have at the moment, I believe we are a 9-7 team at worst.