- I vividly recall this time a year ago. Heading into the free agency period, the sound of silence was music to all of our ears. The lack of truly terrible drama surrounding a Redskins offseason was a welcome change after years of the opposite. Even with the Kirk Cousins tag dilemma staring the team in the face, the Redskins managed to keep the lid on the kind of circus-style disaster routines at which they had become so adept. Needless to say, things have struck a very different chord this year. Yet again, Dan Snyder has dumped on the very fans he—as steward of the Redskins franchise—is tasked with not dumping on. I risk being accused of “harping on” the negativity surrounding this franchise, but I don’t think that would be a fair accusation, especially considering I have made spent the better part of the last 20 years as a Redskins fan harping on any shred of positivity I could find.
- Given we are talking about a football team and not one of many terrible situations taking place real-time in our world today, I think we should all maybe take a deep breath. Given the fact that the worst news reported in this space is Dan Snyder ONCE AGAIN crapping all over his customers, and not some of the worst crimes committed by terrible people that we see in headlines every day, maybe things aren’t so bad. That said, given that we are using some of the worst events happening in the world right now to gain perspective as football fans...maybe that means something.
- I desperately want to envision a secondary with D.J. Swearinger playing with his high school teammate, Josh Norman. I desperately want to envision an upgraded interior defensive line. I desperately want to talk about how much bigger our wide receiving corps is today than it was at the end of the last season. Hell, I want to revel in the thought of Kirk Cousins going to Jordan Reed, Josh Doctson, Terrelle Pryor, Vernon Davis and Jamison Crowder in the red zone. There is reason to believe this team can be very competitive in 2017, and that is before we see what prospects can be added with five picks in the first four rounds of the draft. The fact that we aren’t spending a lot of time on this is not our fault. It is true that lingering on the shitstorm at Redskins Park is a choice, but that choice is based on myself and the staff here at HH (as well as countless other DC sports outlets) saying that we aren’t just going to let this stuff go. The bottom line is that thinking about the Redskins in any terms today comes with an AUTOMATIC side of turd sandwich served fresh by Bruce Allen and Dan Snyder.
- Of all the times when fans have threatened to “pull out” (stay with me here, folks), this time feels like it could be for real. This whole McLovin Incident has burned fans in a brand new way...instead of firing an incompetent employee far too late, the team decided to fire a competent talent evaluator way too soon. It was hard for fans to see that in the tug-of-war between the Director of Alumni Picnics and the man in charge of setting our draft board, the picnic guy won. After two years of improvement in the win-loss column—all during the McLovin Era—Dan Snyder essentially opted to hold onto the guy whom he felt was better at insulating him from the heat. In that department, Bruce Allen is playing All-Star level ball. If only he could pick players as well as he takes bullets for Dan Snyder...we wouldn’t have had to hire McLovin in the first place!
- For my part, I am not pulling out (hold it together, people), but I am also not feeling like it’s in any way appropriate to celebrate the moves and decisions of this team just quite yet. I am not switching allegiances to another team, and I am not making alternative plans for Sundays this fall. I am also not patting Bruce Allen on the back for anything he has done over the last week or so, because it would feel wrong. As I said last week, the Redskins organization has lost credibility. We can no longer take Dan Snyder and Bruce Allen at their word—to the extent any of us have been over the last decade or so. That means I won’t cling to any key phrases or quotes out of the organization. That means I won’t try and window-dress a move here and there to explain their awfulness away. The wounds are very much open in the Redskins fanbase, and while you will continue to get Redskins news on Hogs Haven, I am not even close to treating the Redskins like a pro team as long as they continue to act like buffoons.
- At some point, the excitement that SHOULD be accompanying the awesomeness of free agency and the draft will arrive. At some point, the prospect of Kirk Cousins throwing touchdowns to Terrelle Pryor will make us all giddy. At some point, the passion and love that goes with being a football fan will return in all of its glory. On some day in the future, my happiness for an entire week will hang on the outcome of a two-minute drive. On that day, I will still think Dan Snyder and Bruce Allen are buffoons.
Despite adding players that should help the product on the field, the Redskins continue to poison their own efforts with off-the-field drama.