If you were to tell me that anyone could beat out Charles Mann, a four-time Pro Bowler, two-time Super Bowl champion, and a consummate professional, for the rights to be the all-time #71 in Redskins history, I would be skeptical.
Until you said those two words.
This presents a major dilemma.
Mann’s credentials are impeccable, and he would easily win a lot of other numbers. Mann played 11 years with the Redskins (he won a third ring in his final year, playing for the 49ers in 1994). The team named him one of the 70 Greatest Redskins in 2002. He started 145 games and recorded 82 sacks for Washington. He was a more complete player than Dexter Manley, who wasn’t much of a run-stopper. Mann was a crucial piece of the defensive puzzle for the greatest run in Redskins’ history.
But then there’s Williams.
While he hasn’t yet experienced anything like the team success that Mann helped foster in DC, Trent Williams has the distinction of being arguably the best player at his position in the sport.
Williams, an All-American at Oklahoma and a starter at left tackle since his rookie season, has now made six consecutive Pro Bowls. Pro Football Reference has his Approximate Value as 57. That’s an impressive total, but it’s still far short of Mann’s 78.
However, Trent Williams is still just 28 years old.
Therein lies the dilemma.
As of this moment, especially considering what he helped the Redskins do as a team, Charles Mann should probably get the nod. However, Trent Williams could very well wind up being a Hall of Fame player if he can put together about three more years as dominant as the ones he’s had the past three.
But how much weight should be given to projections versus what has already been done?
I’ll leave that up to you folks.
For now, I’m calling it a dead heat between two of the better Redskin players of the past 40 years.
Who is the greatest #71 in Redskins history?
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