A Burgundy and Gold Obsession
Game 12 - Philly. No biggie. Just a season in the balance ...

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  1. #1
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    Default Rebuilding or Retooling?

    I posted this elsewhere as well, but I'd love to hear BGO's viewpoint on this. For some reason, I think I'll get better discussion here

    I keep reading how some people are afraid to use free agency to help build this team as it reminds them of the approach that we've been using for years within this organization.

    I thought this would be a nice conversation to have, that's centered away from that Fat Guy who hopefully won't even be associated with our team much longer

    My take is this: We've used free agency in the past to secure many players. Some in various roles, but we seem to always have a pattern of looking for guys that will be starters. One could argue that we began to turn in a different direction this offseason with free agency signings such as Kory Lichtensteiger, Artis Hicks, et al.

    I don't believe that free agency has to be used in the typical "Redskin" approach of finding guys to start for us. We used it this way for years, acquiring guys such as Jeff George, Deion Sanders, Bruce Smith, etc. Now, truth be told, these guys weren't as bad for us as a lot of us like to think they were (at least Smith and Sanders ), but because we didn't have team success the individuals get labeled as a failure around here. Those are just to name a few of the guys that we've signed.

    I firmly believe that in order to build a good team you need to use free agency as a part of your plan. You cannot build strictly through the draft.

    Now, some here know I'm an advocate of blowing this team up. Removing the people who don't want to put the effort in is the beginning. But how do we fill those slots? Well, I'd say we need to get younger. The draft is a great way to do that, but so is using free agency in the proper way. You need to have a combination.

    Sign younger guys in free agency that could have a positive effect on the team, even if it's strictly from a depth point of view. On occasion, you sign a big piece. But it can't be an every year move and you need to do your research on the bigger name guys you sign. If they have character flaws you can't bring afford to bring them in.

    For instance, let's take a look at the New England Patriots. The Tri's did a great job breaking down Bill Belichick's draft classes, and in his opinion he believes that our head coach, Mike Shanahan, is a better "drafter" than Belichick. Although I do agree that Shanahan may have found success with more guys than Belichick, I don't think it can be argued that Belichick had bigger successes. Shanahan found no one in the draft quite like Richard Seymour, Tom Brady or Vince Wilfork.

    This year, in free agency, Belichick brought in three guys: Alge Crumpler, who has been a very good role player to compliment his two young tight ends. Damione Lewis, who is another role player. And Gerard Warren, who is again, another role player. These guys compliment the roster of the New England Patriots and fit exactly what the Patriots needed.

    The prior year, Belichick used free agency to sign a mixture of players including Old Man River himself. Why? Because I believe the Patriots, with a solid roster foundation, could afford to sign some older guys to compliment their younger players. he also signed Shawn Springs and Fred Taylor. None of these guys quite worked out, but when you're New England you have the luxury of trying things out. (Fred Taylor seems to be constantly injured, or I think he'd be doing pretty well)

    Of course, Danny Woodhead, a young guy, wound up filling in quite well for the Patriots at the running back position to compliment another young guy, Ben Jarvis Green Ellis.

    I don't think we have that luxury quite yet. Sure, if we feel a veteran can be signed for relatively cheap and can help our team than I'm all for it. But I believe that before you can use free agency like we have been, we have to have a solid nucleus of players to build around. What the Patriots are doing is retooling with a combination of veterans and young guys. What we're in need of is rebuilding.

    We need to get younger. We're one of, if not, the oldest team in football. In order to be competitive I think we need to drop our age drastically first. Which is kind of saddening to me, as I love guys like Phillip Daniels. Once we get younger and have a solid group in place, now we can start to gamble on trades and free agency pick ups a bit more. Now, when we drop our age, chances are we're not going to be competitive right away. But I think that puts us on the right track.

    The 2010 Buccaneers have over 40 players who were born in 1984 or later, and only three that were born prior to 1980. The fact that they're 7-5 is incredible.

    I think Mike Shanahan offers us one thing that we haven't had, someone who will cut ties with a player if they offer problems. So signing a problem guy, once we have a solid roster in place, won't hurt us, because it seems as if Shanahan will hold that player accountable.

    So, what do you think? How do you feel about free agency and the draft? Do you feel we need to have the roster in a stable state prior to gambling, or do you think we should begin gambling now?
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    Nice read, you are a welcome addition around these here parts.

    I agree with your post mostly. Considering the age of the roster, getting rid of Daniels and some of the other white beards would seem to be a good move. I would not, however, ditch all of them. I think there is great value to be had from the knowledge and experience a guy like London Fletcher brings to the table, allowing him to mentor some of the young guys coming along. Most of us in our own lines of work have had some semblance of a mentor at some point or another, and that experience can be invaluable.

    I think the difference would be that you are talking about a change in philosophy. Before, I think the vets were brought in to win now. Mentoring is something quite different from that, and you don't need but a couple of guys on each side of the ball. You want guys with great practice habits and professionalism, and for that reason alone, I would consider keeping Daniels, or at least asking him to remain on as a coach.

    Aside from that, I have no problem using free agency to get us younger players. I would absolutely take a long look at other team's practice squads from now to the end of the year if we think there might be value there.
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    I have no problem with using free agency, but you build through the draft and supplement with free agency. We've been trying to do it the other way around for years, and it doesn't work.

    These days, I get anxious when I see the Redskins go for a vet for the same reason I'd be worried if I saw an alcoholic drinking a beer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry View Post
    I have no problem with using free agency, but you build through the draft and supplement with free agency. We've been trying to do it the other way around for years, and it doesn't work.

    These days, I get anxious when I see the Redskins go for a vet for the same reason I'd be worried if I saw an alcoholic drinking a beer.
    bingo.

    a few thoughts:

    - take QB off the table. whether drafted, traded, FA, old, young.....you have to have a championship caliber trigger puller.

    - there is a cost/talent tradeoff. You pay more in FA for better talent...the market ensures that. the net effect is that...under the cap....you do not have the resources to fully populate your roster with talent both on your starting teams and for depth. the Skins have been exceptionally burdended by this reality over the last 18 years.

    - IMO...you draft to build a base that is then sustained. once that base is established, FA, trades and the draft make the annual adjustments at the margin. a team may suffer 1-2 year droughts (see B-More), but once that base is established they recover pretty quickly.

    - FA undercuts the whole base concept in many ways: FAs generally just aren't around that long...they are older.....they cost too much...they move to yet better deals....they get injured more frequently.

    - I have no settled thought on this...but can you really build a "team" when the preponderance of your roster is FA/trade based?

    My present concern is that Shanahan is clearly "one and done" with a short window. he's not interested, IMO, in 2-3 year draft based rebuild. so, my guess, we will see, yet again, a lot of FA activity come next off-season. 18 years of watching the results of this strategy might be adequate to convince some that this is not the path to follow. especially when there are so many holes.
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    I don't care how we acquire a player, I just want him to produce.

    Draft, trade, or free agency, it doesn't matter.

    While we, as a franchise, have drafted a lot of our best all time players, Baugh, Larry Brown, Monk etc..., we have also gotten a lot of our greats by other means, Jurgensen, Riggins, Lachey, Fletcher etc...

    Like you said Dawg, we just have to do better at it than we have been since even BEFORE Snyder bought the team.

    And, we can release a handful of players that would drop our average age pretty quick.

    My wish list for players is like many others.

    Younger, and faster.
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    Kdawg, my argument hasnt been that we use free agency, its that we use it poorly.

    You dont always have to get the big name probowler who is in his mid thirties like we have, the great free agent using teams find role players or young free agents with upside.

    most free agents are gonna have baggage or their teams wouldnt be letting them go, the trick is making sure you have a strong enough core on your team that it wont derail your team to add them.

    the biggest thing is you have to be willing to let players go BEFORE they become liabilities on the field, a case in point for us was Marcus washington, we let him stay until he literally had nothing left, had we traded him a year earlier we would have gotten at the very least an upper mid round draft pick, instead we got nothing. thats gotta change.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goaldeje View Post
    London Fletcher
    I've never advocating getting rid of London Fletcher. He's been on this team, he's still productive, and he's a leader. Three things you want. I'd prefer he's younger, but he hits on three major categories. He does need to be replaced soon, but that time is not now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Henry View Post
    I have no problem with using free agency, but you build through the draft and supplement with free agency. We've been trying to do it the other way around for years, and it doesn't work.
    You and I are in agreement, then for the most part. However, with our draft not being complete, we need to use free agency. We need to look at other teams practice squads and the free agency wire for young guys who have talent but got caught in a numbers game. Due the due diligence, look at guys who haven't been great but have a ton of talent. Talk to them. Talk to others. See if they've learned. Seattle's Mike Williams is a prime example of a guy who turned it around. Those guys are out there, but you need to do due diligence without automatically offering a contract


    Quote Originally Posted by fansince62 View Post
    - take QB off the table. whether drafted, traded, FA, old, young.....you have to have a championship caliber trigger puller.
    I disagree with this to a degree. I'm against McNabb because I don't see him as a feasible option once we go through this. We lost two picks by trading for McNabb, and I don't think he's going to take us to the promised land. Yes, we acquired another via the Campbell trade, but we could have had three picks versus one if we wouldn't have made the move for McNabb.

    - there is a cost/talent tradeoff. You pay more in FA for better talent...the market ensures that. the net effect is that...under the cap....you do not have the resources to fully populate your roster with talent both on your starting teams and for depth. the Skins have been exceptionally burdended by this reality over the last 18 years.
    Yup. We're in agreement.

    - IMO...you draft to build a base that is then sustained. once that base is established, FA, trades and the draft make the annual adjustments at the margin. a team may suffer 1-2 year droughts (see B-More), but once that base is established they recover pretty quickly.
    We're in full agreement.

    - FA undercuts the whole base concept in many ways: FAs generally just aren't around that long...they are older.....they cost too much...they move to yet better deals....they get injured more frequently.
    These are generalizations. There are young free agents as well. I said in the post above we need to use free agency as a tool to get younger. We can sign younger guys who aren't old to help build our foundation. I don't advocate signing aging vets. I said all that in the OP. It seems as if we're in agreement there.

    - I have no settled thought on this...but can you really build a "team" when the preponderance of your roster is FA/trade based?
    I think that was the premise of my post. It seems like you're misunderstanding or reading the initial post incorrectly. I want to build through the draft and free agency with young pieces. Once that foundation is in place, you can absolutely continue to build by adding veteran pieces. But the foundation must be there.

    My present concern is that Shanahan is clearly "one and done" with a short window. he's not interested, IMO, in 2-3 year draft based rebuild. so, my guess, we will see, yet again, a lot of FA activity come next off-season. 18 years of watching the results of this strategy might be adequate to convince some that this is not the path to follow. especially when there are so many holes.
    I'm okay with FA activity. I'm not okay with win-now FA activity. I'm actually against guys like Vincent Jackson for that very reason. Yes, he's relatively young... But if he's signed we better have done our due diligence to figure out if the guy has character issues. We can't afford to add that kind of issue to the team. We see how 92 hurt us all year. We can't do that again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ax View Post
    While we, as a franchise, have drafted a lot of our best all time players, Baugh, Larry Brown, Monk etc..., we have also gotten a lot of our greats by other means, Jurgensen, Riggins, Lachey, Fletcher etc...
    That's generally how it works out. The Patriots have Brady, Wilfork and had Seymour. They also added guys like Welker, Randy Moss, etc through other means. They have the luxury of trying to add older vets due to a solid core roster. We don't.

    We're in agreement.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rymanofthenorth View Post
    Kdawg, my argument hasnt been that we use free agency, its that we use it poorly.
    We don't disagree at all.
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    fellas..that doesn't answer the mail. you have to employ a strategy..one that...hopefully...is adhered to over many years to promote stability and consistency. saying FA is ok as long as it is done wisely doesn't attack the hard choice: how much of the strategy should be draft based and how much FA/trade based. what is the time perspective?

    I believe we had the outline of some consensus here that were one of us king of the football world we'd start with the draft as the primary building block and then include FA/trades as the foundation matured. from a resource point-of-view, FA, trades and drafts are not unlimited resources. You trade one off for another. what I think remains unexamined is what that trade-off strategy should be.

    I would note that there is a difference between acquiring a great player...and a player who pushes your team over the top. it's not clear to me at all that a FA strategy leads to a better team. in fact, I think the evidence is just the opposite. which leads back to the previous para: what should the trade-offs be? a roster that is 70% draft, 20% FA, 10% trade? I don't know...just saying that there is a relationship between the strategy and outcomes...and that the various avenues for "collecting" players have subtle differences in how they promote or detract team building, team play, longevity, etc.
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    "I disagree with this to a degree. I'm against McNabb because I don't see him as a feasible option once we go through this. We lost two picks by trading for McNabb, and I don't think he's going to take us to the promised land. Yes, we acquired another via the Campbell trade, but we could have had three picks versus one if we wouldn't have made the move for McNabb."

    we aren't disagreeing here. I was simply saying that QB is the one position there are no settled rules for. You grab that player by whatever mechanism once you're sure that's the right guy. you're complaint is a time based one (= roster synchronization) which I am entirely in agreement with - if the strategy is long-term focused (hence, my argument about Shanahan).
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    just for old time sakes:

    screw all of you. you have no clue what you're talking about. I played Madden football and know what I'm talking about. fire Shanahan and Allen today and put Vinny back in charge. offer Farve a 40 mil signing bonus during the next off-season or promise Vick his own dog reserve. AH is a fat blob we loved for a game but who now needs to disappear. and mods......you closet fascists.......enough with the bans already: I like what Lanky posts. it's un-American.

    ahhhhhhh...that felt good! .... :-) .....
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    Good post KDawg and i agree we're officially rebuilding now and have no chance of retooling. Early on, i thought retooling might work and we we're only maybe a turnover of 5 players away. The way i see it now, we're 5 players away on each side of the ball.

    I see it this way when it comes to us and acquiring good quality players regradless of how you do it, especially for us.

    -We've been downright bad or average at best in a lot of positions for YEARS. When your bring in players here to compete, we're not necessarily getting any closer to a championship, just getting better than terrible.

    Perfect example, Reed Doughty. I have never seen a least talented guy make this long of a run in the NFL in my entire life. I'm 100% positive not one team in the NFL would pick this guy up, and if by chance they did, he wouldn't make it long. DeAngelo Hall is another example. He was on his way out of the league and he comes here and becomes a superstar.

    We have to get the most players we can for the buck. The youger the better. We need to be eying back-up's from the real good teams in the league and do well with our early draft picks. I see no reason to sign ONE big name player in free agency for years to come unless it's just too good to be true.
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    I said in another post that I think right now we should be raiding teams practice rosters and trying to see if a guy who may be buried on a teams PR could be a player. the Egales stole Dixon that way on us last year, basically go look at team who are very deep at certain spots, and if they have a guy on the PR at a spot they are deep at take a flyer on him.
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    Yea, ROM. The only thing i disagree with some is this total move to get younger in the draft. I agree we've blown our wad on big name FA's, but we can still get lowered priced no name guys in FA to build with.

    Outside the first couple of rounds you're less than 10% to find a player. We'll be waiting 10 yrs to build through the draft. As bad as that sounds that might be closer to the truth than some are hoping for.

    I see a lot of Gibbs 2.0 in Shanahan, but with one big difference. He wanted true Redskins, core players to build around, and honestly, we might be rotten right to the core outside of Fletcher and he'll be gone more than likely, when and if, this ever get's fixed.

    I'm hoping guys like Banks, Armstrong, Torain are just signs of what's to come and Haslett needs to keep up.
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    I disagree that shanny wanted true redskins, I think he wants shannyites lol.

    im ok with more than a few free agents but like kdawg said, we need to be very careful with who we sign from now on.

    im with you tho, it would be nice to see more guys like banks armstrong and torain on this team.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rymanofthenorth View Post
    the biggest thing is you have to be willing to let players go BEFORE they become liabilities on the field, a case in point for us was Marcus washington, we let him stay until he literally had nothing left, had we traded him a year earlier we would have gotten at the very least an upper mid round draft pick, instead we got nothing. thats gotta change.
    Patrick Ramsey was another, we could have gotten a 2nd round pick and perhaps a conditional pick (I can't remember all the details) from Miami when we brought in and subsequently started Brunnel. It was obvious Gibbs was not interested in Ramsey as a starter and the Pennington experiment went drastically wrong in Miami.
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    There's not really much of a choice. With as few draft picks as the Redskins have, and as many holes as need to be filled, there has to be a significant number of free agents brought in. Especially when you consider that there may be several Redskin free agents that don't return.

    I just hope that the free agents that are brought in are younger and faster (no more old washed up players). It will take a couple of seasons.
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    yup, I just really dont want anymore 34 year old backups. if we have backups they should be guys with some upside.
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    IMO the Redskins need to clean house.

    Keep Landry, Orakpo, Williams, Banks, Armstrong, Cooley and some of the other guys under 30 that have an upside or like Lorenzo Alexander are solid team-first guys that are versatile and can play multiple positions.

    But others we need to jettison and start over.

    We need two starting guards.

    We need a legitimate NFL center.

    We need an athletic younger receiver (or two).

    We need a fast back that can turn the corner on a defense.

    We need younger DTs.

    We need a DE to take over from Daniels (37) and Carter (31).

    We need a veteran free safety to pair with Landry.

    We need to either resign Rogers or find a capable starting CB opposite Hall.

    Right now it doesn't appear as if Philip Buchanon or Kevin Barnes is the answer there.

    Just as we saw when Parcells went to Dallas or when Holmgren went to Cleveland this past year, we need to get younger.

    Mike Sellers is 35. The backup quarterbacks are both 30. Moss will be 32.

    Is McNabb at 34 going to be a viable option at quarterback when the Redskins finally go out and get these other players?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog's Twin View Post
    IMO the Redskins need to clean house.

    Keep Landry, Orakpo, Williams, Banks, Armstrong, Cooley and some of the other guys under 30 that have an upside or like Lorenzo Alexander are solid team-first guys that are versatile and can play multiple positions.

    But others we need to jettison and start over.

    We need two starting guards.

    We need a legitimate NFL center.

    We need an athletic younger receiver (or two).

    We need a fast back that can turn the corner on a defense.

    We need younger DTs.

    We need a DE to take over from Daniels (37) and Carter (31).

    We need a veteran free safety to pair with Landry.

    We need to either resign Rogers or find a capable starting CB opposite Hall.

    Right now it doesn't appear as if Philip Buchanon or Kevin Barnes is the answer there.

    Just as we saw when Parcells went to Dallas or when Holmgren went to Cleveland this past year, we need to get younger.

    Mike Sellers is 35. The backup quarterbacks are both 30. Moss will be 32.

    Is McNabb at 34 going to be a viable option at quarterback when the Redskins finally go out and get these other players?
    We're in full agreement.
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