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Redskins Without Talent Now Apparently Don’t Have Money Either

One of many experimental iterations ...

Bulldog

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It’s been bad enough over the past few years that the talent base of this team has been allowed to decay due to age and poor personnel decisions.

Now, with a roster showing little talent outside of a few selective areas, the Redskins seemingly have entered an 'austerity’ period where the team is going to engage in dialogue with various veterans who would fill positions of need (and who are now free agents) but aren’t going to sign any of them unless they are willing to take below market deals.

So, Shaun Rogers comes in and then goes out, only to sign a 1 year deal with the Saints. OJ Atogwe comes in and then goes out and indicates he will wait until the labor impasse is over and visits a number of other clubs.

I suppose Andre Davis is about Bruce Allen’s speed. He’s cheap, he’s available and he’s coming off an injury so interest in him is limited. These qualities seemed to embody the entire veteran free agent class (and trades) in 2010. And we saw how many of those players continued to suffer from those previous injuries during the season.

While I am loathe to see the Redskins move forward and offer the type of money that Vinny was throwing around to Haynesworth two years ago, the team is going to have to spend some extra cash to entice veterans to come to a team that is clearly in rebuilding mode.

Gone are the days the Skins were working off a 10-6 playoff season and went into free agency telling players to hop on board a bus that was going somewhere.

Two seasons of 4-12 and then 6-10 are enough for everyone to know that this bus is not going to Fat City any time soon.
 

Om

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All right, BD ... Paul Harvey time.

How does the Atogwe signing play against the premise of the thread?
 

Skinzfan

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No matter how you slice it, it was a good signing. Turning 30 for a FS does not mean he is well past his prime. Remember when Springs was here? He was a good CB but well over 30 (how much I don't know) and his declining skills meant they wanted to move him to FS because you can loose a step and still be effective there. He didn't want to take a pay cut, decided to go after a bigger check somewhere he could still play CB, and moved on.

I don't know how much of the signing is in guaranteed money, but it is definitely less than the $8 million signing bonus the Rams were going to have to pay him. After releasing him they said they wanted him back, just at a lower cost. So you can't say they released him because they didn't think he had anything left in the tank. Other teams were definitely interested in him too. So it was not just a Redskins love affair. Both sides walked away and re-gauged his market value then settled on a number that worked for both sides. We didn't overbid anyone else, I think all offers made to him were essentially simillar, but he worked best under Haslett and so decided coming here was best for his career.

Yes, the team wants to get younger. Fine, draft a FS in the lower rounds and bring him in. But, all the FS candidates stunk up the place at the combine. If Moore, a low round draft pick, just wasn't cutting it and there are no viable candidates in the Draft where are you going to go to improve the position? If Moore can get his collective "you know what" together and is better next year then we have both talent and depth at one more position. You can't fix everything all at once and we have a lot to fix.
 

Boone

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I've never had an issue with throwing big money at mid-career free agents. I've had a problem with said free agents coming to DC and not playing well. I know a lot of guys argue that it's precisely because we threw big money at them, that we historically haven't gotten the production from acquired players. But I think that's not quite it. I think the culture of the Redskins organization has been focusing more on the acquisition of those players rather than looking at whether they are a good fit, talent-wise and character-wise for the team we are trying to build.

That all goes to the biggest problem we've had over the past decade, and that's the lack of a team identity. Without that, it's tough to know which players to pursue, either in the draft or free agency, or to build an effective offense/defense/special teams unit. It's no coincidence that the only significant on-the-field success we've experienced occurred during the Gibbs II years, when we had something approaching an identity.

I think one of Shanahan's strengths is in building that team identity. We will rush the ball effectively - no matter who is carrying the ball or who comprises our O-line. Guys that produce will play, guys that make drive killing mistakes will sit. There won't be any doubt in 2 years what the on-the-field philosophy of our team is. I think because Shanahan, more than most coaches, already has the team built in his head, there is less likelihood we bring in free agents that are totally incompatible with where he is trying to take the team.

I'm not arguing he's the best talent scout. I'm just saying he knows what he wants to build - and that's the critical first step in success. All coaches/front offices make player acquisition misjudgments - it's an art, not a science. I think this is a solid signing. We're better as of yesterday - what more can you ask for?
 
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Elephant

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Boone, I think you're onto to something regarding the culture within this organization but I think the only time the team lacked a true identity was under Zorn. Under Marty, there was an identity that many believe would not have warranted a Gibbs II return, the makings of a well-disciplined machine. Under Spurrier it was the wrong identity for the pro game and he wouldn't budge/adjust. Zorn was clueless.

The identity that I think has affected this team more than any other is the culture that Darnell Dockett discussed in his interview last year before the season started. http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/06/18/darnell-dockett-lets-loose-on-redskins-and-clinton-portis/

Like I have said before, I don't like mentioning this but since many of the players are gone now I will. My fiance is in a band that played a lot out in Landsdowne at one of the Redskins Player's favorite hot spots. She would witness many of the players getting drunk at her gigs on Friday and Saturday nights before a game, many you wouldn't believe. That's the culture I want to see changed once and for all.
 

the Omniscient

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I don't know how much of the signing is in guaranteed money, but it is definitely less than the $8 million signing bonus the Rams were going to have to pay him.
Actually he is getting $12 mil guaranteed over the five years. If you compare that to other safeties, it is quite fair.

I do not think you will see Allen over spend for any player. I know we are rebuilding, but I think Shannahan being here is very enticing for players. I recentlly saw an article that polled players with regards to who they most wanted to play for. Shannahan was #6. I think that is a big deal.

Shannahan also says that he wants players that want to be here and want to be a Redskin. To me that states that overpaying players is not an option. An over payed player is just coming for the check. We have seen how that works out.

We are seeing a change in philosophy and I believe we have a tough couple of years ahead. But, in a few years, we will have a solid foundation in which to build off of. Well, as long as player acquisitions go smoothly.
 

Bulldog

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I posted this before the signing :)

Obviously, the Redskins front office read my post and decided they needed to move on something quickly.
 

Lanky Livingston

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BT doesn't get pwned often, but this is one of those times.

I think we were all used to the days of free agents not leaving the premises without a contract. Those days are gone - now we're a little more fiscally responsible. Lay out a fair offer, tell them WHY they should sign here, and let 'em walk. If they sign, they sign, but if they don't, on to the next one. Atogwe was a great signing, however he wasn't worth breaking the bank over, and I'm glad they didn't.
 

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