WPC: Over the hill all over again?

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Pappas

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http://web.warpathconfidential.com/?p=3577

Over the hill all over again?

By John Pappas
Warpath Confidential Editor

On Black Thursday before the start of free agency, the Redskins released 10 players, mostly veterans. Guys like Antwaan Randle El, Cornelius Griffin, Todd Collins, Randy Thomas, and Rock Cartwright. Then, during the first days of free agency, the team sat on their hands, letting the big names sign elsewhere. Even when they did start signing free agents, it was limited to just a few journeyman players in areas of need.

And all this in an uncapped offseason.

The new approach left the press wondering if general manager Bruce Allen and head coach Mike Shanahan could be taking the team in a new direction, one focused on rebuilding with youth.

But that answer would be incorrect.

With the announcement of the most recent signing of seven-year veteran Mike Furrey, what has become apparent is that Allen and Shanahan have no problem with veteran players, in fact they appear to love them. They just didn’t like some of the veterans who were here before. Since March, Washington has shown they are willing to get older to hopefully get better.

Since free agency began, the Redskins have added at least 12 players with seven or more years experience in the NFL. Nine have eight or more seasons in the league. And five, to include Donovan McNabb, Josh Bidwell, Joey Galloway, Chris Draft, and Vonnie Holliday, have played professional football 10 or more years.

Click the link above to read the full article...
 

Om

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Virginia Tech

Certainly they haven't been shy about bringing in vets for a look ... and to school the youngters ... and to make the transition to new systems easier wherever possible. What remains to be seen though is how many of these older guys will be on the final roster. Many of these older guys being brought in won't be Redskins come opening day. How many are will say a lot more about what the new brain trust thinks about going with vets versus embarking on a youth movement.
 

Neophyte

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I'd wait to see what the final 53 look like before I start wondering if we have gone back to the Over the Hill days. I would not be surprised at all of many of them are let go in camp and believe it very likely that our starting 22 will average out to be younger than they did last year, even with the addition of a guy like McNabb to the lineup.

I think the front office did pretty much what it could do this off season. Uncapped year? Sure. Shallow Free Agent pool? Absolutely. More than in any year I can remember. Spending money is great but I, for one, am tired of spending stupid money and this year it all looks pretty smart to me for which I am greatful.

I think that now, more than ever, being a successful front office in the NFL is about buying smart and deciding to make do with what you have when a clear value upgrade is not available.
 

Alaskan

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I wonder if the signings of vets is more tactical than strategic. Given the shortage of draft choices that Allen/Shanahan were left with, it may make sense to fill out the roster with low cost vets that have 2-3 years left, until enough draft choices can be accumulated to build a young, strong, home grown roster. Note that with the exception of the McNabb signing, the FO avoided giving up draft choices and the draft day strategy was to multiply the number of choices which served to increase the possibility of more young players making the final roster. Furthermore half of the draftees were offensive linemen which both take longer to develop and generally have longer careers. Plus you have Dennis Morris switching from TE to fullback which probably makes him a longer term project.

This indicates to me that the FO’s signing of these vets is a tactical repose to the roster and draft choices they were handed rather than a “Over the hill gang” trade draft choices to win now philosophy that typified the George Allen era. Instead it is, I believe, evidence of longer term thinking.

At least I hope so.
 

Jimbo

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Nothing wrong with veteran experience, especially as backups, on the cheap. With Vinny running the show, we were overpaying for these guys. Now we're getting them at bargain basement prices so we don't lose anything if we cut them, unlike years past.
 

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