When the Redskins made free agency splashes

Unlike many Redskins fans, apparently, I am not an expert on every athlete who played NFL football in the 2013 season, and also on the exact monetary worth of each of those players for the 2014 season and future seasons.

Thus, I just kind of just sat back and watched on Tuesday, when the Redskins signed a few pieces but no high-profile names. Do I know the precise dollar amount that safety Mike Mitchell deserved, and whether the Redskins judged his exact worth correctly? I do not.

Thus, it would be hard for me to wring my hands with quite the vigor that some fans managed. Let’s let Jason Reid speak for them:

On a day the Redskins needed to make a big splash, [Bruce] Allen only produced ripples. … And what’s most disturbing about Allen’s troubling start is that the Redskins have money to spend, but Allen seems to have no clue how to spend it. … There’s still plenty of time for Allen to surprise Redskins fans. He may have a trick or two up his sleeve. But you get a sinking feeling that there’s just nothing there.

The Redskins needed to make a splash!? That’s different. Just for fun, I went back and read a couple of the times when the Redskins opted for splashes over ripples.

Tony Kornheiser, spring of 2000: Will you get a load of this: Deion Sanders wants to play here. Peter Warrick wants to play here. Jeff George said he’s interested in playing here. Bruce Smith, Mark Carrier and Adrian Murrell have already signed up. Suddenly we’re hot. … Throw open the shutters, Washington, here comes the sun. (And there’ve been some long, cold, lonely winters.). … Look at where the Redskins are now: Three Monday night games. Big buzz among players. People talking Super Bowl.”

Mark Maske, spring of 2003: “In a frantic day of acquisitions, the Washington Redskins added three starters on offense and planned to get two more on defense today as the NFL’s trading and free agent signing period opened. … “We’ve gotten off to what we think is a great start,” Redskins offensive coordinator Hue Jackson said. … “I’ve never smoked anything in my life,” said offensive line coach Kim Helton, “and I actually took a puff on a cigar [yesterday]. So I’m very excited, yes.”. … “We knew who we wanted, and we were ready to go right away,” Cerrato said. “Our game plan was to strike quickly. … [Snyder] was up all night long. He was making deals until 3 or 4 in the morning.”

Tony Kornheiser, spring of 2003: “The Redskins have added two offensive guards, a scorchingly fast running back and two defensive linemen — every one penciled in as a starter. They have reached agreements with John Hall, a good kicker, and Rob Johnson, to back up Patrick Ramsey. They intend to sign one or two speedy wide receivers, a safety and a kick returner who will actually go forward after he catches the ball. What’s not to like? Well, the signing of Rob Johnson will provoke arguments all over town, since his career so far has been characterized as overpayment and underachievement. But overall it’s a bonanza.”

Howard Bryant, spring of 2006: “With the arrival at Redskins Park of free agent Antwaan Randle El and newly acquired Brandon Lloyd from San Francisco yesterday, last year’s offensive frustrations disappeared in a whirlwind, replaced by euphoria and the belief that, virtually overnight, the Washington Redskins became one of the more potent and diverse offensive teams in football. … “Free agency started at 12:01. I got a call at 12:05, and they kept putting plusses on the chart,” [Randle El] said. “Coach Gibbs asked to speak with my wife. My wife? It was all about the approach. The Redskins made that first step into the door.”

Michael Wilbon, spring of 2009: “We’ve come to expect these big splashes from the Washington Redskins as the calendar creeps toward springtime. Nobody can be surprised to see the Champs of the Offseason strike first — and loudest — during the free agent period. Nobody can be surprised that the Redskins spent the most money to land the biggest fish to elicit the biggest wow. The recession may apply to little people, but nothing economic was going to keep Daniel Snyder from throwing tens of millions at Albert Haynesworth in that excessive, over-the-top manner that has become Snyder’s signature as an owner.”

We’ve made it from there, to upbraiding the Redskins for not making a big splash. Weird times.

A REDSKINS CAKE

A Redskins cake for former Redskins cornerback Sidney Johnson.

CFL IN RICHMOND

A CFL team is coming to practice in Richmond. Via the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

The Ottawa RedBlacks, an expansion team in the Canadian Football League, will hold a preseason training session in Richmond from April 8-10.

They’ll use the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center, signing a contract the city hopes is the first of many to come.

ON THE CAPS BLUELINE

This is one of the best things you could read about the Caps’ blueline this season, via Japers Rink. Here’s the conclusion:

The Caps’ blueline – once again young with players like Orlov, Carrick, Nate Schmidt and others on the way behind “old-timers” like Green, Alzner and Carlson – needs direction and a system in which they can succeed, and there’s plenty of reason to believe that’s not possible right now. At a minimum, the organization should look into replacing Johansson on the bench with someone who can get the D-corps’ collective development back on track and set this team up to be at least as good as the sum of its parts. Because right now it isn’t, and the blueline and how it’s being coached is the main reason why.

ON THE CAPS SADNESS

And here’s a brief summary of where Caps fans are right now, via Russian Machine. Here’s the conclusion:

Back in 2010, we made fun of fan freak-outs because they seemed silly and warped considering how great the team was overall. Now, I totally understand and sympathize with RMNB readers who have chosen to stop watching. The Caps aren’t fun to watch anymore. It’s hard to make a joke out of that. At least not a funny one. I still believe the Capitals will get better, but I don’t know how and I don’t know when.

WHAT TO WATCH TODAY

The Wizards host Charlotte at 7 on Comcast SportsNet. Virginia Tech faces Miami in the ACC Tournament at 3:30 on ESPN2 (WDCA-20 locally). American faces Boston University for the Patriot League title at 7:30 on CBS Sports Network. Georgetown plays DePaul at 9:30 on Fox Sports 1. All radio and TV listings are here.

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.
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Dan Steinberg · March 11

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