The smiles faded quickly, though, after draft day. The flaw in the Redskins approach was that the special group dynamics that make up a championship team are virtually certain to have changed by the next year. Even if all the same people return, they won't be the same. They'll not only be a year older, but some will be less healthy or upset with their playing time or unhappy about their salaries. It's always something.
All of those things and more happened to the Redskins in 1992. Training camp was a disaster as Rypien, Lachey, Green and Howard all held out. Rypien was the first to show up, arriving at Redskin Park in time to catch the team's charter flight to London for a preseason game with the 49ers. But he looked terrible there . He got the four-year, $12 million deal he had been seeking, but his performance would range from inconsistent to awful. He certainly never played again at the level of 1991.
And he was the best news. Lachey, Howard and Green showed at the end of training camp, and all struggled with injuries and inconsistency in 1992. Lachey and Green promptly got hurt, and Howard began the first of three extremely disappointing seasons. The Redskins had missed badly in believing that he would be an NFL star.