The Redskins are stalling.
They can’t make a big change at quarterback in the offseason. No marquee coach will come to this sinking franchise. And owner Dan Snyder seems unwilling to change his nearly 20-year mismanagement of the front office.
So how will the team regain its rapidly shrinking fan base without some new shiny object to wave over the offseason? By pretending two straight 7-9 seasons were bad luck because of massive injuries.
Continue acting like nothing’s wrong. Don’t show humility or willingness to change. Stay with coach Jay Gruden another season and, in 2020, make an all-in move to reboot the franchise, complete with a new stadium announcement.
It just might work.
Admittedly, the Redskins are indeed amid some bad luck — and poor timing. With the probable loss of injured quarterback Alex Smith, they need to once more reinvest in a franchise QB. Unfortunately, they owe Smith $31 million over the next two years, so there’s no room under the salary cap for even a modest free-agent passer like Joe Flacco. With the 15th overall draft pick, they can’t get a big-name rookie in a poor year for quarterbacks.
Without a new passer, there’s no need to change coaches. And without changing coaches, there’s no urgency to move team president Bruce Allen. There’s no sense changing one of the three critical pieces — quarterback, head coach and team president — this season if massive moves need to be made next year. Better to be in sync and let a new general manager pick his coach, who will select this quarterback. The Redskins can’t get the passer they need this year, so the other two spots should wait, too.
Wasting another year is a dangerous gamble. It could push even hardcore supporters to the brink. The Redskins have lost their grip on local fans for the first time since Vince Lombardi’s 1969 arrival. The public no longer trusts Snyder and Allen to move the team in a positive direction. They’re ambivalent at best on Gruden. If he goes 4-12 this fall, pitchforks and torches will line the road to Redskins Park.
Rather, a “Tank for Tua” campaign is the only way the Redskins can regroup. Snyder will finally be forced to move on from Allen, fire Gruden and get a top quarterback like Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa to energize fans. And right on cue, horns will blare, announcing a new stadium location.
Meanwhile, the Redskins will spend this offseason patching a battered crew. They need a guard, receiver, cornerback and safety for starters, but a big-ticket move like quarterback should wait one more year while they hope interim passer Colt McCoy can stay healthy.
It’s all a waiting game for 2020.
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