Top 20 of Vinny Cerrato's Worst Personnel Moves

November 6, 2012 in Redskins Personnel

By DC Staff Writer John Manuel:

While we're all sad about the current Redskins season and they way its unfolding, let's take a look back at an even darker time.  I was pretty bored yesterday and was thinking about the current Washington Redskins situation and how it relates to recent history before Mike Shanahan.  Of course, one name comes to mind.  Vinny Cerrato.  Then I thought to myself, can I name at least 20 terrible personnel and coaching decisions made while Vinny Cerrato was in Washington?

Top 20 of Vinny Cerrato's Worst Personnel Moves

Yep, this guy was leading our organization for way too long.

I know Vinny may not be fully responsible for all of these but they happened while he was either GM or Vice President.  And this is why Cerrato is doing radio now talking about his Notre Dame and 49er days and not his time in Washington.  These are in no particular order.

1.  Hiring Jim Zorn as offensive coordinator when the team still did not have a head coach.

Who thinks this is smart?  Only Jerry Jones when he did it with Jason Garrett.  Enough said.  Can you guess what the next one is?

2.  Hiring Jim Zorn as head coach.

After rumors of Jim Fassel as the leading candidate put DC in an uproar, the Skins chose Zorn and two seasons later it was over.  The relationship with Cerrato and his time as a NFL head coach.  Hip Hip Hooray!

3.  All things concerning losing Champ Bailey.

I will keep this as one although it could be multiple moves.  First, they offered Champ a terrible deal which he and his agent rejected ending most chances of him being resigned.  Then there is the trade.  First of all, I liked Clinton Portis and he gave the Skins many great seasons, but Cerrato and Gibbs traded away arguably one of the best cornerbacks of all time and threw in an extra 2nd round pick.  Complete disaster.

4.  Back to Zorn.

The team reached complete embarrassment the day they took most powers from head coach Zorn and brought in Sherman Lewis as an offensive consultant.  Lewis who was a respected offensive coach in the 90s was well out of football and made Washington an easy target for everyone's elderly jokes.

5.  Most forget this but the Redskins actually moved up in the second round of 2006 draft to take Rocky McIntosh.

And it cost them by giving up an extra 2nd rounder in the following draft.  McIntosh was a decent linebacker but if you ever question the depth of this team here was a move to look back at.

6.  Making DeAngelo Hall one of the highest paid corners in the game.

Horrible mistake by Cerrato after actually picking up Hall on the minimum the season before.  "Meangelo" is the gift that keeps on giving.  I have talked about Hall way too much the past few weeks and am done with it.

7.  Cutting Shaun Suisham after missing the short field goal versus New Orleans while he was having a solid season.

Horrible reaction move that benefitted both Suisham and the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Maybe the Redskins have something in Kai Forbath now but having Suisham the past few seasons may have change some things.

8.  Another horrible snap decision.  Trading for Jason Taylor instantly after Phillip Daniels went down in training camp.

Then after his only season in Washington cutting Taylor because he wanted to do non-mandatory workouts on his own, which I believe they agreed on before.  Even better, any cap relief went towards resigning Hall and another large fella.

9.  Haynesworth.  That is all.  Nothing left to say.

10.  Now Brandon Lloyd has had his moments as a NFL wide receiver but in another draft pick toss away, the Redskins actually gave the Niners a 3rd and 4th rounder for someone they were happy to see go.

Lloyd has proven very little at that point and proved even less with the Redskins.

11. You want more draft pick toss aways?

This may be more on Gibbs but the Redskins gave away another third round pick to the Jaguars for Mark Brunell who would have most likely been released shortly after.  Brunell wasn't bad for the Skins but once again ask where our depth went and there you go.

12.  How many 3rd rounders can one team throw away?  Well, not done yet.

Remember TJ Duckett's Redskins career?  Maybe the worst of all the moves made in the Cerrrato times.  I could Google up how many actual times he touched the ball but it’s not even worth it.

13.  More pick throwaways?  Why not?  How about a 4th rounder for Trung Candidate.  Double whammy.

One we gave up a pick but two we pretty much replaced Stephen Davis with him.  Davis soon left a year before Gibbs arrived.  Wouldn't Gibbs have liked to have Davis?  Maybe Champ Bailey trade was then never made?  Really don't want to think this one out anymore.

14.  Every one I do makes me sicker.  This could go as 14, 15, 16 but everyone feels this should be lumped together.  Let’s just call it 2008 2nd round of draft.

The Skins after making a so/so trade ended up with three picks in that round.  Devin Thomas.  Bust.  Fred Davis.  Been good at times, but future is very unclear with team.  Malcolm Kelly.  Disaster of a bust.  The whole draft actually was a disaster.

15.  Sometimes we got lucky with Vinny, and when I say lucky it’s that only Mike Brown may be more clueless as a GM.

Thank the football gods that Mike Brown shot down Vinny's offer of two first round picks for Chad Johnson a few years back.  Picks that turned into Brian Orakpo and Trent Williams by the way.  Move was not made but has to be included.

16.  This one may be controversial, but I bring it up since it was such a high pick.  Taking Laron Landry 6th overall in the 2007 draft.

I am one who is very happy Landry is gone and at the time, the Skins had Sean Taylor at one safety already.  Much like this list it is tough to look and say what it but here is who they took Landry over…Adrian Peterson, Patrick Willis, Darelle Revis and Lawrence Timmons.

17.  First of all I had a lot of respect for Jason Campbell when he was here.

I think he got a raw deal plenty of times but it didn't work out.  And not only was he not the long term answer as quarterback but the Redskins once again gave up multiple picks to move up and grab Campbell.

18.  Speaking of quarterbacks I have to add the drafting of Patrick Ramsey in the first round.

It was at the end of the 1st round, but anytime you miss on a quarterback it can be devastating and they missed badly.  And if it was Snyder's pick, even worse.  Vinny is supposed to be the football guy and should have talked Snyder out of it.  Maybe it was actually a Spurrier pick because just like his Florida QB's, Ramsey couldn't play.

19.  I almost missed on maybe the greatest one of all time.  The 2000 free agent bonanza.

Been over it plenty of times.  Bruce Smith broke the sack record at the same time he was proclaimed as "Highway 78", Mark Carrier was awful, Jeff George was worse and Deion Sanders did play well and walked away after one year with a boat load of cash.  This was the first sign that it could be bad quick and it did.

20.  For the last one just going to rattle of some great ones to end.

Regan Upshaw, Vinny's radio show as GM, Chad Morton for another draft pick, Dave Fiore, Michael Barrow, 6 for 36 for Jeremiah Trotter, Taylor Jacobs, Jeremy Jarmon, Adam Archuleta (almost missed that one) and is Ryan Clark still playing?  Hurts.

Now as I said before, Vinny is probably not to blame for all of these but it shows how much of an embarrassment the organization was during his time.  I know I am missing some more but just to rattle off an easy twenty shows why he is on Baltimore radio and not with another team, unless you count the highs school team he works with.

I think the team should have a ceremony before one of their home games where they bury the Cerrato era. And as Lauren said to Heidi, it is time to "Forgive and Forget."  Pathetic I used that example.

 

 Remember to mark your calendars for Winter Season of Sports Trivia Nights at Mister Days in Arlington Starting Monday, November 12 @ 7 p.m. before MNF!  Every Monday for 6 Weeks!  Great specials, fun sports trivia, prizes and more!

 


  • http://fanspeak.com/members/meg08/ Megan Shoup

    Love that you cited Hills example…great show and amazing episode! I think it actually went, "I'll forgive you but can't forget"!
    This is so sad to read in print and makes it easier to understand why we've stunk for so long! Its actually amazing Gibbs 2.0 era was able to take us to playoffs twice with all this mess!

    Hopefully we can recover quickly from this in Shanny's 4th season and moving forward focus on keeping draft picks and evaluating talent better!

  • Keith

    The blunder you truly missed on was NOT drafting Aaron Rodgers. The year we moved up to draft Jason Campbell it was between Alex Smith and Aaron Rodgers as to who would be the number one pick. Everyone knew who ever didnt get taken would drop and with us in need for a QB we instead drafted Carlos Rogers in the top ten and wouldnt you know it Rodgers went 24th to Green Bay and Campbell went to us at 25th……..HUGE Miss and not one you could say was retrospective mess up.

    • http://fanspeak.com/members/jcmanuel/ John Manuel

      Yep. Another killer

      • http://fanspeak.com/members/meg08/ Megan Shoup

        Wow…that one may be the worst of all!

  • http://fanspeak.com/members/gms1006/ Gary Struble

    Would'a, could'a, should'a, John this was a great list, to bad it brings back so many horrid memories…
    I still can't help but feel that even if we had made some of the right moves, Snyder/ Cerrato, Inc. would have found a way to screw it up. Even though I am not the biggest Shanahan fan, the one thing I give him credit for is he stopped making the Redskins the place to come, collect a big pay check sit on your @$$, then move on and be an impact player with some other team or just retire with the windfall.
    Hopefully these horrible personnel moves are behind this team and we will move forward.. One can only hope…

  • http://fanspeak.com/members/willypops/ Willypops

    It is depressing when you see it compiled in a list. I think one of the key points you make several times is the effect some of these moves have had on building depth, which always carries forward. Since Cerrato came in 1999, we have had only 3 winning seasons, one of them being 1999 with a team that Cerrato hadn't really had a chance to affect. Somehow it has got to change – but I fear that Shanahan's arrogant approach to running this team is going to prevent that from happening.

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