Washington Redskins Offseason Plan: Offense Part 1
I’ve been writing about the Redskins Roster Outlook heading into 2011, but that only identified the problems. Here I will attempt to solve the Redskins issues as best as possible in one offseason. It is unclear about how much money the Redskins will have in play this offseason until the new CBA takes into affect. While the exact amount isn’t known, it is likely to be north of $50 million dollars, once the Skins part ways with a number of players (Portis, Haynesworth, McNabb etc.).
Now $50 million may sound like a lot of money, but the Redskins have a lot of needs, so they can’t just sign all the top free agents to fix their problems. Yes, they can likely back load contracts and bring in more high end free agents, but that will only mess up their salary cap in the future (which was a big part of the reason why this team has been down of late). Here is a way to fix each one of their needs, as well as the links to each positional outlook.
While the popular assumption is that the Redskins will look to draft a quarterback in the early rounds of April’s draft, but that would be a big mistake. While Quarterback is a major need for the Redskins, it is only one of many needs. Also, contrary to popular belief, quarterbacks need time to develop before they become effective starters. Sometimes their team’s still win a lot of football games, but that has more to do with the team being very good or great, than the young signal caller. If the Redskins waste one of their early picks (they only have a first and a 2nd, in the top 4 rounds), they will be very disappointed. They can’t afford to use one of their limited acquisitions on a player who can’t possibly help them next season. If the Redskins do trade back and stockpile additional 2nd, 3rd and 4th round picks, then I could maybe understand using an extra pick on a quarterback in the 2nd round, but before then is just irresponsible. My quarterback plan would be three-fold for the Redskins this offseason.
1st: Resign Rex Grossman – Sexy Rexy is by no means the answer for the Redskins, but he handled the job admirably at the end of the season on one of the worst teams in this league. As long as he doesn’t want big money, I have no issue with bringing him back as part of your stopgap solution.
2nd: Sign another Veteran, Preferably a Young Guy- While the Skins could go for a veteran backup like a Kerry Collins or a Billy Volek, I would look to bring on a young guy with a little upside. While a guy like Matt Moore or Alex Smith would have some starting experience and could just need a change of scenery, I’d like to see Coach Shanahan look outside the box. Dennis Dixon would be my target. He is young and has plenty of upside. His athleticism gives him an advantage and could be a benefit if he beats out Grossman.
3rd: Draft a Rookie- I’m not saying that the Redskins shouldn’t draft a quarterback, just that they should look to do so in the middle rounds (3rd-5th) after they have addressed more important needs first. Now as it stands the Redskins only have 2 middle round picks, and both are in the 5th round. But if the Redskins trade the right players and trade back in the first round, they could net a couple picks in each the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Guys like Christian Ponder, Andy Dalton, Pat Devlin, Nathan Enderle, and Colin Kaepernick might not sit atop draft boards, but they all have the ability to play at the next level. Draft one of them and develop a quarterback for the future.
Mike Sellers: Sellers simply shouldn’t be starting any longer, he is ineffective at blocking, rushing and receiving, giving him no redeemable quality on offense. While he could still stay around in a backup/Special teams role, the Redskins need to move on. Darryl Young did alright in limited action for the Skins this season, and he deserves a shot to be at least the backup, but I think the Redskins need to aim their sights a little higher. Here are a couple free agent options the Redskins should have their sights set on:
Le’Ron McClain: McClain is a great back, who really contributes to an offense, but the problem is he will probably want too many carries/receptions. I wouldn’t write him off just yet, as you should find a way to use him if he is willing to sign.
Vonta Leach: Leach is probably the best lead blocker in football, and the Texans won’t let him get away easy, but he is a classic fullback. He will clear lanes for our running backs and give our quarterback extra protection. The only thing he won’t do though is contribute much on offense. He’s not a great running and receiving option, which is a bit of a negative mark.
John Kuhn: Kuhn is the best of both worlds, he isn’t as dynamic as McClain in running or receiving, but he will get the tough yards when you call his number. While he isn’t as good as Leach in lead blocking, he is a smart player and gets the most out of his abilities. Kuhn shouldn’t break the bank, but will be well worth the cost. He is my top choice for Washington.
Check back soon for the rest of the Redskins Offseason Plan!