The NFL’s new league year, which includes free agency, begins on March 10 at 4 p.m. eastern. Here are three misleading things you’ll likely hear and/or read regarding the Redskins:
1) Wow, they’re not spending like crazy this year!
Actually, the Redskins haven’t “spent like crazy” since 2009, when they signed defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth to a contract that included a then-NFL-record $41 million in guarantees. Every major signing since then (defensive linemen Barry Cofield and Stephen Bowen in 2011; receiver Pierre Garcon in 2012; receiver DeSean Jackson and defensive end Jason Hatcher in 2014) has either been for reasonable financial terms and/or has worked out more than it hasn’t. No, they haven’t all been home runs. But the point to remember is that the Redskins’ problems since Bruce Allen’s arrival in Dec. 2009 have not included reckless free-agent spending, which, of course, was a problem previously, most notably in 2000 and 2006.
2) They need to fix the offensive line!
No doubt it needs improving, but it’s far from the Redskins’ top area of need. I would put safety, defensive line and corner all ahead of the offensive line in terms of areas of need.
Robert Griffin III was sacked 33 times in 2014 while throwing only 214 passes. Not since Hugh Millen of the 1992 New England Patriots had a quarterback been sacked so many times while throwing so few passes. Kirk Cousins was sacked eight times while throwing 208 passes in 2014. Colt McCoy was sacked 17 times while throwing 128 passes in 2014. The sacks were an RGIII problem more than they were an offensive-line problem.
Blocking in the running game was a problem last season, too, but a good bit of that fell on the tight ends.
3) Why did they sign ______ (fill-in name)?! The Redskins don’t need help at _____ (fill-in position group)!
The Redskins have finished with the worst point differential in the NFC each of the last two seasons and have finished with at least 10 losses in five of the last six seasons. Help is needed everywhere, including positions at which you might think the Redskins are “set,” like running back, receiver and tight end.