The Salary Cap Blues
Posted: Mar 15 2006
By Scott Hurrey
Less than a week into the free agency period, the Washington Redskins are again raiding the cupboard of the top free agents at their positions of need. Much like last season and the season before, the team targeted a few good, mostly young players that Coach Gibbs and staff thought fit in with the team and the scheme, and the Redskins recruiting machine delivered them all.
This flurry of high-priced moves has not come as a huge surprise to Redskin fans, as Dan Snyder has a penchant for using his billion-dollar bank account to get whatever Coach Gibbs asks him for. It is, however, a huge surprise for the sports media pundits.
Just last week, while the Redskins where busy implementing their plan to get under the non-CBA cap of 94 million dollars with key restructures from twelve players, the pundits were spewing out garbage to anyone that would listen. They reported that the Redskins were destined to mediocrity because of poor cap management. They told us that the Redskins would have to field twenty rookies. As usual, the pundits were wrong.
Perhaps one day, these “media insiders” will put aside their hatred for Dan Snyder and their desire to bash the Redskins at every turn, and instead take a look at this franchise. While other teams are fighting the cap, the Redskins continue to revolutionize ways to use it to their advantage. Six years in a row, this team has been in salary cap hell, and yet six years in a row, the Redskins have signed whomever they deemed necessary, to whatever contract deemed worthy… and they have done so brilliantly.
The approach to free agency has changed; they no longer sign the over-the-hill Bruce Smiths and Primetimes of the world. The front office and coaches are attracting players entering their primes. They are paying for young guys who still have to make their mark in this league. They sign guys like Marcus Washington and Cornelius Griffin, who quickly prove that they are worth those big bucks.
The Washington Redskins are a different franchise than the one these writers grew to hate in 2000. They are the up-and-comers. The team that made it to the second round of the playoffs and lost to the eventual NFC champs, has vastly improved their personnel in the areas of weakness from last season, and may not be done. They have the pass rusher in Andre Carter that they desperately needed, they have a receiving corps that is unmatched in the league, and yet, they continue to be labeled as a team that does things the wrong way.
If doing what it takes to improve your team at all costs is wrong, then hopefully for the fans sake, Dan Snyder will never be right.