The Redskins have once again outpaced the rest of the NFL. As people around the league wonder aloud as to how the Redskins keep signing all of these players, Washington just keeps adding more. While the Redskins may be setting themselves up for a fall cap-wise in two or three years, others are starting to realize what Washington's front office is already counting on... a huge rise in the cap allotment in 2006 with new TV contracts. Whether it works or not will not be known for a few years, but for now, the Skins have once again stockpiled a lot of talent.
But there is one really important difference this time -- Joe Gibbs.
The players that the Redskins have signed were targeted for 'character reasons' according to Gibbs himself and they went after people that they thought they COULD keep in Washington for more than 2 or 3 years. The signings range from young studs to role players and unlike previous 'binges', most of the serious cap dollars went to young bucks that can stay with the team for a long term and spread out the signing bonus dollars.
The speed has been feverish, the process intense. What else would you expect from Mr. Gibbs? So quick in fact, that many are wondering, 'Whom all did we get?' So here they are:
DE - Phillip Daniels
QB - Mark Brunell
RB - Clinton Portis
DT - Cornelius Griffin
CB - Shawn Springs
LB - Marcus Washington
P - Tom Tupa
TE - Walter Rasby
The Redskins also tendered an offer to St. Louis Rams' CB Jerametrius Butler on Saturday. The Rams have 7 days to match the Redskins 6 year, $15 million offer, and if they don't, they will receive the Redskins fifth round pick in the 2004 draft as compensation and the Redskins will have completed another RFA roster raid. The front office has really established a proficiency when it comes to targeting RFAs in the last two years, and this one is no exception. Though the dollars are high, Butler will provide depth and added security if Springs was to fall injured, as has been his problem in the past. It also gives the Redskins 3 good cornerbacks in the nickel package -- an ever increasing importance. Good value for a 5th round pick, and the Rams current cap situation will probably prevent them from matching the offer.
Tupa is a very under-rated signing for the Skins. Tupa held for John Hall in New York and has always brought the added dimension of being a decent quarterback. Not only does he provide an emergency plan; he opens up a lot of trick play options on special teams.
So are there any moves left? Undoubtedly. But there may be a 'lean time' now while the braintrust evaluates what's left in the kitty, who's left on the market, and who's hitting the market June 1. They also have the 5th pick in the draft to add virtually whatever position player they want, or they can trade down for an extra pick or two.
One last important thing about the cap and the Redskins' use or abuse of it this year... all of these moves have been completed WITHOUT re-working Chris Samuels' monumental cap charge for this year... almost 9 million dollars. While Samuels is a Skins favorite, there is a good possibility that if he does not re-work his deal this year, that next year he may be deemed expendable... especially if Brunell wins the starting job and Jon Jansen becomes the blind-side tackle. It would be a shame to lose such a classy player, but with a cap hit of $10 M in 2005; it would be a definite possibility.