When You Wish Upon A Star...
Well, here I am sitting at my computer again looking. Searching. Yearning. Trying to find any news about the Redskins to make these days go by faster, now that the 2002-2003 season is over. The free-agency signing period begins on February 28th. . . now we focus on free agents.
Since I'm new to "thehogs.net" family, I think y'all should first know where I'm comin' from. Now . . . I am (what I would call) a "normal" fan. I might not know all of the who's, what's, where's, when's and minute statistics that others might pride themselves on knowing, but I do know one thing. I love the Redskins. . . and I am still patiently waiting for my name to come up on the "season ticket" wait list so I can be a proud season ticket holding Redskins fan. Until that time arrives, I'll continue to scream, yell, cheer and cry at my DirecTV as I watch my games at home in Delaware (aka "Eagles" country).
That being said. . . and looking at what our friend Martin, "Game Day Hog" writes, the Redskins will likely be looking to fill the following holes through free agency: wide receiver; offensive guard; and special teams (i.e., punter & kicker). (Yes, the Redskins need help on the defensive line, too; however, I expect they will sign Daryl Gardener and find what they need in a draft that has a lot of talent in that area.) There may be a lot of players to choose from out there but finding the "right fit" will be important. We don't want to bring in someone that will have a bad work ethic, bad attitude, or a bad suit. (Thanks for nothing, Deion.)
As I'm sitting here, drinkin' my beer, looking out into the night, my pal, Jiminy Cricket, appears out of nowhere and starts singing a little tune about wishing upon a star. I close my eyes. . . and dream about my "wish list" for the Redskins during this period of free agency. I dream about the "top 3" Redskins targets. My dream, first, takes me to Buffalo.
(1) WIDE RECEIVER
Peerless Price, Buffalo Bills [Target #1]
This Tennessee Volunteer will likely be the #1 sought after wide receiver in free agency. Not too surprising when you look at last year's numbers: 94 receptions; 1,252 yards; 9 TDs. He has the speed, he has the ability. Unfortunately for the Redskins, he will also likely have the "franchise" tag as well. Peerless Price would be perfect for the Redskins. If the Bills don't lock him down as a "franchise" player, the Skins should go after him . . . and go after him hard!
David Boston, Arizona Cardinals
Okay, here's a guy who just got convicted of D.U.I., right? He had two consecutive 1,000 yard seasons until being sidelined by an injury last year. He's a big-time physical receiver that would do well in D.C.; however, the decision on whether he will be tagged a "franchise" player has already apparently been made…but not made public. Notwithstanding some concerns I may have in signing someone who is having problems with the law (can someone say, Randy Moss?), David Boston would be a good pick-up if Price is not available.
Derrius Thomspon, Washington Redskins
Just a few words on Derrius. Here's a guy who has come a long way within the Redskins organization. As last year progressed, he showed signs of "getting it". I think the Skins should re-sign him and let him grow even more within the organization and within Spurrier's offensive scheme.
(2) OFFENSIVE GUARD
With Offensive Tackles taken care of with Samuels and Jansen, I think we can all agree that the Skins still need help at Offensive Guard. Here are the Guards the Redskins should take a look at:
Edwin Mulitalo, Baltimore Ravens [Target #2]
This young 6'3", 340 pounder is worth a serious look. Injuries shouldn't be a problem for him. A 4th round pick in 1999, Mulitalo's consistent presence in the line helped the Ravens to an average of 113 rushing yards/game last season, including 136 yards/game the last five games of the year. He has played both right tackle and left guard. He is a big presence up front and, because we all know the offense begins and ends with a strong offensive line, the Skins should make a push at signing this quality player.
Randy Thomas, New York Jets
If Mulitalo isn't available, the Skins should consider giving Thomas a look. Thomas is a very athletic and extremely quick lineman that would surely help the Skins' offensive line. He has been a consistent player ever since his rookie year in 1999.
(3) SPECIAL TEAMS
I never really liked it when I saw teams spend very high draft picks on kickers. As a Redskins fan, however, I've seen so many times where the kicking game has really hurt us. With that in mind, I think the Skins should look to free agency, not the draft, to fill some holes in the kicking game.
Todd Sauerbrun, Carolina Panthers [Target #3a]
This 8 year veteran has an impressive 43.9 yard average with only 2 blocked punts in his career. His net average of 35.7 yards also shows the ability, I would argue, to kick away from the other team's punt returner. This is a quality punter and the Redskins should snap him up! I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm sick of all of those shanks I've been seeing so much recently!!
Mike Vanderjagt, Indianapolis Colts [Target #3b]
Yes, this guy has a big mouth. Because of it, notwithstanding what others might be saying, I can't imagine this fella will be returning to the Colts next year. Too bad for them because he is a great young kicker, making 137/161 [85%] of his field goal attempts over his five-year career with his longest kick (54 yards) coming last year. If the Colts are dumb enough to let him go, I hope the Skins are smart enough to snap him up and snap him up quickly.
John Carney, New Orleans Saints
Okay, okay. . . I know I said I was focusing on free agents, and I know Vanderjagt is not a free agent. Earlier I referred to my "wish list", however, and, free agent or not, Vanderjagt is the kicker I want.
If he's not available, the Skins could do worse than John Carney. Carney has been around a long time, since 1988. Throughout his career, he has made an impressive 321/391 [82%] of his field goal attempts with his longest (54 yards) coming in 2000, 1998, and 1991. He appears to be a reliable kicker and he would be a great improvement for the Redskins.
Well, there you have it. I guess now all we can do is sit back, relax, and hope Dan Snyder and company make some good decisions in the upcoming weeks. Until next time...
This article was released on 2003-02-10.
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