If it is indeed a new day at Redskins Park, a day in which Washington isn’t gobbling up big-money free agents, then let’s look back at olden times, when “Offseason Champs” was born.
We launched the name/shirt last year in a nod to Daniel Snyder’s proclivity for signing and acquiring players such as:
Dan Wilkinson, Dana Stubblefield, Bruce Smith, Deion Sanders, Jeff George, Mark Carrier, Jason Taylor, Brandon Lloyd, Adam Archuleta, Chad Morton, Antwaan Randle El, Andre Carter, Shawn Springs, Mark Brunell, T.J. Duckett, Brandon Noble, Jeremiah Trotter, Jessie Armstead, John Hall, DeAngelo Hall and Albert Haynesworth.
That’s quite a group right there. But, sadly, not all of them were acquired by Snyder, and the group isn’t ranked. So let’s listicle this out, shall we?
The top (bottom?) 10 “Offseason Champs” of the Snyder era:
1. Deion Sanders — Got a seven-year, $56 million deal at the age of 32, and locks up the top spot by a) coming from Dallas, b) being part of the awful free agent class of 2000 and c) only playing one year in Washington.
2. Adam Archuleta — Also played just one year for Washington after they made him the richest safety ever with a six-year, $30 million deal.
3. Steve Spurrier — Not a player, sure, but got five years and $25 million to sink the Skins for two seasons.
4. Jeff George — The Redskins won the NFC East and Brad Johnson threw for 4,000 yards, but Snyder brought in George for four years, $18.25 million anyway. That worked out well.
5. Brandon Lloyd — After trading a third and fourth-rounder to get him, Washington gave him a new deal for six years and $27 million ($10 million guaranteed). Though his value was questionable to begin with, he tanked in D.C., catching just 25 passes for no touchdowns.
6. Jeremiah Trotter — Made the Pro Bowl four times in five years with Philly before coming to Washington for seven years, $36 million and shitting the bed before going back to Philly.
7. Mark Brunell — Cost the Skins a third-rounder plus a seven-year, $43 million deal. Gave them one good season and a bible buddy for Joe Gibbs.
8. Antwaan Randle El – ARE was much the same guy in Washington that he was in Pittsburgh, so it’s not his fault he got seven years, $31 million.
9. Albert Haynesworth – The jury’s still out, but giving seven years, $100 million ($41 million guaranteed) deal to a questionable character may come back to bite them (see also: DeAngelo Hall).
10. Jason Taylor – Came to Washington for a second and a sixth, then had the worst season of his career before going back to Miami.
Considering that Mark Carrier, Bruce Smith, T.J. Duckett, David Patten, Jessie Armstead, etc. have been snubbed, maybe this list shouldn’t be cut off at 10. Speaking of, there’s at least one more guy worth mentioning. Though he’s had a good run, his acquisition speaks to the overriding approach that ruined the decade.
In 2004, before sending Champ Bailey and a second-rounder to Denver for Clinton Portis, the Redskins worked out an eight-year, $50.5 million contract that made him one of the richest running backs ever. The new deal wiped out Portis’ cap-friendly rookie contract, which still had two years remaining.