Defensive Tackle: Jason Hatcher, Washington
Contract Flaw: Paying for the Outlier; System Guy Out of System
Hatcher had spent years as a backup 3-4 end in Dallas before 2013, in which two key things happened: The Cowboys moved to a 4-3 defense, and they hired defensive line guru Rod Marinelli to coach their linemen. Hatcher kicked inside to tackle and had an enormous year as an interior pass-rusher, leading a disappointing Cowboys defense with 11 sacks. He’d had just 16 sacks across his previous seven seasons. Washington, exhibiting its usual wisdom, saw this and signed the 32-year-old Hatcher to a four-year, $27.5 million deal in which he will once again become a 3-4 defensive end more than a thousand miles away from Marinelli’s tutelage. And even that might be generous; Hatcher will miss part of training camp after having his knee scoped.
Not the most promising start to Hatcher’s time in D.C.