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Offseason Champs Update: The Redskins Survive Another Day of Free Agency

Our thanks to Mr. Irrelevant Writer at Large JP Finlay, who’s manning this ship the next few days while Chris gets married(!).

If insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, maybe it is time to cool it with the veteran WRs. Somebody should let Bruce Allen know.

In the last 24 hours we’ve added Donte Stallworth, Jabar Gaffney and now Brandon Stokley. Each player has a respectable career highlight film with some strong individual seasons sprinkled in. But is there any honest reason to expect that to happen in DC in 2011? I’ve got to say no.

First, they are all old. Stallworth and Gaffney were born in 1980. Brandon Stokley remembers 1980, considering he was born in 1976. These dudes are old. And while maybe Hall of Fame receivers can still produce at 30+, none of these three are going to Canton.

For every reason I want to like the Stallworth and Stokley signings – not a lot of money, one-year deals, veterans to push the younger guys, maybe a mentor situation with the knucklehead Cerrato holdover Malcolm Kelly – it feels like I’m talking myself into it. Stallworth hasn’t accomplished much since he killed that guy. Stokley had a killer fantasy season in 2004, but that was, you know, seven years ago.

I’m not going to give up on Stallworth yet, he said all the right things about coming to Washington and I just have a hunch he has something left in the tank. Stokley, on the other hand, might be on the fast track to coaching.

Even if both Stallworth and Stokley bomb, don’t make a catch in the preseason and are cut before Labor Day, we still lose nothing with the signings. Maybe Danny loses a couple hundred grand but I almost like that idea. With Jabar Gaffney though, we are on the hook. The Skins brass can spin it any way they want, but basically we drafted Jabar Gaffney in the third round of the 2010 draft. If you’ve read this far you know how the supplemental shitshow for Jeremy Jarmon went down, and I know that was a previous regime (worst regime ever) but it still sucks for the Skins.

Maybe Gaffney will come in and be a good possession WR. That’s great. But we need d-linemen, and though Jarmon hasn’t shown much yet, he is 23, 6’3” and 285 lbs. There was a need there, independent of scheme, scope or any other ridiculous football term Team Shanahan likes to throw around. The arrogance of this coaching staff is astounding, we can only hope the results follow.

I’d love to be wrong, but I don’t see it. And besides, depth at WR may not matter too much with the vaunted trio of Sexy Rexy, John Beck or Kellen Clemens flinging the rock.

Good news is we re-signed Santana. I liked that signing a lot. Santana deserved to stay and he had a good year last year despite fighting nagging injuries and less than optimal QB play. I hope at this point, and considering the sizable investment at the Draft with Hankerson & Co., that the WR corps is set.

But where are the o-linemen? I hope those signings are in the works. I hear they might be. We certainly need them. And I like the Barry Cofield signing. He is a high-intensity guy who should be able to play all the spots on the d-line, another area of big time need. I can’t lie and say I have much faith in the Skins front office getting one over on the Giants, who let Cofield walk, but I will just remain hopeful.

And I love getting Josh Wilson. Part of that is the Terp factor, sure, but he had a great year last year according to the stat guys and he can certainly catch interceptions that Carlos Rogers always dropped. The money seems reasonable, 3 years for $13.5 million, if not a steal. And we needed a corner, so this one looks good all the way around.

The best part of the Skins offseason thus far is they haven’t done anything overtly stupid. Sure the Gaffney trade stings a bit. And I’m not ignoring the two elephants in the room. First there is giving up a 2 & 4 to get Donovan last year, followed by getting a 6 to get rid of him this year. Also, Fat Al.

In spite of this, in spite of the constant fear Skins fans suffer from, that debilitating sense the team is always on the verge of giving up draft picks for washed up veterans, so far we haven’t done it. And that is enough for today.

We’ve survived another day of free agency. Let’s hope we can say the same thing tomorrow.

(Image taken w/ love from Hogs Haven, which has great Snyder images.)



  1. thighmaster

    July 27, 2011 at 11:14 PM

    I’m ready to drink the Clemenade

  2. CptChaosSidekick

    July 27, 2011 at 11:22 PM

    Fantastic article all around.

    The key for Redskins fans is patience. I truly believe that you can’t judge Shanahan until he’s working w/ a roster that’s of his making. He inherited a mess & in the NFL it takes forever to turn a mess like this around.

    All that being said, our QB situation is a catastrophe. Not since the days of Danny wurffel, Shane Matthews, & Patrick Ramsey has on position been this devoid of talent.

  3. JDobs2

    July 27, 2011 at 11:38 PM

    Eh… I understand where you’re coming from, but I disagree. I think Shanny knows what he’s doing. He’s balancing the influx of new talent (12 draft picks!?!) with cheap vets. Don’t forget last year they signed the big names, Willie Parker and Larry Johnson, only to cut them in favor of Keiland Williams and Ryan Torain. I’m sure if the vets we sign suck, Shan the Man won’t hesitate to cut ’em.

  4. johno

    July 28, 2011 at 5:14 AM

    well said jp. my comment would be that we need vets in the shortened “camp” we will have to help kids like hankerson etc. with learning routes, nfl realities etc. jarmon didn’t fit the scheme (which is semi bull), but experience is going to mean more than ever with guys not having time with the playbook.

  5. Ketel on Rocks

    July 28, 2011 at 7:05 AM

    Haynesworth, McFlubb, and Portis all gone. There really aren’t any big name players left on this team. It’s like that show “Hoarders”. Shanny had to go into Danny’s house and clean all the past-sell-by-date crap out of the attic. It feels kind of liberating.

    I’m ok with the mediocre/rookie laden/washed-up scrub roster we have. Skins are probably staring a 3-13 season right in the face — and that’s ok. This should have happened years ago. Like, 10 fucking years ago.

  6. Me

    July 28, 2011 at 8:38 AM

    Jarmon didn’t fit the Shanny scheme but Cofield does? And I want Hankerson to be a stud so so bad.

    Agree with JP across the board. Fingers crossed that more of these moves work out than don’t. Wait and see and hope no draft picks for aging washed up vet.

  7. Chad

    July 28, 2011 at 9:04 AM

    As a person whose life has been impacted by a drunk driver, I have to say I hate the Stallworth acquisition.

  8. D.Fox

    July 28, 2011 at 9:24 AM

    Needs to be said that while Stallworth was legally drunk, he received little time because it was found that the pedestrian would’ve been killed drunk or sober.

  9. ThisGuy

    July 28, 2011 at 10:29 AM

    Sidekick you said it, you can’t analyze these moves for their short term. These vet WRs are placeholders until we can build a real, actual playoff roster. That will take time, and in the meantime you need guys who actually know what NFL routes are, so as not to hastile ruin the young’uns development, and to give them someone to learn from.

    Jarmon obviously wasn’t working out. Cut your losses.

  10. The Derper

    July 28, 2011 at 10:56 AM

    Stokley is isn’t coming here. His agent pointed out the Skins have too many receivers already. You’d think the front office would have known that.

  11. DarkHeart

    July 28, 2011 at 10:57 AM

    JPF = co-owner Crystal City Sports Pub?

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