The Washington Redskins took a major swing during Monday’s legal tampering period, when they heavily pursued Cowboys Wide Receiver Amari Cooper.
But just like the Houston Astros in the World Series, they swung and they missed. This ultimately has set the tone for a lackluster off-season, in which the team has added ample depth, but not the star-power fans were hoping for. Is this the right approach?
Let’s take a look at who the team has added so far, and gauge their impact on the 2020-21 squad.
We’ll start off with the big fish. Although he isn’t technically an “addition,” Brandon Scherff’s 15M dollar cap hit took a third of the team’s salary before free agency even started. Although I have my reservations of spending generously on a guard, I do think Scherff is worth the investment.
When healthy, he is a brute in the running game and simply goes out head-hunting. He is arguably one of the best pulling guards in the game. Brandon was a top-5 draft pick, and a homegrown talent. You don’t let him walk away without compensation. Verdict: Solid Investment
A much needed familiar face returns to Washington. Not only does Kendall Fuller fill a need (DB Depth) but he is still only 25 and is approaching his prime years in the NFL. A fan favorite, Fuller is known as a cerebral player who knows when to take calculated risks.
He is versatile enough to play three defensive back positions, but he should nestle in nicely as the starting slot corner. With Fabian Moreau and Quinton Dunbar on the outside, and Jimmy “The People’s Corner” Moreland off the bench, the Redskins now have youth on their side at the position. But is it enough? Verdict: Well-Done
Bostic exceeded expectations as a late free agent acquisition last spring. Many saw him as a depth piece, but he soon won the confidence of coaches. So much so they decided to release team captain and incumbent Mason Foster; who planned on returning to the team despite flare ups with coaches and fans on social media.
Bostic was a solid piece and decent run-stopper for a mediocre defense last year. He had a 105 combined tackles, an interception and a sack. I feel for players who make the most of their opportunities. So Welcome Back, Jon. However, I still have my eyes open for a three-down linebacker. Verdict: Depth Piece
Schweitzer is essentially the fall back plan to missing out on the Ereck Flowers sweepstakes. (Can’t believe I just wrote that) But it’s true. Flowers came in and did a respectable job filling in at left guard during the 2019 season. Was he worth 10M? Not so sure. That’s where Kyle Smith and Ron Rivera should be applauded for showing restraint.
Schweitzer has been a regular on the Falcons line for the past three years. He lost his starting job due to injury/performance, but still started 7 games for Atlanta last season. He will compete for the left guard position, but at worst will be a depth piece on the interior O-line.
According to ProFootballFocus, he “missed just two contests over his past 48 possible outings while allowing only two sacks on 504 pass block snaps in 2019.” So there’s some promise there. Verdict: Blip on the Radar
You can’t help but root for the guy. Let’s rattling off some his accomplishments. 14 years in the NFL. Nine 100-plus tackle seasons; including 112 last year. Three-Time Pro Bowler. 2014 Walter Payton Man of the Year. 2015 First Team All-Pro. The dude has done a lot.
Granted, being 37 years old is a knock. So is tearing an ACL three times. But don’t count Davis out. At the very least, he will be a culture changing component in the locker room. He will project Rivera’s vision, and instill accountability in the young guys. Does he start? Who knows? Probably. But he is a strong building block to build Rivera’s legacy in Washington.
Davis may have an additional duty this upcoming season–mentoring a young dog in Chase Young or Isaiah Simmons if they are selected. Leadership Matters. Verdict: Intangibles outweigh performance
Pierre-Louis signed a contract for one year and 3.4 million dollars. Which signals the Redskins vision of him–a depth piece capable of playing special teams.
If he thrives in training camp, he may hang on to a roster spot if Reuben Foster begins the season on injured reserve. However, if he struggles, he’s expendable and won’t cost too much. It’s a low-risk, low-reward move for a team who needs to upgrade at the position. Verdict: Ehh, wish the best for him.
Altogether, the Redskins have wisely navigated the off-season thus far. Although I had wished they were more aggressive in the tight end and middle linebacker market, they found a suitable (and affordable) addition in the signing of Kendall Fuller.
Wide Receiver still rings as an area of weakness for this team with Terry Mclaurin standing as the only proven weapon of the group.
The team lacks a tight end of substance, and a replacement for Trent Williams needs to be addressed if he indeeds moves on. However, Free Agency technically doesn’t begin until Wednesday at 4pm, so as the saying goes “patience is a virtue.” Let’s give Rivera and Smith time to enact their plan.