The Washington Redskins are not shy in free agency any year, and this year was no exception. The Redskins started their off-season by trading up to get Robert Griffin III (well technically the second pick, but that seems certain to be Robert Griffin III). Even though the league took a lot of salary cap space from the Redskins for dumping salaries in 2010 they were still very active. How did they do? let’s break it down. I’ll give each pick a grade and then a grade overall.
Redskins sign Pierre Garcon 5 years 42.5 million dollars, 21.5 Million guaranteed
The Redskins needed to add an infusion of youth throughout their roster, and the wide receiver position as well. Garcon is an inconsistent player, but had his best year last year with Curtis Painter. Garcon can get paid a lot of money potentially. Garcon is at best a 1a wide receiver, but better suited as a number two Wide receiver. Not a terrible move and he could develop a great rapport with RGIII and make this a terrific move eventually, but I’d expect modest production over the length of his contract.
I’m in favor of paying your own players, it sends a message to the locker room that team guys who also produce will get paid where they are, which makes players more likely to sell out for the coach and organization. However, Carriker is not a great player and is getting a pretty big pay day here. Again a really average move.
I like this move more than most. Josh Morgan looked poised to breakout heading into 2011, but was injured. Morgan is still pretty young he’ll be 27 years old at the start of the season. The deal is maybe a bit high on the guarantee for a guy coming off injury, but Morgan has more than enough ability to outplay his contract. I like this move.
Meriweather was a once promising safety for the New England Patriots, who has seen a drop in his game on the field the past couple of years. He wasn’t heavily coveted in a very weak safety market which should tell you all you need to know about his stock. If the Redskins are looking for depth and a spot starter this is a good move. If they are hoping that Meriweather can replace Landry they are mistaken.
Griffin started 14 games last year for the Minnesota Vikings and played pretty well. The Redskins needed to add depth and talent and youth in the secondary. Griffin is no spring chicken, he’ll turn 30 next year, but he has been a quality player for the Vikings. A one year “show me” deal for only 2.5 million in a market that paid cornerbacks handsomely is a good move for the Redskins.
Picking Grossman up to potentially start the season while Griffin III learns the league is not a bad move. Grossman is also a good backup quarterback because he’s the kind of backup quarterback who can come in and win games for you…not just manage them. Unfortunately, he’s just as likely to lose them, but as a backup quarterback it’s a good move.
Adding talent to the offensive line is never a bad idea. I don’t know the details of the contract. Solid move.
I like the lower level moves the Redskins made more than the big money moves like the Garcon signing. I’m not a big fan of the Garcon move or the Carriker move, but the rest of the moves are good. But when grading the free agency moves you have to take into consideration proportionally where they money went. Garcon has the potential to be a solid move, but it’s not a great move. Garcon was never consistent with Peyton Manning throwing him the ball, how can anyone expect him to maximize his abilities with a rookie quarterback? The Redskins addressed a lot of needs here even after the league came down hard on the Redskins. The best move the Redskins made, the move I didn’t grade was moving up for the number two pick in the N.F.L. draft. The Redskins play in a division with Tony Romo, Michael Vick, and Eli Manning. If the Redskins didn’t address the quarterback position they weren’t going to compete with the rest of the NFC East-and ultimately is what this free agency year will be graded on in the future.
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