Redskins need more aggressive free agency approach

Rick Snider
March 14, 2018 - 5:53 pm



Remember the good ole days when NFL players flocked to Washington to get paid?

Nearly two decades after incoming owner Dan Snyder showed money didn’t buy success, after hitting the league's first $100 million payroll with the over-age likes of Deion Sanders and Bruce Smith, the team now can’t prevent a jailbreak of its own players leaving town.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins heads to Minnesota for a reported $86 million. Cornerback Bashaud Breeland signed with Carolina. The most amazing deal is receiver Ryan Grant, who took $29 million from the Baltimore Ravens as a reserve.

Center Spencer Long is leaving for the New York Jets. Linebacker Trent Murphy is headed to Buffalo. Linebacker Zach Brown is looking around after rejecting the Redskins' initial offer.

It seems Washington’s money is no longer any good. President Bruce Allen’s frugal spending has prevented the Redskins from massive mistakes, but it’s also strangling growth. Barring better drafts, Washington needs to start spending more money.

Wow, did I say that?

On the plus side, Washington signed Seattle receiver Paul Richardson, who should be a deep threat missing last season. They kept their kicker and a couple reserves.

But overall, the Redskins lost some starters and depth that even an optimistic draft can’t replace. They didn’t outspend other teams for several free agents. Waiting for second-tier reserves after the market’s 4 p.m. start doesn’t make Washington a contender. It just makes Snyder more money. Meanwhile, competitors got better while Washington fell behind.

Not exactly champions of the offseason anymore.

Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @Snide_Remarks