SNIDER: Did the Redskins do enough in free agency’s start?

Rick Snider
March 18, 2020 - 5:10 pm
Did the Redskins do enough in free agency’s start?

Justin Berl/Getty Images

With a war chest of salary cap room, the Redskins were supposed to spend their way out of the NFC East cellar. Instead, it was a collection of sensible moves with few wow moments.

The Redskins regaining cornerback Kendall Fuller was the highlight of the three days of legal tampering before Wednesday's official ​start to free agency.

Fuller was a Washington 2016 draft pick traded away in 2018 as part of a deal for Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith. Fuller earned a Super Bowl championship ring last season while Smith only played nine games before suffering a potential career-ending broken leg.

Fuller will help the Redskins, especially after releasing underperforming cornerback Josh Norman. It just doesn't feel like a big addition given his previous connection. More like a welcome homecoming that will bolster the secondary.

The Redskins reportedly tried to get Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper, who opted to stay in Dallas for roughly the same money after taxes. At best, Washington probably forced Dallas to spend more to keep the receiver. Signing Cooper would have been the wow moment the Redskins sought.

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Meanwhile, Washington made a series of commonsense moves.

Placing the franchise tag on guard Brandon Scherff was smart even if costing $14.8 million. The team lost guard Ereck Flowers to Miami and left tackle Trent Williams' fate is uncertain as he seeks a trade. The Redskins need continuity on the line with a player who's Pro Bowl worthy when healthy.

Re-signing inside linebacker Jon Bostic was doable given others on the market weren't any better and more costly. A two-year, $5 million deal is cheap overall for a steady tackler.

Signing Atlanta guard Wes Schweitzer was a touch surprising since Wes Martin played well in relief of an injured Scherff last season. Schweitzer-Martin may be a camp battle for the left side while the signing gives Washington needed depth.

Adding outside linebacker Thomas Davis at 37 years old seems like a Monte Coleman move. The latter was a steady locker room influence for the Redskins in the 1990s as a reserve and Davis may do the same after playing for coach Ron Rivera for eight years. That Washington doesn't know whether Reuben Foster will return after a 2019 offseason injury makes Davis valuable insurance.

The Redskins signing journeyman outside linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis to a one-year deal was just bargain hunting. This will be Louis' fifth team in six years and every NFL team has someone who offers experience as a reserve.

Washington grabbed Pittsburgh free safety Sean Davis for depth. Davis started 40 games over his first three seasons before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in the 2019 opener. Davis signed a show-me one-year deal that limits the Redskins' risk if not healthy.

Overall, it wasn't the big start hoped under new coach Ron Rivera, but then he's better known for a steady approach rather than quick-fix deals.

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