Grading the Redskins Early Off-Season Moves

Grading the Redskins Early Off-Season Moves

by March 24, 2019 0 comments

The Redskins have been active early on in free agency, but how do these moves grade out?

The NFL free agency war has already begun, and to quote the Cobra Kai motto, “Strike first, strike hard, no mercy.”

All 32-teams made their opening moves; some big, some small but by no means is the war over. There is still plenty of movement set to take place throughout the league.

The Redskins, despite years past, have been active early this year on both acquiring and releasing talent. With almost two weeks of free agency complete, and one week closer to draft day, here is where the Redskins stand so far from a grade perspective.

Acquisitions:

Landon Collins (S): A
This fills a major hole that the Redskins have had since the tragic death of Sean Taylor in 2007. Ironically enough, the former Giants captain idolized the late Taylor, even wearing the number 21 while in New York. It is uncertain whether he will be able to wear the number 21 here, but he has expressed his reverence saying he would only wear the number if the family would allow him.

The 25-year old is proven to be durable, only missing just a handful of games in four years. Collins has also proven to be a defensive presence, generating 428 combined tackles, eight interceptions, 32 passes defended and 22 tackles for loss. He may struggle on some coverages, but there is no doubt the latest Alabama edition will help Washington tremendously.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (CB): D
This is a signing that very few will understand. Perhaps the Redskins are concerned about cornerback Quinton Dunbar’s nerve? Or Perhaps they are concerned about Josh Norman’s performance? The 32-year old has been less than stellar his last few years in the league and is coming off retirement. As stated, few will understand this one.

Adrian Peterson (RB): B
The resigning of the future Hall of Famer means the Redskins fans get another year of “All Day.” Though his age increases, so too does his determination. The 33-year old running back at times put the entire offense on his back, and in some cases was the difference between a win and a loss last season. There are many upsides; a two-year deal that does not break the bank, he stays as a reinsurance policy, and he can now mentor Guice as a running back and how to bounce back from a season-ending injury. The only downside is that he will be splitting time with Guice which may affect his overall numbers. How could you pass up a running back corps with Guice, Peterson, and Thompson?

Releases:

Jamison Crowder (WR): C
Crowder was arguably the best receiver the Redskins had, with “arguably” being the operative word. Drafted in 2015, Crowder has compiled over 2,600 yards and 14 touchdowns in 4 seasons in Washington. Yes, he has some spectacular catches (so did Keelan Cole of the Jaguars), but as a whole, he is not that the dynamic wideout the Redskins hoped for him to be. The redeeming quality of the release is that it gives a little flexibility with cap space.

Maurice Harris (WR): D
Dubbed “Ryan Grant 2.0” by some, Mo Harris has answered the call-to-action the last two years when the top-line receivers went down. Not an elite receiver, but he will certainly look like one catching from the six-time Super Bowl champion and future Hall of Famer Tom Brady in New England.

Zach Brown (OLB): C
Zach Brown is a controversial figure. No doubt he is talented, but it brings caution that this is the third team he was released from. What does that mean? It means there is something going on behind the scenes that no one knows about besides the organization. Fans see a decent linebacker who at times looks lost and slow. There was also a significant drop in his tackles between his first and second year with the Redskins (127 tackles in 2017 compared to 96 in 2018). One less person to pay, and potentially one less off-field distraction.

Ty Nsekhe (OT): C

It was bound to happen. The aging tackle is a liability. Younger and more talented depth is needed. Nothing personal, just business.

Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix (S): B

Although Clinton-Dix was traded to Green Bay in October of last season, the move was significant enough to add him to this list.

Clinton-Dix was released and picked up by the Bears this offseason after the Packers had planned on releasing him before the Redskins traded a fourth-round pick for him. Not the impact player he once was, Clinton-Dix seemed slow and unaware of his positioning. There are other safeties that would be a better fit.

Overview:
Acquisitions: B
Acquiring Landon Collins at safety carries heavy weight in the decision-making. Rodgers-Cromartie is the question mark due to the question of effectiveness. The same could also be said about Peterson, but his effectiveness in his later years has been impressive and the move strengthens the position group.

Releases: C-

No tears should be shed over losing Crowder due to the fact that he has been often injured and never quite lived up to the organization’s expectations.

Additionally, the Redskins are focusing primarily on defense, while not adding to the wide receiver position. A position that has been left in shambles since the departure of Santana Moss in 2014.

The war is not over. The Redskins will likely remain busy throughout the off-season as the NFL Draft draws closer. General manager Bruce Allen looks to build a winner in the nation’s capital heading into the 2019 season.

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