|04-01-2008, 01:59 PM||#1|
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Alexandria, VA
JLC Returns with Some Skins Tidbits
After a few weeks of vacation and time to tend to some family issues, I am happy to be back among the blog faithful. So, real quick, what did I miss??
Okay, not much, just as I suspected. I'm pretty much cool with the tack Vinny Cerrato has taken with free agency thus far, though I do believe self scouting has always been a significant problem with this organization and the powers that be may be grossly overestimating their ability to fill all remaining holes via the draft (and there are some big ones). But, regardless, it was about time the Skins didn't set all kinds of spending records for mostly average players, and this free agent class was indeed without much steak for all the sizzle.
Now, while I applaud them for getting guys like Derrick Frost, Rock Cartwright and Jason Fabini back at bargain prices, only time will tell if they struck out at the position Cerrato and owner Daniel Snyder deemed to be most in need of an upgrade - wide receiver.
They wouldn't offer Reche Caldwell and DJ Hackett anything over the veteran minimum, not willing to lavish either with a mil or two as a signing bonus. SO basically both would be coming here with no guaranteed money at all .... That wasn't going to happen and Vinny had to know that wasn't going to happen. They fully expected someone else to emerge and in both cases it happened. Would it have been worth a little bit of cash to ensure at least of those guys was here? I think so.
But of course, I also fully expect them to continue their covert longing for Cincy's Chad Johnson. As I reported a day after Jim Zorn came on board as coach, Johnson was the major player the Skins hoped to acquire. He's the splash they hope to make after weeks of barely a ripple. In June, when his cap hit to the Bengals would be halved the Skins will be there to pounce should Chad force his way out of Cincy.
Look, Cerrato and Snyder cleared about $9 million in cap room for a reason. They knew they would not be active in the first few waves of free agency, save for re-signing Collins and some of their own players. Sure, they sniffed around on DeAngelo Hall, Larry Fitzgerald and a few other trade options, but nothing ever got too serious. The primary issues on defense - D Line in particular - will be addresses early in the draft, they have told DC Greg Blache as much (Blache has been adamant about his want, sources said, to his credit).
And it's unlikely you will find the kind of big, athletic, stud WR Snyder/Cerrato want in the mid rounds, or even with the 21st pick for that matter).
I still see WR as the position where the Skins most likely do something big beyond drafting players and signing role free agents. Right now you have cut bait with Brandon Lloyd, Caldwell and Keenan McCardell from last season, and top guy Santana Moss hasn't really been fully healthy since 2005. Anthony Mix is a nice prospect, but for a team banking on a flashy new offense to piggy-back off its playoff trip, well, not sure you can just pencil him in as a legit 2-3 guy right now. When healthy Antwaan Randle-El had a great start to the season, but he tailed off as well and has yet to post that true, full breakthrough season (and his punt return work has been pedestrian in two seasons here). The old staff was split on whether it believed Mike Espy would develop into a player, sources said, and successive season-ending injuries can't help his cause).
Offense if Snyder's bag. It's what he loves. According to sources, Snyder pushed long and hard to draft WR Ted Ginn Jr. with the sixth overall pick last year (what a disaster that would have been had Gregg Williams not saved the owner from himself - RB Clinton Portis's constant lobbying of Snyder and Joe Gibbs for Landry had some impact as well, team sources said), and the Skins have flirted with Calvin Johnson and Braylon Edwards in the draft the last few seasons. Snyder made it known in no uncertain terms that he wanted Johnson when interviewing coaching candidates this off season, and I await Johnson and agent Drew Rosenhaus's next move to try to force an exit from Cincy.
Other than that, hard to imagine a whole lot of roster activity the next few months save for more depth additions. At some point they will sign a few CBs along the lines of guys like Butler a year ago, to add some veteran depth. I would not be surprised to see a veteran punter brought in to challenge Frost at some point later in the off season, too, and look for offensive line to be a prime target in the first three rounds of the draft as well, particularly with the third-round comp pick awarded.
"The only real magic. The magic of knowledge."
"Sounds like your assets are getting kicked!"