The Redskins haven’t signed the splashiest free agents or made the type of trades that shock and awe, but they continue to make savvy moves and get younger. The weekend trade of defensive end Vonnie Holliday to the Cardinals in exchange for Tim Hightower in another move in a highly tactical offseason.
Hightower was born in Santa Ana, Calif., but grew up in Alexandria, Va., attending Episcopal High School. After attending the University of Richmond, he was on the radar of many Redskins fans, who wanted him and join forces with Clinton Portis. Now he’s on his way back to the East Coast.
Hightower has pretty much everything that you look for in a running back for any offense: ability to run outside or between the tackles, ability to catch out of the backfield, and a great threat in the redzone. He also has playoff and Super Bowl experience, and only earned a ticket out of Arizona because of depth.
At 35, Holliday can still be a contributor on defense, but isn’t likely to start 16 games in a season. With the addition of Stephen Bowen and Barry Cofield (to join Anthony Bryant, Jarvis Jenkins and Adam Carriker), Holliday became expendable.
Hightower is 25 and hasn’t been used heavily in his NFL career. He has an issue with ball security, fumbling five times in each of the last two seasons, but should benefit from the tutelage of running backs guru Bobby Turner.
I don’t mean to discount the contributions that Holliday made to the team in only one season. He had 42 tackles and 2.5 sacks, but his real presence was felt in the lockerroom and as a team representative on the NFL CBA negotiations.
One fan at Saturday’s practice yelled out his thanks to Holliday for single-handedly solving the NFL lockout. Holliday laughed the guy off, but his influence is certainly felt league-wide.
This is a move with a lot of upside with a young, hungry running back. Because of Holliday’s age and the team’s depth at his position, this is not a move that the team is likely to regret.
Tags: bobby turner, tim hightower, University of Richmond, washington redskins
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