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Start To Free Agency Graded A Success

Posted by Brian Tinsman on March 16, 2012 – 5:41 pm

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In the history of the Redskins franchise, the team has been wryly crowned ‘the offseason champions’ many times for its expenditures in free agency.  We don’t need to revisit those.

But those days appear to be a thing of the past, as the Redskins–for the second-consecutive year–are earning high praise for their measured additions in free agency.

Even while preparing for an unexpectedly amended salary cap number, the Redskins have managed to add quality talent on both sides of the board, earning praise from industry gurus.

ESPN NFL expert John Clayton named the Redskins among his three winners after the first three days of free agency.  Coming at it from a fiscal responsibility angle, here’s what he had to say: Read more »

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Griffin Continues Secondary’s Makeover

Posted by Brian Tinsman on March 16, 2012 – 4:44 pm

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After a season riddled with injury, the Redskins are improving the roster depth by loading up talent on both sides of the ball.

The Redskins announced the signing of former Vikings cornerback Cedric Griffin to the roster this afternoon, shoring up the secondary with another veteran defensive back.

Griffin is known for his hard-hitting style of play, dating back to his time at the University of Texas.  In 2011, Griffin started 14 games, and had 55 tackles, one interception and three forced fumbles.  For his career, he has eight interceptions, 14 forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

After the signing of defensive backs coach Raheem Morris and the addition of Pro Bowl safety Brandon Meriweather yesterday, the Redskins have demonstrated a commitment to improving the team’s pass defense in 2012.

Griffin brings good size to the secondary (6-0, 190 pounds), and is able to defend against slot receivers, wideouts and tight ends.

He was college teammates with current Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo.  He was a pivotal player on the Longhorns 2005 National Championship defense, which beat Fred Davis’s USC Trojans.  Davis signed his tender today to be the Redskins’ 2012 franchise player.

In 2010, Griffin was named the Vikings’ winner of the Ed Block Courage Award for his attitude and courage in returning from a devastating knee injury.  Here was the foundation’s quote on Griffin: Read more »

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Beginning Of March Madness And Sadness

Posted by Brian Tinsman on March 16, 2012 – 2:57 pm

In a month already known for its madness, this week saw the start of NFL free agency and the tip-off to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

I don’t think ‘madness’ is a strong enough description.

Where the NFL is the nation’s premiere sporting league, March Madness is the nation’s premiere tournament, pairing the excitement of Cinderella stories with amateur athletics.

And NFL players are some of the biggest fans.  Many of these guys are top athletes with the physical talent to play in the NBA.  Some players like London Fletcher were two-sport athletes in college, crushing the D-3 hoops at John Carroll.

And like any other office pool, there are players with prophetic brackets, and those that wish it was April.

Here’s a Twitter-ific recap:

Read more »

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Redskins Players Pumped For Draft Trade

Posted by Brian Tinsman on March 16, 2012 – 1:41 pm

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With yesterday’s official announcement of the Redskins-Ram draft trade that took place late last week, the Redskins officially soar up the board four spots to No. 2.  The move puts them in prime position to take any player in April’s draft, except, of course, the one taken No. 1 overall to the Colts.

Everyone else is fair game.

Draw your own conclusions on what this pick means for the Redskins roster next season, but the team doesn’t make a commitment for a player that it doesn’t love.  General manager Bruce Allen said as much in his address to the media on Saturday night:

“I want to remind everyone we have the second pick in the draft. Clearly we fell in love with two players. We believe one of those players will be a great Redskin.”

And current Redskins agree.  Even though the rumor mill started churning late on a Friday night, several players still took to Twitter to share their excitement with fans:

And it really has.  Players want to go to go where they know they’ll have a good chance at winning, and making the deal on the eve of free agency was a great selling point to fans, players and free agents.

By adding top talent, retaining top talent and attracting top talent, the Redskins are making a strong push to improve in 2012 and beyond.

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Where The Redskins Stand In Free Agency

Posted by Brian Tinsman on March 16, 2012 – 12:11 pm

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What The Team Accomplished So Far:

In Day One, the team focused primarily on adding offensive weapons at the receiver position.  The Redskins locked up two quality weapons, as Kyle and Mike Shanahan continue to makeover the roster with the pieces they want.

Now the emphasis in the market seems to have shifted to the defensive side of the ball with the signing of Pro Bowl safety Brandon Meriweather.

Whether it’s playing up close to the line as a run enforcer, or playing centerfield against the pass, Meriweather classified himself as a playmaker, and his numbers support it.  He was brought in with the opportunity to rebuild his young career after a disappointing 2011 that saw him cut and used incorrectly by the Chicago Bears.

In Jim Haslett’s defense, he should be given the freedom and opportunity to make the plays that made him a top safety in the NFL in 2009 and ’10. Read more »

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