When the NFL free agency period begins in five days on March 13, the Washington Redskins are primed to be one of the most active teams. The Redskins have a number of their own notable unrestricted free agents that they will attempt to re-sign as well as a number of unrestricted free agents from around the league that they will attempt to poach.
Last off season, the Redskins spent much of their focus and money on defense, which paid off as they ended the 2011 regular season with the 13th ranked defense. This off season, the Redskins need to spend their focus and money on an offense that struggled to score all last season. Only six teams in the NFL scored less points than the Redskins.
Thanks to the judicious spending of Bruce Allen for the past two seasons, the 'Skins enter the 2012 free agency period with ample cap room. After a 5-11 season, the Redskins will need that $47.56 million to address their lackluster offense, notably the quarterback and wide receiver position. The Redskins also need to upgrade their mediocre offensive line and look to add depth to their secondary.
The Redskins under Bruce Allen have shed the spend-as-you-go ethos that Vinny Cerrato and Dan Snyder embodied for so many years. No more offseasons that mirror a fantasy football draft. Fans need not expect the Redskins to chase after the marquee and house hold names available this free agency such as Vincent Jackson, Carl Nicks, Ben Grubbs, Dwayne Bowe, Wes Welker, DeSean Jackson or Carlos Rogers (inside joke). The Redskins have directed their free agent signings to quality players that fit the team system and are valuable additions. The days of overpaying (remember Mr. Haynesworth?) for free agents have gone quietly into that good night, and that's a good thing.
UPDATE NOTE: Since this article was published, NFL teams dealt their franchise tags and a number of notable players were re-signed. Accordingly, the landscape of the FA market was altered. Dwayne Bowe, Tyvon Branch, Michael Griffin, DeSean Jackson, and Dashon Goldson were a number of the bigger named player franchised. Stevie Johnson was re-signed by the Bills and his 5 year/$36.25 million contract may set the barometer for top tier wide receiver contracts.
Players whom teams opted not to franchise tag also gives way to such players testing the market and finding greener pastures elsewhere. Vincent Jackson, Marques Colston, Carl Nicks, and Mario Williams are among the bigger names players in this group.