Allen and Co. Set For Free Agency Field Day

Jack GoodwillieContributor IMarch 5, 2010

ASHBURN,VA - JANUARY 6:  Washington Redskins introduce Mike Shanahan as the new Executive Vice President and head coach to the media with Bruce Allen, Executive Vice President and general manager, on January 6, 2010 at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Virginia.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

On the eve of the NFL Free Agency period, the Washington Redskins had effectively released half of their roster. Among those cut loose by the Skins include Antwaan Randle El, Cornelius Griffin, Fred Smoot, Randy Thomas, Ladell Betts, and Rock Cartwright.

As always, the Redskins look to be active in free agency. Last year, the team signed defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth to a massive deal, making 41-million dollars in guaranteed money. Haynesworth was rated as the top free agent of last year.

This precedent set by owner Daniel Snyder looks to remain static this year. But this year is very different than last year. 2010 will be uncapped.

This is going to allow for greater free spending and less free agency limits for the teams with big business owners, such as the Redskins. Snyder is easily one of the richest owners in the league, next to the Rooney Family in Pittsburgh, Jerry Jones in Dallas, Jeffery Lurie in Philadelphia, and the Mara family in New York.

Another entity that separates this off-season from previous years is that Snyder will not be the primary shot caller. Instead, new General Manager Bruce Allen will be “running the point” along with new coach Mike Shanahan. Shanahan was given full roster control when brought in by Snyder.

Among the top unrestricted free agents available this year include the likes of Julius Peppers, Karlos Dansby, Dunta Robinson, Thomas Jones, and Vince Wilfork among others. Some of the bigger names out there include Terrell Owens, LaDanian Tomlinson, and Brian Westbrook.

The Redskins are coming into the off-season with a specific game-plan set up by Allen. Said the new General Manager, “We have a game plan that we have shared with ownership and they have not only embraced it but hope we execute it. Our goal is to execute our game plan.” There is no doubt that Allen and company will have a busy next couple of days.

What top player would be the best fit in Washington? Obviously, Karlos Dansby comes to mind. The rumor is that the Redskins would be switching to a 3-4 defensive scheme for 2010. That would look something like this: Albert Haynesworth as the anchoring nose tackle, Phillip Daniels and Andre Carter on the ends, Brian Orakpo as the versatile linebacker/end, Rocky McIntosh as the other outside linebacker, and London Fletcher as a middle linebacker, captain of the team.

Imagine if Dansby were the second middle linebacker in that formation. His presence would automatically make the Skins defense a force to be reckoned with, though some may argue that it already is. 

We may also see the Redskins take cracks at Julius Peppers just because they can. Will they sign him? No. “SGT.” Peppers is a want, not a need. All the Redskins have to do is restock defensively, and maybe even sign a solid running back such as a Brian Westbrook or Ladanian Tomlinson. The draft will be saved for offensive weapons, a quarterback, and new offensive linemen.

As always, it looks to be an interesting off-season for Dan Snyder’s Washington Redskins. Will they show improvement this time around? There is definitely a good chance to.