Six Steps to Redskins Offseason Success — Part 1

By | February 14, 2017
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ASHBURN VA, JANUARY 9: Redskins' team President Bruce Allen lis

 HTTD writer Patrick Rice breaks down six key things the Washington Redskins need to do, in order to have a successful 2017 offseason.

The 2017 Off-Season is in full swing. With reports, rumors, and mock drafts floating around the internet, I thought it would be a good time to delve into what a great off-season would look like for the Washington Redskins. After all, who doesn’t love reading completely biased fan hot takes?

Here are, in this particular fan’s opinion, six key objectives the Redskins must address this off-season. Some overlap, but all should be looked viewed as their own priority. In part 1, we will tackle three that are all in-house.

1. Re-Sign The Redskins Own: This has to be a top priority for Washington. When Scot McCloughan was hired, Washington Post reporter Liz Clark wrote: “The measuring stick by which McCloughan wants to be judged is not whether fans are dazzled…but whether his signee’s prove worthy of a second contract and, ideally, a third”.

The Redskins cannot stray from McCloughan’s strategy. Some of these players, like Pierre Garcon, were signed by the previous administration. However, in order to continue to build the foundation, Washington must resign at least three of their top five non-quarterback free agents.

Who should they re-sign, you ask? Great question. Let us start with Garcon. #88 is arguably the hardest working player on the team, and fits the culture McCloughan is trying to build. He has had team success and personal success in his five years in Washington and should not be allowed to walk.

The other two are not eye popping names, but will go a long way in helping Jay Gruden’s team in 2017. Chris “Swaggy” Baker deserves a second contract. While he has put up modest numbers, he is home grown and without him the Redskins truly would be starting from scratch on the defensive line.

Last, but certainly not least, is Vernon Davis. With injuries plaguing both Jordan Reed and Niles Paul, Davis had an excellent season. He will not cost much, and he is a home town kid. Davis’s production may slip as he gets older, but he is too valuable in the locker room to let walk.

2. Sign Kirk Cousins To A Long-Term Deal: Yes, I purposely separated Kirk Cousins from the rest of the free agents. The most important Free Agent on the list, Cousins is coming off a record setting year on the Franchise Tag. While he struggled in key areas, there is no doubt Cousins deserves the long term deal in Washington.

Says Cousins: “I’d love to be able to help build Washington and bring them back to the days of the Hogs and those championships…”.

There should be a whole separate blog post on just this topic, but to keep the matter short – Cousins was the 6th best quarterback in 2016 with a QBR of 71.7. To put that in perspective, the quarterbacks with lower QBRs were: Matthew Stafford, Ben Roethlisberger, Russell Wilson, and Andrew Luck. Just to name a few.

Redskins brass told Kirk Cousins to prove it – to Prove he can be the ‘guy’. After posting the first back to back winnings season in nearly two decades, breaking almost all the team records, and earning a playoff berth – he has done that.

There are plenty of rumors that the ‘Skins brass is still not completely sold on Kirk. And that’s ok. Why? Because there is one thing they all care about more than anything, it’s looking good in the public eyes. If Washington botches their handling of Kirk’s contract for a second straight year it will not go unnoticed around the league.

Don’t be the laughing stock. Pay the man.

3. Stop Being Petty, Bruce: After reading recent reports, there seems to be a rift starting in the district. Bruce “My dad is in the Hall of Fame” Allen may be the most petty person in Washington D.C. (see what I did there?).

As Free Agency looms under 3 weeks away, many reports have surfaced that Allen will not let Scot McCloughan speak with the media. Why? Take a look at what Mike Jones said on the Sports Junkies this past week:

“I think there’s a little bit of jealousy on Bruce’s part for the credit, from what I’ve been told by a number of people, a little jealousy on the part of the credit that Scot gets for them turning things around. You know, Bruce will look and be like ‘Well Trent Murphy had a great year, that was my draft pick. Morgan Moses had a great year, that was my draft pick.’”

Read that whole quote. Are you kidding me? This is a topic that has me righteously pissed off. Allen is great with Alumni and the fan base, but he clearly is a 12-year-old who is no longer the center of attention.

McCloughan was brought in to examine talent and build this roster. Let him do his job. Has he missed on some free agents and picks? Absolutely. Has made the team deeper and more talented? Yes.

The rift that Allen is creating is unsettling. He knows the fan base trusts McCloughan and he wants to be Dan Snyder’s main guy. However, in order for him to succeed, Allen needs to get out of his own way. Trust Scot and do your job.

The Redskins need to take of their own. Building from the ground up is the most successful way to build and maintain an NFL Franchise. Washington has started down that path.

Now, it is time to stay the course. Both with their players and management.

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