Redskins: Quietly sensible FA signings
Don’t look now, but the Washington Redskins are making shrewd free agent moves.
Gone are the days of throwing as much money as they could collect up at players like Albert Haynesworth – there was no pursuit of Ndamukong Suh, the big prize in this year’s free agency crop – and instead are a series of smart moves that can help the football team without breaking the bank, or the salary cap.
Re-signing Tom Compton and Niles Paul are moves whose merit can be debated, but the new faces arriving have a combined PFF rating of +37.4 (ok, that’s not really a legitimate number since positions can’t be cross compared, but it illustrates a point…)
In fact, none of the five players signed by Washington that plied their trade elsewhere in 2014 have a negative PFF grade that season. Every single one of them is coming off a positively graded season, with Stephen Paea and Terrance Knighton having the most impressive seasons.
That pair should team with Jason Hatcher to give Washington the formidable defensive line they have been chasing for years. They are not just talented, but will form a balanced trio of players that can cause problems for blockers. Ricky-Jean Francois didn’t enjoy the kind of season in Indianapolis that they would have been banking on when they signed him for significant money in the last free agent period, but he wasn’t poor for them either, and could rediscover his best play as a rotational body in Washington.
Chris Culliver is coming off some fine play for the 49ers and, though he has never quite eliminated the negatives from his game, he is still just 27 and represents a colossal upgrade over David Amerson, in particular, at cornerback, even concentrating solely on the negative plays.
Finally, Jeron Johnson is a defensive back coming out of the Seattle system that has produced or identified a lot of quality players recently. He played just 98 snaps last season but graded positively in them, earning his best grade, perhaps significantly, in his lone start, and the game in which he played 69 of those 98 snaps.
There is no huge splash signing among this group, but maybe that is a good thing. Washington appear to have done free agency the right way and added a series of quality signings.