The Washington Redskins went back to what they know. After a year off and being too cheap to even pay WR D.J. Hackett, the Skins spent 100 million on DT Albert Haynesworth, and 54 million on CB DeAngelo Hall. The Redskins also brought back offensive lineman Derrick Dockery for 26 million. The history of the Redskins failings in free agency has been discussed ad nauseum. Because of that history many fans are weary of the money the Redskins spent. However, they did spend the money on need for once. The team needed to improve the defensive line and get someone who could disrupt offensive lines and get to the quarterback. The fact that the Redskins had the fourth best defense in the NFL is amazing considering how little they were able to rush the quarterback. The thing that comes with rushing the quarterback is not only sacks but creating turnovers, another area the Redskins were deficient in last season. Haynesworth should improve both of those. The negatives on Haynesworth are that he is injury prone, that until two years ago he was considered a major underachiever, and he stepped on the head of Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Andre Gurode. Firstly, Haynesworth usually does play at least 14 games a year, him at 14 is better than anything the Redskins would have had without him for 16. Secondly, I am concerned that with his big payday we might not see the same Haynesworth we have seen for the last two years, the Dana Stubblefield corollary is definitely there, but the risk was necessary. Lastly, he hates the Cowboys already, you can't ask for any more than that as a Skins fan.
Re-signing Hall was the right move in my opinion. He came in late last year and made an immediate impact in that when he had a chance to intercept a pass he would, unlike Carlos Rogers who may have the worst case of butter fingers I have ever seen. Shawn Springs was expendable as when he played he was great but that was becoming so infrequent that he had become virtually useless. So you got rid of an aging guy and brought in a young guy. The Redskins also needed help on the offensive line, which Dockery should provide. They didn't overpay to keep him when he left as a free agent two years ago and now they have him back and for cheaper than they would have had to have paid him two years ago, another win.
The Redskins probably did overspend on Hall, I am not sure there were many other teams bidding against them, but Haynesworth was coveted by many teams and the Redskins had to do what was necessary to get him. He is a proven player, not an Adam Archuleta or a Brandon Lloyd or a Randle El, that can make a slight impact, Haynesworth will make a huge impact.
The George Mason Patriots wrapped up their regular season this week. They finally ended their 6 game road losing streak by barely winning against garbage UNCW and after letting Towson hang around for a half, put them away to finish their first ever undefeated season at the Patriot Center. Mason is the second seed in the CAA Tournament and on Saturday will face the winner of the James Madison/William and Mary game. Mason avoids VCU until the finals, should both teams make it that far. On Thursday, I will be posting a preview of the entire CAA Tournament, including my predictions for how things will shake out.