2009 Gridiron Gab Team Previews: Washington Redskins

Redskins Football
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: A powerful public figure in Washington feels some heat from his constituents after another year of mediocrity and under performance. Needing to instill optimism, said public figure goes out and identifies a problem that’s just relevant enough to distract people from the more complicated (and much larger) problem.

In a brilliant ploy at producing immediate short-term prosperity, the public figure throws wads of money at the small the problem, then talks publicly about the large problem in terms vague enough to make everyone forget about it a few weeks later. Ladies and gentlemen…the Washington Redskins!

In this particular story, the powerful public figure is team owner Dan Snyder. The stewing constituents are the fans. The small problem is the Redskin defense; the large problem is the Redskin offense. The wads of money amounted to $100 million over seven years, with the beneficiary being one Albert Haynesworth. Let’s make him the prism through which to evaluate the rest of this middle-tier Redskins franchise.

The Redskins once again showed their true colors when they signed the prized 28-year-old defensive tackle. Under Snyder, their general modus operandi has been to sacrifice long-term investments (see draft picks) for expensive short-term payouts (see free agents). Has it worked? Not really. Washington is 76-84 since Snyder took over in 1999, with no season yielding more than 10 wins. (But to their credit, they’ve been one of the most affluent businesses in the NFL.)

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