While the offseason has few weeks to go, its safe to say that offseason personnel and coaching moves are pretty much over. There might be a minor trade or a waiver wire pickup here or there but the cake is mostly baked.So before training camp starts, lets take a look back at the five biggest moves of the offseason. Well count them down in order of how important they were. Earlier, we looked at the hiring of Raheem Morris and the roster decisions made at the start of free agency and the signings of wide receivers Pierre Garon and Josh Morgan. Today we examine the re-signing of London Fletcher.The Redskins are on a youth movement. In 2009 they were the oldest team in the league. By putting a greater emphasis on the draft and by signing free agents who are in their primes they have become younger. When the final cuts are made on Sept. 1 the team should have an average age of about 27, which is near the NFL average.However, they had no interest in going young at one particular position. London Fletcher became a free agent in March but the team had let it be known as early as last season that they wanted to re-sign the 37-year-old Pro Bowl inside linebacker. Fletcher indicated that he would like to return but there were hints that the money would need to be right.For their part, the Redskins were not going to lowball Fletcher but, as has been their practice since Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen arrived in Ashburn in 2010, they werent going to bid against themselves for their services.As the March 13 start of free agency approached, the concern among Redskins fans that the team might not bring back Fletcher started to grow. When the teams salary cap space was chopped by 18 million when the NFL imposed a cap penalty on the team, anxious turned to panic as many wondered if the Redskins would have enough money to get Fletcher back in the fold.Those fears escalated when the Redskins dropped a sizeable contract on wide receiver Pierre Garon and spent some more on receiver Josh Morgan. A Twitter campaign using the hashtag resign59 was launched to try to use popular sentiment to push the Redskins into making a deal with Fletcher.Meanwhile, there seemed to be little panic at Redskins Park or in Fletchers camp. Both sides waited patiently for the market at middle linebacker to be set. There were no reported visits by free agent inside linebackers to the Redskins, with the exception of one by ex-Giant Jonathan Goff not to long before Fletcher eventually agreed to terms. If Fletcher visited another team, it was kept very, very quiet.It took a while for the market to set itself. It wasnt until late March and early April that deals came in for inside linebackers David Hawthorne (Seahawks to Saints for 5 years, 19 million) Stephen Tulloch (staying with the Lions for 525.5) and Curtis Lofton (Falcons to Saints for 527.5).Those other three players are all younger than Fletcher but they dont have his credentials as a three-time Pro Bowl performer (plus several other seasons where he played at a high level but was snubbed) and unquestioned team leader. It seemed reasonable to pay him according to the market set by Hawthorne, Tulloch, and Lofton, which was around 5 million per year.And, ultimately, they did. On April 13, just a few days before the start of the teams offseason workouts, Fletcher announced on his Twitter feed that he was back with the Redskins. One of the least contentious contract disputes in memory came to a close. The deal is for 10.75 million over two years.The Redskins will have Fletcher through the 2013 season after which he presumably will retire. The Redskins drafted his heir apparent, Keenan Robinson, and so a smooth transition could be in the offing.
WR Josh Doctson (Achilles)—While they wanted to wait until after the bye week to make this determination they sent the top draft pick to some more specialists and the decision was made to put him on the shelf. Jay Gruden said that he could return later in the season. The earliest he could do so would be Week 15.
TE Jordan Reed (concussion)—The star tight end had symptoms after the Ravens game and it was determined that he has a concussion. This week he did get to practice on a limited basis on Wednesday but he was not on the field Thursday or Friday. This will be the second game missed for Reed.
WR DeSean Jackson (shoulder)—He did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday but he practiced on Friday and Gruden said “he ran around pretty good”. Both Jackson and Gruden seem to be confident that he will play but that remains to be seen.
Not on injury report
LB Su’a Cravens (concussion)—He entered the concussion protocol immediately after the Browns game. The rookie was a full go in practice on Thursday and Friday and Gruden said that “he’s good to go” after missing two games.
- TE Eric Ebron (ankle/knee)
- LB DeAndre Levy (knee/quad)
- DT Haloti Ngata (shoulder)
- RB Theo Riddick (ankle)
- T Corey Robinson (ankle)
- DE Ezekiel Ansah (ankle)
- G Larry Warford (groin)
- RB Dwayne Washington (ankle)
- LB Tahir Whitehead (abdomen)
When the Redskins drafted Josh Doctson No. 22 overall, the idea was the rookie receiver out of TCU would push DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon for snaps and catches. An Achilles injury limited Doctson's ability to hit the field, and now has landed the receiver on the injured reserve list.
Washington coach Jay Gruden announced the move to IR on Friday and said "It's best for him. For his state of mind it's important to get this thing fixed."
Doctson opened training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list and did not play in the preseason. He did not open the regular season on the IR, however, and played in the Redskins first two games against the Steelers and Cowboys, both losses.
From there, Doctson was inactive for four weeks before landing on the IR.
"I feel terrible for Josh," offensive coordinator Sean McVay said.
Moving Doctson to the IR had been discussed for a few weeks as his Achilles injury did not seem to improve, but Gruden and the Redskins front office wanted to wait and see if the rookie could rebound from the injury. A myriad of tests have been done on the affected area and did not reveal damage, so the cause of Doctson's pain remains unknown.
Expect much more information on Doctson and what it means for the Redskins receiving group to come.
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