It seems like the Redskins have been a team in turmoil every since Joe Gibbs left—the first time.
Change has been the constant with a parade of head coaches, coordinators, quarterback, kickers, and others going through Redskins Park. The best advice for virtually anyone coming into Ashburn was to rent, not buy.
But in the words of the great Bob Dylan, the times they are a-changing. The Redskins are becoming the very model of stability.
For the first time since the 1990’s they will have the same head coach, offensive coordinator, and defensive coordinator for a fourth consecutive season. They should have Robert Griffin III at quarterback for the next decade or more. Kai Forbath got off to a promising start kicking field goals but it’s too soon to say if he is going to be a longtime fixture.
The Redskins are attaining stability at more than just the more visible positions. They spent the weekend and the first day of free agency signing many of their own free agents and restructuring contracts to make sure that other members of the 2012 NFC East champions will be around next season.
Consider this. Of the 46 players who were active for the Redskins for their Week 16 game in Philadelphia last year, only seven are not under contract for the 2013. All 11 of the players who started on offense are back (recall that Maurice Hurt started that game in place of the concussed Tyler Polumbus, who was inactive). The entire starting defensive front seven is back. In the defensive backfield, free safety Madieu Williams is a free agent and DeAngelo Hall was released in a salary cap move on Monday.
The others who are not under contract are cornerback D. J. Johnson, who the team released last month, tight end Chris Cooley, and linebackers Chris Wilson, Bryan Kehl, and Lorenzo Alexander. Out of that group only Alexander is known to have received a contract offer from the Redskins.
To be sure, there is no guarantee that all of the 39 other players who were active in Philly will suited up in Week 1 of 2013. They will, eventually, sign some free agents in addition to tackle Tony Pashos. They have seven draft picks and an undrafted player or two cold make the team. Players coming off of injured reserve like Adam Carriker and Brian Orakpo will replace others. There will be some roster churn.
But after three season of having to work with players picked by the previous regimes and others for whom he had to settle because you can’t turn over a whole roster at once, it looks like Mike Shanahan will go into a season with a roster that is almost completely composed of “his” guys.
We will see what he can do from there.