A reader left a comment on yesterday’s post about the Redskins not having any NFL starter caliber players under contract in the middle of their defense:
Is it time to consider using the “R” word? (rebuild!)
That is a term that hasn’t been used much in reference to the Redskins. If you asked Bruce Allen or Jay Gruden if the Redskins are rebuilding they would try to convince you otherwise.
But let’s look at the facts here:
- The team went 3-13 last year
- They have a new coach
- About 20 of last year’s players are going to be free agents
- A half dozen or more players who are under contract could get released for performance and/or salary cap reasons.
- Allen himself said recently that he sees 20 new players on the roster and that he is disappointed in the lack of depth on the team.
If that doesn’t add up to a classic rebuilding situation, I don’t know what does.
The fact that the Redskins are rebuilding does not mean that that fans should tune out until, say, the 2016 season. For one thing, rebuilds don’t take that long in the NFL these days. No, you’re not likely to see the Redskins prepping for the Super Bowl a year from now. But some smart free agent choices (and the Redskins have some $30 million in cap space to pay for those choices) and a few hits on draft picks and they could very well be respectable and perhaps even competitive in what still should be a weak NFC East division.
One thing that the Redskins have going for them that other rebuilding teams don’t have is a quarterback. Assuming that Robert Griffin III can regain the form he showed during his rookie of the year performance in 2012—or even something close to that—the Redskins have a building block that most teams in the Redskins’ situation just don’t possess.
Griffin also has a solid running back to hand off to in Alfred Morris, a left tackle to protect his blindside in Trent Williams and a go-to receiver in Pierre Garçon. And all four of those key players are under contract for at least two more seasons.
Of course, you need more than four studs on offense to make a deep playoff run. That’s what the rebuilding is all about.
Allen and Gruden may choose to call it something else. But it it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's, well, a rebuild.