It’s about that time when NFL teams and fans are focusing on free agency so I thought instead of yet another Top 5 Free Agents list or a Top 5 Landing Spots for Free Agent Star list, I would look at this years crop of free agents through the lens of Washington owner Dan Snyder’s googly eyes when he use to throw big money at big-name players before he finally handed the reins to Mike Shanahan and GM Bruce Allen.
We know all about Snyder’s costly missteps from Adam Archuletta and Jeff George to Brandon Lloyd and Albert Haynesworth. His track record is so bad that I actually forgot he signed Deion Sanders to a 7-year $56-million deal in 2000.
So, who would be on his wish list this year if he hadn’t given Shanahan and Allen control so he could focus on scheming new ways to charge more for parking or funding research to invent new ice cubes that would increase his stadium soda profits by another dollar per cup? Well it’s not as simple as just taking the Top 10 most coveted free agents and declaring that to be the list. It’s a little more nuanced. There needs to be that right mix of being just a bit too old and/or overrated, or maybe players who were still in their prime but just demanding too much money.
We’ll be realistic and rule out Ravens free agent QB Joe Flacco not only because he’s no-doubt staying in Baltimore, but also for the fact that he’s just not flashy enough, or old enough, and for the first time in the Snyder era Washington is set at QB.
Adding a tackle to the offensive line is area of need in DC, and there are a couple of stud free agent linemen available (Jake Long or Ryan Clady), but adding one of them might be considered smart, and therefore disqualified as possible Snyder signings. And while Long and Clady are big names with price tags to match (the main criteria for Snyder), offensive linemen don’t put butts in seats or sell jerseys.
Let’s stick to free agent signings and rule out trades for the likes of salty diva CB Darrelle Revis (an otherwise perfect storm of Guy Who Wants Big Money and a team in need of a cornerback) as well as his soon-to-be-former Jets teammate Tim Tebow (who Snyder would probably acquire in hopes of reversing the bad karma of the Redskins offensive nickname).
So, in no particular order, here are the top 10 free agents that Snyder would sign if only Shanahan and Allen would let him:
Perfect fit: Washington needs a safety, and he’s a future Hall-of-Famer, a Super Bowl champ, and at 34 his best years are behind him. He’s “considered” retiring (a ploy to skip training camp) the last couple of off-seasons and now that he’s got his ring he’s likely looking for one last payday and certainly wouldn’t mind getting “some of that Dan Snyder money” as veteran NFL players like to say.
Washington doesn’t have a glaring need at RB with young star Alfred Morris in the house, but Bush is flashy on the field and famous off it. He’s not a great match for this list (he’s only 28 and still played well last season) but this would be a delicious debacle since Bush still sees himself as an every-down back and in Washington he’d only be a change-of-pace guy to spell Morris. Oh, who am I kidding, he would be a classic Snyder signing the minute they overpaid him.
There’s already some talent along the defensive line in Washington, and it’s one of the deepest positions in the upcoming draft (where players come much younger and cheaper). But Osi Human Urine is a big name on the wrong side of 30 from a division rival. Done and done.
Probably too young (26) and talented for our criteria, but a guy looking for a payday + blazing speed + a tendency for drops = Snyder gold.
He’s 5 years older than Wallace. Perfect.
With Washington LB London Fletcher still contemplating retirement, bringing in this former monster of the midway at age 35 would be right in Snyder’s wheelhouse. Injured; slowing down; another city’s star. Sign him up.
Hall of Famer, infamous for his poor work ethic, 36 years old, makes highlight reels and lots of money and makes coaches and QB’s miserable. How has he not already played for Washington?
Hot name heading into free agency, already been in the league 10 years, satisfied with a Super Bowl ring, looking for one last payday after his own team released him. Starting to see a pattern here.
Certainly fits the Snyder profile of old and legendary, but he’s still playing too well and is hungry for a ring. Actually, scratch him and bring in an over-the-hill Charles Woodson for top dollar instead.
Finally, as previously mentioned, Washington doesn’t need a QB or a backup QB… but fans in DC better hope Snyder doesn’t take the wheel back from Shanahan and Allen. He’d probably trade Kirk Cousins and their next first-round pick (2015) for Revis… and if RGIII’s knee doesn’t heal, Snyder has JaMarcus Russell‘s agent on speed dial. (Hey, he was a #1 overall pick!)