Staying relatively disciplined in last year’s free agent period was cute for the Redskins, but that was before the Donovan McNabb trade imploded during a 6-10 season.
Now Mike Shanahan is ready to spend.
According to a report from Jason La Canfora of NFL.com, the Redskins have a long wish list with Santonio Holmes as the “primary objective” and Ravens guard Marshall Yanda near the top of the list. Both players figure to be highly coveted by multiple teams, including the ones they played for last year. The Jets and Ravens can’t love the idea of the Redskins entering the bidding.
(The Jets may have flashbacks to 2003, when the Redskins raided their roster including the Laveranues Coles signing.)
The spending won’t stop there. Team sources tell La Canfora the team would be surprised if they don’t land both Cullen Jenkins and Kris Jenkins for their defensive line. Giants defensive tackle Barry Cofield could also be added, while Chris Chester or Jared Gaither could be fallback options to Yanda. (Washington’s line coach has Ravens connections.)
The Redskins also want to retain Santana Moss, Rex Grossman, cornerback Phillip Buchanon, and tackle Jammal Brown. (This whole thing puts our checklist to shame.)
La Canfora says the team ultimately expects to release Donovan McNabb after they try (and fail) to deal him. Albert Haynesworth should be dumped for a small price in a trade, if anyone is willing to pay.
Basically, the Redskins will probably be the most active and written about team during the upcoming free agent period.
In such an unfamiliar year, it’s nice there are still traditions we can still rely on.