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Musings from Curmudgeon Corner

By Mike Keys | December 6th, 2010

Posted from Curmudgeon Corner, Maine

You know what they say about opinions…
I have no idea what the next few weeks may hold… but I suspect that there is some fun afoot.

My plan?
Re-sign Campbell. Work on building an OL for the future. If a QB falls to us, fine. But, what the heck… nobody listens to me since my dog died.

“We are going to have a new style of defense, we are going to have a new style of offense,” general manager Bruce Allen said today on ESPN 980.

“It’s going to be Redskins football, and the pieces we can acquire this year will be the first steps to building that philosophy,” said the Redskins General Manager. More from Redskins Insider here

It sounds as though Allen plans to be active in FA, though the implications of that are very contingent upon whether there is a cap or not. According to some sources(including Ravens owner, Steve Biscotti), many teams will not be financially capable of out bidding for talent in a free market.

Beyond that, if there’s no cap, there is also the opportunity to clean up cap space for the future. There are two ways to do that. In the past, there were many older players with declining skills who stayed with a team because they could not afford the cap implications… With no cap, there are no longer implications for releasing such a player. The other option is to renegotiate the contract of players with a large cap number whom you’d want to keep. By front loading more of the money to be paid in this season, any future cap implications are mitigated. Obviously, any team that choses this route, is running some risks, in terms of player motivation to continue in the future, but, I’m sure that there are players that teams would be willing to take that risk on, to gain some future cap room.

Worried about the good old fashioned Snyder spending spree? Well, don’t. If there’s a cap, it won’t happen. If there’s no cap, it doesn’t matter. Spend the money… it’s not mine… as long as the team is set up for a multiple year run, I just don’t care. Spend it, baby!

Is that good or bad? I don’t know, but I remember, very well, the controversy stirred by George Allen when he came into town and started wheeling and dealing. I mean WHEELING AND DEALING. He showed up, sat down at the poker table, and immediately went all in. “The future is NOW! In his 7 years with the Redskins, Allen made an astonishing 81 trades. Many folks were not happy… for a while… All got over it, though. Darned near pulled it off… only Sonny’s achilles prevented it… (that’s my opinion, of course, but Don Shula agrees).

When George Allen wheeled and dealed, his currency was largely future draft picks. That left a long term sting once the ‘skins had danced their dance. There was not much talent left… and no way to restock for several years. The Redskins all but disappeared from the NFL Draft for a while.

Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan appreciate the value of draft picks, so I don’t see a repeat of the ’71 ‘skins draft pick fire sales. If anything, they’ll be trying to collect more. Besides, there was no free agency in those days. Once a team locked up talent, the only way they left was trade, release, or retirement. There is talent availible on the market now… huge advantage to the team that has money in a no cap year.

Our draft needs may very well look quite different in April, from how they appear right now. I’m bracing for a late winter of multiple surprises…


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