In continuation with our new Why Do You Hate The Jets? series, we follow our review of the AFC East with the division’s counterpart in the NFC. The NFC East is very similar to the AFC East on a number of levels. There’s a team in the New York Giants who, like the Patriots, have unquestionably dominated the division recently. There is the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys who are, surprisingly, similar to the Jets. All three of these teams look solid on paper year in and year out and generally have a vast amount of hype surrounding them each season. Then there is the Washington Redskins, who most closely resemble the Buffalo Bills. Like the Bills, Washington has struggled throughout the past decade.
For the second edition of this series, we will use the same criteria for each of these teams in relation to the Jets. However, the NFC East Edition will be broken down into two separate parts, the Washington Redskins, and everyone else. For Part I, we will look at Washington solely, then we will follow up with an analysis of the remainder of the division. If you missed the first article, here are explanations of the three categories that teams will be placed in. Onto the Redskins.
Just Shut Up:
Washington Redskins – I haven’t seen a more unaccomplished, poorly run organization with as great a sense of entitlement as Washington. Fans of the Redskins seem to hang onto the one playoff victory they’ve had in the past decade for dear life. They seem to forget that owner Daniel Snyder has treated his head coaches like a game of musical chairs. Since taking ownership in D.C. in 1999, Snyder has gone through six head coaches. Now, I am not mathematician, but that averages out to a new coach roughly once every two seasons. Say what you want about the Jets struggles to find consistency and an identity, but a coaching shuffle like Washington’s is unheard of.
The Jets are also often criticized for personnel decisions, most recently the team’s decision to give Santonio Holmes a $50 million contract. Whether or not Holmes will prove to be worth his contract remains to be seen. However, since Daniel Snyder has come to town, the Skins have become notorious for shelling out big dollars to big name free agents who rarely end up working out. Snyder brought in players like Deion Sanders, Bruce Smith, and Mark Brunell well into the twilight of their careers to assume starting roles, while offering them hefty salaries. Most recently, though, the Redskins inked Defensive Tackle Albert Haynesworth to a 7-year deal worth $100 million in 2009, with $41 million guaranteed, only to trade him in the summer of 2011 for a measly fifth round draft pick.
Likewise, in 2010, the Redskins traded a second round draft pick to Philadelphia for Quarterback Donovan McNabb. Later in the season, the team extended McNabb’s contract to five years, $78 million, despite the quarterback having been benched by head coach Mike Shanahan in week 8. The rocky relationship between McNabb and Shanahan ended up exploding by the end of the year, and McNabb saw himself fall to third string on the depth chart. The following summer, McNabb was traded to Minnesota for a sixth round draft pick.
The most recent questionable free agent signing by the Washington Redskins, though, is Safety Brandon Meriweather, who inked a 2 year, $6 million deal on March 15th of this year. A little over a month later, Meriweather, who has had a history of off the field trouble, was arrested for a DUI. The Jets have recently gotten a bad reputation for some of their personnel decisions, but when it comes to anticipating value, assessing talent, and evaluating character, no one seems to do it worse than the Washington Redskins.
The most heavily criticized player on the New York Jets is undoubtedly Mark Sanchez. Besides winning four playoff games in his first two seasons in the NFL, Sanchez is widely viewed as a bust throughout various fan bases around the league. Whether or not this proves to be true, Washington certainly has no room to talk when it comes to drafting quarterbacks. Remember Jason Campbell? Yeah, neither does anyone else. Washington selected the Auburn quarterback with the 25th overall selection in the 2005 NFL Draft. From 2006-2009, the Redskins compiled a 19-32 record with Campbell as a starter, before allowing him to leave via free agency following the ’09 season.
The Redskins faithful will surely argue that the recent acquisition of Quarterback Robert Griffin III will return the franchise to one of the most respected organizations in the league. However, after selecting RGIII with the second overall selection in this year’s draft, the Redskins questionably selected Michigan State Quarterback Kirk Cousins in round 4. Surely, it is always good to have a backup quarterback, as it can be detrimental to a team if there is no depth at the postion. Just ask Chicago and Indianapolis about the importance of Quarterback depth.
However, Cousins was widely viewed by many draft analysts to be the fourth best quarterback in the draft behind Ryan Tannehill. He has received excellent reviews from his former head coach Mark Dantonio, and many believe he will be a high quality starter in this league at some point. Although it will certainly be RGIII’s team during the early stages of these young quarterbacks’ careers, this situation screams quarterback controversy down the road if Griffin begins to struggle. Criticize the Jets acquisition of Tim Tebow all you want, but the decision by Washington to draft two very quality young quarterbacks during the same draft is not only a questionable move, it could also prove to be very costly in the future.
I surely can go on and talk about how the Redskins have not even sniffed the playoffs since Rex Ryan has been in New York, but there is no need to bother. Washington is an inferior franchise, and until they prove to be anything else, should know their role as the punch line of the NFC East, while not breathing a word about the quality of the Jets as a team or as an organization.