If you happen to be one of the new subscribers to the most positive twitter feed in the region (see newest widget to your right, and add away), you will notice a marked enthusiasm from us about the Redskins' latest delving into the waters of free agency. Despite what many of the sayers of nea were harping on regarding the cap situation, the hightened salaries, poor economy, presence of Vinny Cerrato etc., Dan Snyder still managed to obtain the highest-regarded player in free agency, Albert Haynesworth, while still retaining that lovely late season playmaker D'Angelo Hall, and STILL remaining in the running for totally-welcome-back pulling guard Derrick Dockery. Noticing needs for a more destructive defense, big D (meaning Snyder, not the Sportscenter-ticker-dominating 'boys) didn't stand pat, nor did he tear anything down, nor sacrifice any future, nor disrupt any past gains. No, he went out and made this team better for its millions of high-price paying fans, doling out even more millions to improve a product we have always felt was on the cusp of greatness.
What is there to gripe about when it comes to signing Haynesworth to the biggest contract for a defensive player in league history? If you asked one of the quibbling Jasons from the Post, they may reply with details of the salary cap problems that the skins were supposed to be mired in for centuries to come. They may liken giving this contract-year guy enormous dollars to giving the scourge that is Dana Stubblefield enormous dollars (yet denying him his proper performance-enhancing drug budget). They may dismiss the signing as ornament-grabbing business-as-usual for D-Snydes and his raquetball cronies, who think a large, expensive band-aid will fix what years of maligned drafting and fluctuating management have wounded.
But if you ask our contingent of 'tism, we would express nothing but the deepest of excitement for this move and its ramifacations throughout the league. With this signing, the retention of a now-healthy Jason Taylor and Cornelius Griffin, and the tendering of draft picks Anthony Montgomery and Kedric Golston, the skins have formidable-ized their defensive line, which in the past had been a softer spot of their still-top-five-in-the-league defense. The re-upping of Hall enhances that continuity portion of the team that everyone continues to think is barren. That fantastic secondary ought to have plenty more opportunities to intercept Tony Romo once these QB eaters begin their weekly blocker sheddings and pain causings. Pockets will collapse, and mistakes will be increased. Turnovers (and dropped turnovers if you are Carlos Rogers) will increase, field position will enhance, and FedEx Field game announcer Mark Kessler will likely bring back his decrepit "It's thiiiiiiiiiird down aaaannnddd llloooooooongg!" chant, which will now not result in an instant first down for the opposition.
With the Haynesworth signing, the skins can concentrate their full complement of draft picks on another maligned portion of the team: the offensive line. The harrumphing at the hog-less ones has been heard (ha-literation!), and with a draft that seems to be pregnant with O-line talent, a first-round selection in the realm of combine Columbiner Andre Davis or Michael Lewis-inspiring Michael Oher ought to add more blue-chip talent to a rugged veteran line eager to teach. If you read Lewis's Oher biography-slash-Joe Theisman broken leg autopsy book "The Blindside" you may recall current skin John Jansen supplying Oher with clothes and shoes during the kid's insanely huge development period. The draft-stock dropping Davis is another in the long line of Crimson Tide Tackles, whose lineage includes current pro-bowl, and happily restructuring tackle Chris Samuels. I envision Samuels taking the troubled Davis under his giant sack-preventing wing, schooling the youngster on how to be awesome when not hurt. I envision either of these SEC giants to fit in nicely as a result of these ties. Plus, if there are enough dollars left to bring back Dockery, not only does that fill that gaping Guard hole, but it also returns a locker room good guy to the skins. The youthful exuberance of Chad Rinehart and Stephon Heyer ought to remain properly tutored by Joe Bugel, and should be ready for insertion if an unfortunate bump or bruise happens.
But most of all, these signings return the skins and their wonderful fanbase to those great, Christmas-like days of previous years, when you went to sleep to John Clayton theorizing and woke up to burgundy-and-gold-wrapped presents filled with newly-signed hope and promise. If you don't even feel a tingle of excitement, friends, we can only call you scrooge. Don't the skins boast some of the highest team revenues on the planet? Don't they charge you pretty much a small fortune to attend games, purchase hooded sweatshirts, and drink beer? Why shouldn't they splurge on what the team needs the most? Anybody with a problem with competitive spending can go quietly hum "ba humbug" to him or herself at their new favorite team's now-packed games. We'll stay singing "Deck the D-Halls", or some other potential Chris Paul-inspiring holiday song.