Those Fat Cats In Washington Are At It Again
By Jeff Falconio
It's nice to know that regardless of economic conditions, those fat cats in Washington will stop at nothing to spend as much as possible. Of course, I'm talking about the Redskins, what did you think I was talking about?
Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has written another chapter of the ever-growing book "How Not To Win A Super Bowl." Washington opened free agency by offering defensive tackle and likely top free agent Albert Haynesworth (insert Dr. Evil voice here) $100 million. The 'Skins followed that up by re-signing the sometimes malcontent DeAngelo Hall to a $54 million deal. You cannot win a Super Bowl by loading up on free agents but here are the Redskins trying it again.
It was a pipe dream to think the Packers could land a player like Haynesworth because Ted Thompson is not going to throw that kind of coin at a free agent. However, while you shouldn't follow Washington's lead by dropping as much money as possible on free agency, Thompson needs to understand the importance of this free agency period. Haynesworth wasn't going to happen. Neither was Julius Peppers before he got franchised. What the Packers need are quality mid to upper-level veterans to shore up the offensive line, bring some experience to the new 3-4 defense and help red zone efficiency.
My pick from the start was Baltimore linebacker Bart Scott but he's headed to the New York Jets. So who's left? Here's five guys I'd like to see in green-and-gold, not necessarily the five best remaining free agents, but five who make sense:
1. Igor Olshansky: As we've discussed a number of times on the program, depth might be as issue at defensive line, especially with Aaron Kampman moving to OLB. Olshansky has the right size for a 3-4 defensive end and coming from San Diego the 27-year-old is familiar with running the 3-4.
2. Khalif Barnes: This is not an overly-impressive field of tackles so the Packers will need to spend some money to land one. Barnes played left tackle in Jacksonville and proved very capable. A big part of David Garrard's emergence was the amount of time he was given in the pocket.
3. Kevin Burnett: A backup in Dallas, Burnett would help in three areas. First, he's fast and you need quickness on the outside. Second, he brings depth and might be able to push for a starting job. Finally, he's a special teams demon and would be an immediate upgrade to special teams coverage. Burnett is a classic example of a mid-level free agent and can come at a good price.
4. Leigh Bodden: The Packers have been blessed with reliable players at both offensive tackle and cornerback but age is catching up to the Pack at both positions. Bodden was one of the very few bright spots for Detroit in '08 and he has a good mix of size and speed. Bodden could replace either Charles Woodson or Al Harris as a full-time starter if needed.
5. Owen Daniels: A very good pass catching tight end, Daniels was a solid option for Matt Schaub but was under the radar at times in 2008 due to the emergence of Kevin Walter and the presence of Andre Johnson. Daniels could also be a red zone threat as he had 10 touchdowns in three years for the up-and-coming Texans.