Well, the Redskins are under new management, folks, with Bruce Allen the GM and Mike Shanahan the coach. And it appears as if they're acting thoughtfully and intelligently. The hottest thing they have going right now is with left tackle Chad Clifton, who's in for a visit today and would be a smart, neat fit that solves their most pressing problem. Imagine that.
A person familiar with the Redskins' thinking told me late last night not to be surprised that Washington let Peppers go to the Bears without a fight, or if they didn't make a big push for Dansby. This person told me the Redskins were "focused internally," and still undergoing a thorough and rigorous evaluation of the current roster and specific needs and deficiencies. That's not to say the Redskins won't sign any free agents -- just that they're more likely this year to sit out the big-money early action and focus on second-tier guys who fit specific holes.
Not that Clifton is a second-tier left tackle, but since he's not among the market's super-sexy names, it seems odd that he'd be the highlight of Washington's first-day action. The Skins are also dotting i's and crossing t's on a new deal with Lorenzo Alexander, whom they plan to move to outside linebacker in their new 3-4 defensive scheme. And they'll continue to poke around and see what's out there. But people who were expecting Washington to be the 800-pound gorilla on this year's uncapped free agent market should apparently get ready to be disappointed.
Redskins fans, however, should feel decent about this new approach. After all, how was that Snyder spending working out for you anyway? Assuming they lock up Clifton, the Skins will have addressed their biggest need and will have a lot more freedom going forward into the off-season and the draft. Now, if they really do think they need to upgrade from Jason Campbell, they can look at taking Sam Bradford or Jimmy Clausen with the fourth pick. Or they could take one of the many outstanding offensive line prospects sure to be available there, since anybody who watched the Redskins' line last year knows it was missing more than one piece.
The Redskins appear to be opening 2010 free agency by taking a focused, targeted, sensible approach. We'll see how long it lasts, but the very early returns look promising.