On Tuesday I wrote about the fact that ESPN had positioned the Redskins at 17 in their post-offseason power rankings. For a team that made the playoffs the season before, their position seemed a little bit harsh, but the crux of my argument was not to fret. Sure, the Redskins didn't make any huge upgrades in their free agency window – they tagged their franchise quarterback, they re-signed their own and added some important special teams players that could potentially make an impact on defense and compete for a starting job.
Well, a day later, ESPN released their grades for every team’s offseason to this point, and it seems like the Redskins are finally getting some credit for taking the slow and steady approach (the generally smart approach) in free agency.
ESPN analysts Bill Polian, Louis Riddick, Field Yates, Mark Dominik and Mike Sando (quite a team of experts) conclude that Washington earned a B-Plus for the last few weeks in March.
In case you haven't been checking the Redskins Free Agency Journal (you totally should be!), here's a brief recap of what has transpired at Redskins Park:
The Redskins tagged quarterback Kirk Cousins.
They signed defensive end Kendall Reyes, safety David Bruton and linebacker Terence Garvin.
They re-signed quarterback Colt McCoy, linebacker Mason Foster, safety Duke Ihenacho, defensive lineman Kedric Golston, tight end Logan Paulsen, punter Tress Way, cornerback Will Blackmon and linebacker Junior Galette.
They lost defensive end Frank Kearse, linebacker Keenan Robinson, defensive end Jason Hatcher, quarterback Robert Griffin III, safety Dashon Goldson (though there remains a chance he re-signs), safety Jeron Johnson and running back Alfred Morris.
"To me, it was a no-brainer to tag Cousins," Yates said. "The top new contract for a quarterback was Osweiler. Even if Cousins plays on the tag this year and is outstanding and they win the division again and he bumps his price even higher, fine, pay him. Beyond that, the Kendall Reyes signing was one signing I liked a lot. Bruton is a stud special-teamer."
"They had to keep the quarterback, and he is there," Dominik said. "In McCloughan they trust."
As the NFL draft is less than a month away, it's probably time to start bringing that hashtag back.