Sunday, December 29, 2013

Redskins Have Clinched Last Place in the NFC East

"The Redskins will be searching for their eighth head coach (counting Terry Robiskie, an interim coach for three games in the 2000 season) since Dan Snyder purchased the franchise in 1999 from Jack Kent Cooke’s estate. Snyder’s coaches have included Norv Turner, Robiskie, Marty Schottenheimer, Steve Spurrier, Joe Gibbs, Jim Zorn and Mike Shanahan. Shanahan, a former two-time Super Bowl winner with the Denver Broncos, has had only one winning season in Washington, coaching the Redskins to a 10-6 record and the NFC East title last season."
Washington Post:
The Washington Redskins have been one of the NFL’s most disappointing teams this season and that was reflected in the Pro Bowl selections announced by the league Friday night. Left tackle Trent Williams was the lone Redskins player chosen.

Wide receiver Pierre Garcon, tailback Alfred Morris, linebacker Brian Orakpo and cornerback DeAngelo Hall were named alternates, the Redskins announced. They could be added to the Pro Bowl teams if other players withdraw.

The game is scheduled for Jan. 26 in Honolulu.

Williams returns to the Pro Bowl after he was selected to the NFC team last season but did not participate in the game after being hurt in a nightclub incident. Under this year’s new Pro Bowl format, players were not chosen with NFC and AFC affiliations. The selections were made on a league-wide basis and the players who were chosen will be drafted onto two teams later.

“It’s a blessing,” Williams said in a written statement released by the team. “I’m definitely excited about it… It means a lot. It lets me know my efforts didn’t go unseen. I know my teammates see it and my teammates feed off of it, but I’m definitely proud to see that my peers around the NFL recognized that also.”

Williams said earlier Friday he wasn’t sure if he’d be picked.

“I don’t know…. Given the season we had, [it’d be] hard to be disappointed” by being passed over, Williams said Friday afternoon at Redskins Park. “To be looked at as tops at your position, you’ve got to at least win. We haven’t won. So if you’ve got to put in overall team play into the decision process and the voting, nah, I wouldn’t be disappointed. But we’ll see. It’s gonna be interesting.”

The Redskins have a record of 3-12 entering Sunday’s season finale on the road against the New York Giants. They’re on a seven-game losing streak and they’ve clinched last place in the NFC East.

Even so, Garcon being passed over was a bit of a surprise. He leads the league with his 107 catches. He broke the team record for catches in a season, formerly held by Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Monk, last weekend. Garcon said earlier Friday he wasn’t fretting about the Pro Bowl selections.

“Nah, I’m gonna be the same old guy,” he said. “It doesn’t matter.”

But Garcon also suggested he believed he was having a Pro Bowl season.

“Shoot, when you lead the league in catches, I guess, you know—when you lead the league in anything, I guess that’s the top of the league,” Garcon said. “So I guess that kind of helps. But it’s not really—it’s all about team record, votes and, you know, whoever votes for you. But the Pro Bowl doesn’t matter that much. Wins and playoff wins and what you do in the playoffs really matters more.”

Morris, who ranks fifth in the league in rushing, said earlier Friday: “I don’t care about that. I didn’t make it last year. If I make it this year, [it’s] nice. If I don’t, I’m not gonna care…. I don’t know. I just want to win, man.”

Orakpo has 10 sacks. Hall has four interceptions and has scored three touchdowns.

Washington Post:
Of the 53 players on Washington’s roster, 17 have expiring contracts. Four more players who are on the team’s injured reserve list also will hit free agency. Even more will get cut for cost-saving or performance reasons.

It’s possible that fewer than half of this year’s players will wear burgundy and gold next year.

The defense will be hit the hardest. Seven of the 11 defensive starters are impending free agents, including longtime Redskins like Orakpo, London Fletcher (who has said he expects to retire), Reed Doughty and DeAngelo Hall. The only current starters under contract for next year are outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, defensive end Jarvis Jenkins, nose tackle Barry Cofield and free safety Brandon Meriweather. (Stephen Bowen is a starter at right end but has been lost for the season to a knee injury. His replacement, Chris Baker, will be a free agent).

Linebacker Rob Jackson and cornerback E.J. Biggers, who are frequent contributors off the bench, also have expiring deals. Some of the defensive players could return, but others likely will not, as all of the players are well aware.

On offense, wide receiver Joshua Morgan is the only starter who will be a free agent next season, but longtime fan favorites like Santana Moss and Fred Davis also will hit free agency. Meanwhile, an offensive line that has struggled with consistency is expected to experience a degree of change as well, although all five starters remain under contract.

Controversy has encompassed this team for the past month, and questions regarding Shanahan’s future have swirled for the past three weeks. Meanwhile, the losses have continued to mount, making changes inevitable.

The Redskins’ roster might have taken on a different look next season regardless of whether this season had featured success or failure. Management had made an effort to keep the roster largely intact the past two offseasons despite the $36 million salary cap penalty that restricted the number of new players they could have brought in.

This year, those penalties are no more, and the Redskins could have more than $20 million to spend in free agency this spring. But because of all the expiring deals and the poor performances during this 3-12 campaign, team officials still may have to take a frugal approach to cover all of the team’s needs.

More information:
» Washington Post: Mike Shanahan hasn’t solved Washington Redskins’ problems

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