Fiscal Restraint … in Washington !?!?

Every morning, when the wife and I are getting ready for work, we have our usual routine of watching the weather channel for a few minutes, find out what new type of cold + tomfoolery mother nature is intending to dive-bomb us with in the next few days, and then flipping it over to Sportscenter, usually at the top of the hour, to catch the big headlines & best highlights.

But this morning was different. Because, after all, free agency started at 12:01AM, and if there’s one thing you can always count on as a Redskins fan, there’s bound to be SOME news about the Redskins dealings.

So as soon as I got up today, I turned on Sportscenter (weather channel be damned) to see what Santa Snyder brought our success-deprived franchise aboard his merry sleigh known as Redskins One.

Nothing. The talking heads barely mentioned Washington/Redskins/Dan Snyder, even in passing.

Nothing?!? Really?!?

“Fiscal restraint” ?!?

I don’t follow.

It was like some alternate reality for us. No salary cap in 2010 + a bevvy of big-name free agents for the taking (albeit most of them being past their prime), and Redskins One is still in the hangar?

Now we REALLY know Bruce Allen was a good hire.

One of my favorite definitions of insanity has always been the idea of doing the very same thing over and over again, yet expecting different results. In the Vinny Cerrato era, the “braintrust” of Cerrato and Snyder (an Oxymoron if there ever was one) – aka Snyderrato – would try and build the team through free agency and need-based day 1 draft picks.

My biggest problem with Vinny Cerrato was not that he was the brainchild of these wild spending sprees (he wasn’t), but rather that he helped facilitate them, no matter the cost. When Snyder would get excited at bidding on guys like Deion Sanders and Albert Haynesworth, a real GM would have said “that’s a great idea on paper, but you’re sacrificing the Steak just to get more Sizzle.” Of course, Cerrato had no guts nor grounds to stand up to Danny, because the minute he did, his ass would have probably been fired.

But if Jim Irsay, Bob Kraft (circa 2001 onwards), and the Rooney family taught us one thing, it’s this: the Owners job is to set the mission statement and objectives for the franchise as a whole, sign the paychecks, and get the hell out of the way when it comes to player personnel acquisition.

It seems that, slowly, maybe, hopefully – Snyder is finally learning this truth, and letting Bruce Allen run the show. We can assume that, since Redskins One didnt touch down to scoop up Julius Peppers and/or Karlos Dansby, in order to hurl a $100M+ contract at either, with the velocity of a Stephen Strasburg fastball. Even Peter King – a guy who has always been known to help stir the free agency rumor pot with a burgundy and gold ladle – is saying that “‘Skins GM Bruce Allen is [skipping] biggest FA names, clean house, and win secondary FA battles.”

To put it bluntly: someone in the front office finally realize that there’s no point in in blowing our wad on one or two big name guys, considering we have about a dozen other holes to fill. If Cerrato realized this last offseason – and didnt inexplicably overlook the fact that our offensive line was barely holding together like it was assembled with Elmers glue and paper clips – he may very well have kept his job. But, alas, he was two busy having dinner with Snyder and Albert Haynesworth’s agent a few nights before free agency started last offseason (*cough*tampering?*cough*), cobbling together a “hypothetical” $100M contract with a $40M+ signing bonus (Haynesworth signed a deal with the Redskins for seven years and $100 million – including $41M guaranteed – merely a few hours after free agency began,  but that was nothing but sheer coincidence).

So even though we’re not going to win the offseason Super Bowl this March, Redskins fans still have reason to be excited about this upcoming year: namely, somebody in the front office FINALLY knows what they’re doing. Hell, maybe they even have a plan AND have this ridiculous idea of sticking to the plan!

If our biggest acquisitions in Free Agency this year happen to be “Fiscal Restraint” and “Sticking to a plan,” I’m quite fine with that haul.

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