Roger Goodell knew exactly how to hurt Dan Snyder. Not just by robbing the team of $36 million in cap room over two years, but by doing it on the eve of free agency. That’s like making a kid watch while you gather up all of his birthday presents and using them as kindling to start a house fire.
Snyder practically lives and dies with the Redskins, and with winning seasons coming so infrequently, free agency is where he does most of that living. Now all of his carefully laid plans to wine and dine the league’s finest available players on his super yacht are ruined, and he’s relegated to dinner at Morton’s with a number-three wide receiver. (Maybe if he had splurged on Bourbon Steak, Eddie Royal wouldn’t be considering other suitors.)
None of this means that the Redskins couldn’t be their regular active selves on free agency’s opening day, because they did manage to lock up Pierre Garcon and (H.D. Woodson’s own) Joshua Morgan. But any hope of signing a high-end trio like Vincent Jackson, Carl Nicks, and Eric Wright disappeared well before Tampa Bay was able to lay claim to them.
The Redskins have plenty of holes to fill, and without the draft picks it took to secure Robert Griffin III, they are counting on these free-agent acquisitions as much as ever. Now they’re forced to go forward with these newfound fiscal restrictions. Who knows—maybe it’ll be good for them in the long run. Show them that sometimes less can be more.
Probably not, though.