SNIDER: Redskins lost ground in title chase

The Washington Redskins have made progress in some areas, but in the chase for talent, Rick Snider says they are a step behind.

The draft is over, free agency drained of top players. So where are the Redskins after six weeks of player acquisition? Sadly, a step behind.

The team traded away its Pro Bowl left tackle for a bag of beans and never replaced its Pro Bowl tight end. Sure, the team added edge rusher Chase Young in the first round. That’s great, but not the salvation of all ills. The Redskins better have a lights-out defensive line or it’s goodnight Irene this fall.

Most years, if the draft nets three prime contributors it’s a good one. After Young, it’s a bunch of maybes coming to Washington. The Redskins gambled on a hybrid player who might be a better version of Chris Thompson. Certainly, third-round receiver/runner Antonio Gibson will be interesting to watch. Fourth-round tackle Saahdiq Charles and receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden sport promise. Still, a 3-13 team doesn’t want maybes. It needs sleepers turning into nightmares for opponents.

Free agency wasn’t nearly as productive as hoped given a big war chest. Cornerback Kendall Fuller and safety Sean Davis are solid pickups. Thomas Davis is a nice one-year rental as a coach on the field. Logan Thomas might help at tight end.

But really, it was a bunch of guys. Every team needs them, but winners obtain more standout players. The Redskins lost Trent Williams and Jordan Reed and only picked up Young.

The problem is the Redskins aren’t in a vacuum. Looking around the NFC East, they fell a little further behind Dallas and Philadelphia while staying even with the New York Giants.

Dallas added a nice receiver in CeeDee Lamb and cornerback in Trevon Diggs. Philadelphia found a backup quarterback that seems to annually factor with the Eagles plus a top receiver in Jalen Raeger. Eagles games could double as track meets. 

Taking left tackle Andrew Thomas of Georgia with the fourth overall pick was a nice addition for the Giants. In some years, that’s where the Redskins would have gone to replace Williams.

In the NFC, Tampa Bay now looks like the sexy pick after not only adding Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, but a standout draft netting left tackle Tristan Wirfs while filling needs with safety Antoine Winfield and running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn. Minnesota, San Francisco and Arizona also helped themselves big time while New Orleans and Green Bay slipped from the top.

Meanwhile, Miami helped itself the most in the AFC with three first-rounders, including quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. It’s asking a lot for a bad team like Miami (and Tampa Bay) to jump to the top in one season, but the Dolphins are relevant again. Kansas City and Baltimore proved the best can get better. Overall, AFC teams fared better in the draft than NFC teams.

So now we wait. With no offseason camps and only Zoom meetings on the playbook, the NFL will hopefully enter training camps in late July still wondering what they have. After this offseason, the Redskins know they’re still a year or two away from postseason contention.

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Rick Snider is an award-winning sports writer who has covered Washington sports since 1978. He first wrote about the Redskins in 1983 before becoming a beat writer in 1993. Snider currently writes for several national and international publications and is a Washington tour guide. You can buy Rick's book on Amazon right here "100 Things Redskins Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die! Follow Rick on Twitter at @Snide_Remarks.