The League

Leonard Shapiro
Columnist

Leonard Shapiro

Washington Post sports reporter, editor and columnist who has served on the NFL HOF Selection Committee.

New regime could spend wisely

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We've heard all the talk about Daniel Snyder finally ceding power to the two perfectly capable men he hired to reverse the fortunes of his frequently flailing football team. Word out of Redskins Park is that neither general manager Bruce Allen nor head coach Mike Shanahan would have signed up unless they had assurances that the team owner would allow them to do their jobs with as little interference as possible.

And yet, that hardly should be interpreted as any sort of signal that Snyder is about to hide his checkbook or keep that company jet grounded in its hangar as the NFL's free agency period opened shortly after midnight Friday morning.

In a 2010 season that will be played without a salary cap, a number of teams have already come out and said very publicly that they are not going to break the bank and spend outrageously to stock their teams with new veteran talent. You'll notice, however, that the Redskins haven't said much of anything, a silence that surely has to mean that big Redskins money, as always, should be available to spend any which way Allen and Shanahan so choose.

In years past, with Snyder and his yes-men underlings seemingly far more enamored with acquiring big names as opposed to immediate impact players, the Redskins profligate spending yielded some disastrous results. Where have you gone Adam Archuletta, Deion Sanders and so many more take-the-money-and-run deadbeats?

But it says here that with Allen and Shanahan, two men who have proven track records in franchise building, now making the big decisions, at least there's finally a decent chance that Snyder's money is going to be spent wisely.

Can the Redskins buy an immediate Super Bowl contender? If Jason Campbell is retained and remains the starter, I'm still not certain he has the right stuff to make this an elite team. And yet, if Allen and Shanahan can surround him with a far better supporting cast, maybe he will have a chance to finally blossom into the quarterback we've all been waiting to see for far too long.

Knowing how Allen and Shanahan have always operated, at least we're almost certain they have a well thought out plan of attack for free agency, as well as the draft. And if Snyder can restrain himself from his typical meddling ways and simply sign the checks, as needed, his long reign of error may finally become a distant memory. That's still a very big if, of course. Just ask Marty Schottenheimer, who also had assurances the owner was prepared to let him operate meddle-free. And we all know how that turned out. Stay tuned.

By Leonard Shapiro  |  March 5, 2010; 12:01 AM ET  | Category:  Free Agency , NFL , Washington Redskins Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Shapiro hit it on the head. Campbell is the 4th best quarterback in the DIVISION, and will be for some time!

Posted by: hughsie48 | March 5, 2010 7:50 AM

It's not fantasy football, as Snyder has appeared to think in previous years. That said, if there are players out there whom Shanahan has coached, they could be great additions. (Think George Allen and the Ramskins. Ooops. My age is showing. George Allen came to Redskins from the Rams, and he quickly brought in a number of veteran players from the Rams: Jack Pardee, Diron Talbert, Deacon Jones, and others. They were called the Ramskins. If you weren't old enough to follow football in the early 70s, you missed it.)

Posted by: jlhare1 | March 5, 2010 10:51 AM

Snyder should just by the Colts or the Saints entire starting line up...that way he'll at least have a good season or two before he manages to screw things up.

Posted by: wolfcastle | March 5, 2010 12:16 PM

TEL ME WHY ARE WE ABOUT TO SIGN A 34 INJURY PRONE REJECT AT LT???? WE NEED TO GO INTO THE DRAFT AND SIGN AN LT AND PLACE HIM THERE FOR THE NEXT 15 YEARS THIS IS BULL!!!!!! I LIKE THE NEW FISCAL SPENDING POLICY THE REDSKINS ARE USING FOR FA'S BUT COME ON 34 YEAR OLD LT AND THIS DRAFT IS DEEP WITH LT JUST PLAIN OLD STUPID!!!!!!!

Posted by: c_note_70 | March 5, 2010 12:43 PM

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