The Redskins did not go on a free-agency spending spree this past offseason. They did make a few minor splashes in the pool, doling out $67.8 million in contract value to five players with $35.7 million guaranteed.
What kind of a return did the Redskins get on their investments? Let’s take a look.
DL Stacy McGee, signed for 5 years, $25 million, $9 million guaranteed—At age 27, McGee was mostly quiet but effective. He played in all 16 games and was in for about 40 percent of the defensive snaps. McGee didn’t record a sack but he had 13 pressures and had good range defending the run. Bang for the buck: If the Redskins get a couple more years like 2017 out of him, McGee will turn out to be a reasonable value.
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DL Terrell McClain, 4 yr./$21mm/$10.5mm gtd.—The Redskins got some moments out of McClain, including a sack of Russell Wilson in the late going that helped save the win against the Seahawks. But they were paying for a player with a history of injuries and they got that as he missed four games with a toe injury. When he did play, he was at replacement level or below for the most part. Bang for the buck: It’s not a huge contract but it seems that the Redskins could have done better with a younger, cheaper player. The injury certainly hurt the dollars to productivity consideration. But they had to pay after years of neglecting the defensive line in the draft.
S D.J. Swearinger, 3 yr./$13.5mm/9mm gtd.—The Redskins have been struggling at safety for a decade and in bringing in Swearinger they bought some quality play and leadership. His four interceptions were the most by a Redskins safety since Sean Taylor had five in 2007 and he was solid against the run. Don’t get me wrong, Swearinger is not a potential All-Pro but he isn’t getting paid like one. In 2018 his cap number will be the 29th-highest in the league. Bang for the buck: He was burned in coverage from time to time but the Redskins finally got competence with moments of brilliance on a very reasonable contract.
LB Zach Brown, 1 yr./$2.3mm/1.2mm gtd.—He couldn’t find the long-term deal he wanted so he took a one-year contract with Washington. Brown gave the Redskins great sideline-to-sideline pursuit and he led the NFL in tackles before missing the last three games with a variety of injuries. He struggled in coverage at times and the big plays were missing as he had just 2.5 sacks and no forced fumbles or interceptions. Bang for the buck: Like Swearinger, Brown gave the Redskins quality play for a very reasonable price. His contract was No. 16 among inside linebackers in terms of 2017 cap hit.
WR Terrelle Pryor, 1 yr./$6 mm/$6 mm gtd.—While some thought that his signing was overhyped, few thought it was a bad idea to have Pryor, who caught passes for over 1,000 yards from a bad bunch of Browns QBs in 2016, as part of the solution to the departures of DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon. But he was a massive disappointment, with 20 receptions for 240 yards and one touchdown. Bang for the buck: Pryor worked hard and he handled himself well during his struggles. But for what the production they got they might as well have taken the $6 million, piled it up, and put a match to it.
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