Redskins President Bruce Allen defended his team’s prudent approach thus far in free agency, saying on Friday morning that the front office has a plan in place and does not intend to deviate from it.
“We identified the players that we were going to be interested in [in] free agency a few weeks ago,” Allen said. “I remind you that free agency is less than 48 hours old. We’re going to make sure that we’re competing in free agency all the way up to training camp.”
Allen added: “We’re looking to add some good players. We have 66 guys under contract, and we’ll have 90 good Redskins going to Richmond.”
Indeed, the Redskins’ focus in recent days has been retaining their own personnel. In the hours leading up to free agency, the team re-signed linebacker Mason Foster, backup quarterback Colt McCoy, defensive lineman Kedric Golson and safety Duke Ihenacho. Since the signing period opened at 4 p.m. Wednesday, they’ve signed only one player from outside of the organization: former San Diego defensive end Kendall Reyes.
The Redskins' reluctance to jump feet first into free agency could also be a function of their cap situation. According to the NFLPA’s website, they have about $19.5 million in cap room—and that was before the addition of Reyes.
Allen also said that he’s fully aware of the splashy signings being made by the Giants and Eagles. Those moves, though, will not influence the Redskins’ strategy.
“Our division has been pretty active,” Allen said. “So, we’re following it and we’re going to make sure we find some guys who can help us. …Not only does our personnel department and [GM] Scot [McCloughan] put a grade on a player for their talent, we also put a grade for their character and then we have to put value to that, and where it would fit in within our team.”
Allen also made the case that the Redskins' biggest signings were actually made last summer, when cornerstones Trent Williams and Ryan Kerrigan were locked up early. Williams signed a five-year, $66 million extension last August, while Kerrigan agreed to a 5-year, $57.5 million extension in July.
“The best thing we’ve done for free agency was addressing Trent Williams and Ryan Kerrigan a year ago,” Allen said. “That was a well thought out plan, and we’re going keep doing that because it’s the Redskins players that we want to make sure that we’re keeping.”