Monday, August 1, 2011

Redskins notes: Hightower, Brown, Blades

The Redskins have been relatively busy this offseason -- but it's been a different kind of busy. They've targeted a few big-name free agents, but they haven't thrown insane amounts of money at the top guys, choosing instead to focus on re-signing a few of their own guys at key positions (Santana Moss, Jammal Brown) and younger guys on the offensive and defensive lines (Barry Cofield, Stephen Bowen, Chris Chester). Oh, and they also shipped two guys out of town who you may have heard of: Albert Haynesworth and Donovan McNabb. There's no guarantee that any of these moves actually work, but so far the Redskins actually seem to have a plan and haven't done anything ridiculous yet.

Traded for Tim Hightower

The Redskins acquired running back Tim Hightower from the Cardinals for defensive end Vonnie Holliday and an undisclosed draft pick. Holliday is 35; Hightower is 25. The Skins drafted two running backs (Roy Helu and and Evan Royster) in the 2011 draft, and they already have Ryan Torain as the probable starting running back to begin the season. But Hightower provides some running back depth in case the injury-prone Torain goes down at some point during the season, which is likely. Helu or Royster (or both) will probably get a chance during the season, but now the Redskins won't be forced to rely on them if Torain goes down.

Holliday played well last season but was expendable after the Skins' latest acquisitions on the defensive line. It also fits with their apparent, current mind-set of getting younger.

Re-signed Jammal Brown

Still needing to fill a whole on the offensive line, the Redskins brought back their right tackle from last season, Jammal Brown. The Skins gave Brown a five-year deal worth $27.5 million ($8 million guaranteed). The Redskins desperately needed another offensive tackle alongside Trent Williams, and they surely discussed other options. At the end of the day, though, they decided to bring back the 30-year-old Brown, and it doesn't seem like they paid a whole lot more than what he's worth.

Also re-signed H.B. Blades

Arguably the player with the best name on the Redskins, Blades is now returning to Washington after signing a one-year deal. Blades provides depth at inside linebacker and is also a solid contributor on special teams.

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