"It's time to embrace the reality of it all. Simply, we're better than you. That's it. Look no further. We are better than you. We're more fun. It feels better to be us. We've got flair. We're audacious, capricious, bodacious, supercalifragilisticxpalidocious." – Arthur Mills, ExtremeSkins.com
Don't you just love March? To me, the month means March Madness, Spring Training, St. Patty's Day, and the Redskins.
Yes, it's become an annual tradition for the Redskins to dominate the NFL at this time of year. Just ask Mr. Mills. Those words were printed on the team's official web site this week, and I really can't blame his ardent, arrogant words. The Redskins have supposedly been in "salary cap hell" since a few years before I started this job, but come every March, they are wheeling-and-dealing like Steve Nash in an All-Star game.
Most people dismiss the spending sprees as Daniel Snyder simply opening his checkbook, but that's only part of the franchise's story. The league has a salary cap, and there's only so much any club can spend.
"The thing I want to emphasize is this: We haven't done one thing that anybody else can't do," head coach Joe Gibbs said this past week.
True enough, Joe. Other franchises could go through the extensive slashing, restructuring, signing, trading, mortgaging process the Redskins engage in every March, but many clubs prefer a slower process. That's their choice.
Of course, going undefeated in March doesn't directly translate to playing in January. Trumping the Bears for Antwaan Randle El and Adam Archuleta or outbidding the Broncos for Andre Carter doesn't mean the club will have any more success. If it did, the Redskins would have made more than just two postseason appearances (1999, 2005) during Snyder's seven-year reign. But I'm not here to buzz about wins and losses. Fantasy owners don't care that the Redskins are 54-58 in the Daniel Snyder Era.
Instead, I wonder about their fantasy football prospects. With Al Saunders running the show and talents like Clinton Portis, Santana Moss, Randle El, Chris Cooley, Brandon Lloyd, Jon Jansen, Chris Samuels, and Randy Thomas on the squad, the Redskins' offense feels more dangerous than a back alley in Baltimore.
Of course, wasn't this offense also expected to do big things in 2000, 2002 and 2004? Those clubs finished 24th, 25th and 31st in the NFL in scoring. Good times.
Don't get me wrong. I don't hate the Redskins. I'm just trying to keep fantasy owners from getting swept up in Mr. Mills' and other writer's energized words. And here's the one big card in my deck:
The Redskins' starting quarterback hasn't changed. How excited can fantasy owners reasonably get about Moss, Lloyd, Randle El, and Cooley when they are sharing less than 200 yards per game? Brunell hasn't been over that mark since 2001. How excited can fantasy owners reasonably get about Moss, Lloyd, Randle El, and Cooley when they are sharing 20 touchdowns? Brunell has eclipsed that total only once in his long career.
At this point last year (and through until September), fantasy owners were drooling over Kerry Collins because he'd be throwing to Randy Moss, Jerry Porter, and Doug Gabriel. How'd that work out?
The Redskins' March moves have me plenty excited about Clinton Portis' touchdown potential, but that's about it. I don't envision a rebirth of the 1999 Rams or 2002-04 Chiefs. If anything, the fantasy values of Moss, Lloyd, Randle El, and Cooley have all gone in the wrong direction.
Feel free to revel in your March victories, Redskins fans. Just don't expect us fantasy owners to be quite as excited.