Under the radar moves usher in the Ron Rivera regime in Washington

Washington Redskins’ head coach Ron Rivera has been given total autonomy to reshape the team in his own image. Fiscal responsibility has been the story in Washington in recent years, eschewing the Redskins’ previous standard of overspending for high priced free agents that produced minimal results.

That mantra holds true despite one of Washington’s first free agency signings. The Redskins signed cornerback Kendall Fuller to a four year, $40 million dollar contract. Fuller actually spent his first two years in Washington, showing a lot of promise as the team’s nickel corner. He was involved in the trade that sent him to the Kansas City Chiefs for quarterback Alex Smith before the 2018 season. Fuller’s familiarity with the Redskins’ organization, coupled with his championship pedigree with Kansas City, culminated into his return to Washington.

The Redskins needed to solidify its quarterback depth behind second year starter Dwayne Haskins. Washington traded a fifth round selection in this year’s NFL draft to the Carolina Panthers to serve that purpose. In previous years, that quarterback would have been Cam Newton. Not this time. The Redskins received reserve quarterback Kyle Allen from the Panthers instead. Allen will be reunited with Rivera, who was the Panthers’ head coach from 2011 to 2019. It’s unclear if Allen will serve as a backup to Haskins or will compete with him for the starting position.

The Redskins didn’t stop there. Washington also signed tight end Richard Rodgers to an undisclosed contract. Rodgers spent the last two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, playing in only eight games. He spent his first four seasons with the Green Bay Packers, catching 120 passes and 13 touchdowns during that time. The Redskins hope that Rodgers can win the starting position, replacing fourth year veteran Jeremy Sprinkle. Washington also added running back Peyton Barber, previously of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, to the roster. Barber will vie for playing time with veteran Adrian Peterson and the often injured Derrius Guice at the running back position.

Let’s not forget that Washington also holds the second overall selection in this year’s NFL draft. It’s been speculated that they will select University of Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa or LSU quarterback Joe Burrow. With the addition of Allen, it’s more likely that the Redskins will use the pick on Ohio State outside linebacker Chase Young. For a fan base anxious to see some kind of improvement on last year’s dreadful 3-13 record, it’s refreshing to see the Redskins methodically compile their roster instead of spending millions on free agent stars and expecting them to contribute right away.

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