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Top 10 Washington Redskins Free Agency Busts
This franchise has made a name for themselves in the past 15 years for going all in through free agency and getting little to no return out of it. Today I rank the top 10 Washington Redskins free agency busts of all time.
10. Dana Stubblefield
Believe it or not, this one is not Dan Snyder's fault.
In his five years in San Francisco, Dana Stubblefield led the team in sacks as a rookie and was named the defensive rookie of the year. In 1997, he recorded 15 sacks and was named the NFL defensive player of the year. He was a three time pro bowler and All-Pro during his time with the 49ers and helped them to a victory in Super Bowl XXIX.
Stubblefield signed a six year, $36 million contract with Washington prior to the 1998 season. With Washington, he drastically underperformed. In three seasons with the Redskins, he only recorded seven sacks despite the fact that he played opposite Dan Wilkinson, who often drew double-teams. He finished his career playing four more seasons with three teams before retiring in 2004.
9. Mark Carrier
He was one of Dan Snyder's first big free agency busts.
In his 10 seasons with Chicago and Detroit, Mark Carrier quickly built a reputation as a hard hitting safety. As a rookie in 1990, he led the league with 10 interceptions and was named the defensive rookie of the year. He was a three time pro bowler during his time with the Bears.
Carrier signed a four year, $16 million contract with Washington in 2000. In his one season with the team, Carrier was a shadow of his former self only recording one interception and one forced fumble. In a way, he helped foreshadow the events of future Washington free agencies. He retired after the season and is now a defensive backs coach for Cincinnati.
8. Antwaan Randle-El
He was a punt returned that cashed in big in free agency.
In his four seasons in Pittsburgh, Antwaan Randle-El was the teams return specialist and occasional slot receiver. His experience at quarterback in college allowed the Steelers to use him as a passer in a variety of trick plays, most notably a game-clinching 43-yard double reverse touchdown pass to Hines Ward in Super Bowl XL. He was the third non-quarterback and the first wide receiver to throw a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl.
Randle-El signed a seven year, $31 million contract with Washington in 2006. Unlike some of the others on this list, Randle-El had a decent amount of success. The reason he is a bust is completely on Washington. The Redskins paid big money to a player that had never caught more than 50 balls or had even 700 yards receiving in a season. He was as a solid receiver, a decent return man and he provided a few cool trick plays here and there. He played hard and was a quality player. He was as advertised, an effective role player with diverse, but not overwhelming skills. in his four seasons with the team, he accounted for 11 touchdowns. He spent one final season back in Pittsburgh before retiring in 2010.
7. Danny Wuerffel
He was brought in to make the Redskins like the Florida Gators.
Unlike most of the players on this list, Danny Wuerffel didn't have a lot of success at the pro level. He spent five seasons in New Orleans, Green Bay, and Chicago. It became quickly evident that he couldn't make all of the throws needed to be an NFL quarterback. His only level of pro success came when he won the World Bowl MVP in 2000 in NFL Europa.
Wuerffel signed with Washington in 2002 where he reunited with his college head coach Steve Spurrier. In his one season with the team started only four games and threw just three touchdowns to six interceptions. His lack of an arm was evident and he retired after the season.
6. Bruce Smith
He came to Washington for himself.
In his 15 seasons in Buffalo, Bruce Smith quickly established himself as one of the leagues best pass rushers. He helped the team reach four Super Bowls in the early 90's. By his fifth season he had already established himself as the Bills all time sack leader. In his 15 years with the team, he was an 11 time pro bowler, nine time All-Pro, and two time NFL defensive player of the year.
Smith signed a five year, $23 million contract with Washington in 2000. While he wasn't a disappointment, it was a head scratcher that Washington gave that much money to a player in his late 30s. Even though he recorded 29 sacks in his four seasons with the team, it became obvious that he was just there to get the NFL career sack record. He was released after the 2003 season and retired soon after that.
5. Jeff George
He clashed with his head coach and paid the price for it.
In his previous 10 seasons, Jeff George had a journeyman's career despite being the first overall pick in 1990. Despite that status, he did build a reputation as one of the best passers in the league. His best successes came in Oakland and Minnesota where he had 20 of more touchdowns during his time with the franchises.
George signed a four year, $18 million contract with Washington in 2000 to be Brad Johnson's backup. After Johnson left for Tampa Bay, George became the starter in 2001. He clashed with head coach Marty Schottenheimer over the new West Coast offense. After an 0-3 start, George was cut. He spent his final seasons as a backup for three different teams.
4. Jeremiah Trotter
He was brought in to shift the power of the NFC East, but instead made Washington more mediocre.
In four years in Philadelphia, Jeremiah Trotter led the defense in tackles in three of those seasons. He was a two time pro bowler and All-Pro during that time.
Trotter signed a seven year, $31 million contract with Washington in 2002. He underperformed compared to his production in Philadelphia,tore his ACL midway through 2003, and the team lost 20 games in his two seasons with the team. He returned to Philadelphia in 2004 where he made two more pro bowls and helped the Eagle reach Super Bowl XXXIX.
3. Deion Sanders
He was anything but Primetime in Washington
In his previous 11 seasons, Deion Sanders established himself as the best shutdown cornerback in the game. He was also a valuable return specialist and occasional wide receiver. He was an eight time pro bowler and All-Pro, the 1994 NFL defensive player of the year, and two time Super Bowl champion.
Sanders signed a seven year, $56 million contract with Washington in 2000. He dealt with a toe injury for much of the season but still managed to record four interceptions. Like Smith, Sanders only seemed to join the team to promote himself. He retired after one season in Washington but returned for two final seasons in Baltimore in 2004.
2. Adam Archuleta
This one his still makes people scratch their heads.
In five seasons in St. Louis, Adam Archuleta was a solid contributor to the defense. He had three seasons where he recorded 100 or more tackles. In 2003, he led all defensive backs with five sacks. In his five seasons with the Rams, he recorded 15 sacks, three forced fumbles, three interceptions, and a touchdown.
Archuleta signed a six year, $30 million contract with Washington in 2006. The team cut Ryan Clark and pegged Archuleta at the starting strong safety spot. He only started seven games that season and struggled in the deep passing game. He was replaced at the strong safety position with Troy Vincent, and played only on special teams the last half of the season. He played one final season in Chicago before retiring in 2008.
1. Albert Haynesworth
This one should be completely obvious.
In seven seasons in Tennessee, Albert Haynesworth established himself as a dominant defensive tackle with anger issues. He was fines numerous times most notable stomping on Cowboys center Andre Gurode's head in 2006. He was a two time pro bowler and All-Pro during his final years in Tennessee.
Haynesworth signed a record seven year, $100 million contract with Washington in 2009. From the beginning of his time with the Redskins, Haynesworth presented problems for the coaching staff. He refused to participate in off-season workouts, and arrived at camp in poor physical condition, unable to pass a basic fitness test. He also made it clear that he did not like to play nose tackle in the team's 3–4 defensive scheme, having played in a 4–3 scheme in Tennessee. In two seasons in Washington, he recorded only 6.5 sacks. He spent his final season in New England and Tampa Bay.