In the hours leading up to the official start of free agency, much of the speculation centered on the Washington Redskins' supposed pursuit of Pro Bowl defensive end Julius Peppers. But now that Peppers is joining the Chicago Bears, Redskins general manager Bruce Allen wants to set the record straight via the club's Web site.
"Julius Peppers is a very good football player," Allen told Larry Weisman. "I’ve been in the NFC South the last five years and he’s tortured my team [Tampa Bay] a few times. He’s a good player but I think he’s going somewhere else."
And when Weisman, formerly with USA Today, asked Allen directly whether the Redskins had reached out to Peppers, the GM responded, "No, we didn't."
Of course, this represents an entirely new approach for the organization. The Redskins are actually taking a patient approach to free agency and they're allowing other teams to set the market. Perhaps Dan Snyder is doing some consulting work for the Bears because they've picked up where the Skins left off last offseason. I think the relatively slow start to free agency is a refreshing thing for the former Monsters of March.
Allen and coach Mike Shanahan said there would not be any magic answers to rebuilding this franchise. And so far, they've been true to their word.