Back for a second to Matt Williamson's offseason NFC grades, let's take a look at the Washington Redskins, whom Matt gave a "C-minus." Matt acknowledges that the Redskins had no first-round pick and some significant salary-cap problems that limited their ability to bring in high-impact guys this offseason. And he gives the Redskins credit for retaining as much of their division-champion roster as they did:
But in the end, if you are not going forward in this league, you are going backward. And this roster does not look to be much improved -- if at all -- from the end of last season. With the addition of Griffin, the Redskins took two huge steps forward last year. This year they might have to take a small step backward.
Indeed, the Redskins are banking on the idea that the returns from injury of players like Brian Orakpo, Adam Carriker and Brandon Meriweather will improve the defense. They're also hoping Griffin completes a full recovery from offseason knee surgery and can play as well as he did as a rookie. And if those things happen, the Redskins have reason to believe that the same basic group that went 10-6 and won the NFC East last year can win it again in 2013. But Matt's question about the additions to the secondary -- guys like second-round pick David Amerson and free-agent cornerback E.J. Biggers -- is whether they're ready to help right away or will need time to develop as useful pieces. Matt likes the additions they made on offense through the draft, he's just not convinced they've sufficiently fixed a secondary that they held together with chewing gum over the final two months of last season. And it's a fair concern, to be sure.