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Capital Crimes: Worst Deals in Redskins History

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Albert Haynesworth will go down as one of the worst contracts in NFL history. Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images.
Albert Haynesworth will go down as one of the worst contracts in NFL history. Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images.

This could take a while. It might get a little emotional. The typed words will be polite and FCC-compliant; those mumbled while recounting this dark history certainly won’t. 

No team in major professional sports has made a mockery of free agency and dressed itself as the jester so willingly so many times over as the Washington Redskins. The top 10 — or is it the bottom 10? — worst free agent signings in ‘Skins history might rival the 10 worst free agent signings of the other 31 NFL teams — combined. 

If the Bill of Rights, or the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, represented much of what was right with our infant nation, this list of 10 players — well, nine players and one concept — and contracts absolutely define what was wrong with the Washington Redskins franchise during the late 1990’s and 2000’s. 

Individually, each player represents cap space wasted — and the incalculable opportunity cost of the players that didn’t receive these mounds of squandered resources — false dreams, poor judgment and dozens of water cooler conversations where co-workers found great sport in ridiculing any ‘Skins fans brave enough to exit their cube and enter the public domain (I am slightly bitter). Collectively the list speaks to an organization that possessed a vision that never extended beyond the upcoming season, habitually miscalculated the state of the franchise, lacked institutional control and displayed little in the way of football acumen.

While the mission statement of most teams is “Win the Super Bowl”, the Daniel Snyder-owner ‘Skins were all about “Winning the Offseason.” Spending big money, acquiring big name free agents and realizing little return became the vicious, decade-plus long cycle. The foolhardy approach produced countless cautionary tales; below are the 10 most egregious. You could teach General Manager 101 with this stuff; I bet 31 NFL teams did. Class, may I have your attention.