It feels like Daniel Snyder has died and gone to Chicago. All is quiet around the Washington Redskins. All of the buzz is in Chicagoland where the Bears locked up free agent defensive end Julius Peppers and running back Chester Taylor on 2010 NFL Free Agency, Day One.
The Redskins will be pursuing running backs after dumping practically every rusher on the roster except Clinton Portis and Anthony Alridge. Yet, the Skins weren't in the hunt for Taylor.Norv Turner locked up running back Darren Sproles for the Chargers before Washington could text his agent. Not that Norv is, you know, holding grudges or anything against his old team.
But Peppers was a surprise. He was widely touted as the No. 1 free agent choice by the Redskins and several other teams. Washington was rumored throughout the day to be in a bidding war with the Bears for his services. That rumor may have been started by Peppers' agent. I think you get sued by your free agent clients if you don't name drop "Daniel Snyder" sometime.
But the Bears managed to steal a player from Snyder for the second time in less than a year. Chicago out-bid Snyderrato for quarterback Jake Cutler last Spring.
Daniel Snyder can't possibly be here. He must be in Chicago.
USAToday points out that Peppers has the third most sacks (81) since 2002, after Jason Taylor (88) and Dwight Freeney (84). Taylor, of course was misused here in 2008 following an ill-advised trade with Miami. Snyder planned to pursue Freeney if he became a free agent in 2007. The Colts slapped a franchise tag on Freeney before negotiating a long-term contract with him.
The Freeney moved worked for the Colts. The Taylor move did not work for the Redskins and would not have even if Taylor hadn't suffered a medical problem with his calf. The Skins weren't going to use Taylor the way the Dolphins did. So they weren't going to get the same performance.
Chicago's big moves won't be any more successful for them than the Danny's were for the Redskins. Not this year, anyway. Not because the players are bad. But because it's football, the most team-oriented of all sports. It takes a season to jell with a new team.
Jay Cutler can vouch for that.