In recent offseasons, the Washington Redskins have had a thirst to prove themselves. In those years, they have ended their seasons in the NFC East basement.
This offseason, they once again have a big hunger to make a statement in 2012. Although they likely won't be contenders, there is a different kind of spark in the air with Robert Griffin III having been selected second overall in the 2012 NFL Draft to be their franchise quarterback.
Here's what they've done this offseason:
Gains: WR Pierre Garcon, LB Jonathan Goff, QB Robert Griffin III, S Tanard Jackson, G Josh LeRibeus, S Brandon Meriweather, WR Josh Morgan, S Madieu Williams
Losses: S O.J. Atogwe, QB John Beck, WR Jabar Gaffney, S LaRon Landry, LB Rocky McIntosh, WR Donte' Stallworth
Let's get right to business on the Redskins' biggest move this offseason: RGIII. The quarterback from Baylor turned some heads in 2011. The Heisman Trophy winner was chose number two overall by the Redskins with big expectations on his plate.
Griffin is a step in the right direction. He has the speed, athleticism, and explosiveness to have a great season numbers wise. He could have the season of a lifetime in 2012, but that doesn't mean he can carry a team all by himself. Especially as a rookie. He's going to need some help.
The offensive line was and still is very weak. In 2011 they allowed 41 sacks, and this offseason they didn't make any moves to improve the line.
The Redskins still have depth at the running back position with Tim Hightower, Roy Helu, and Evan Royster. Not to mention that RGIII is a pretty decent runner himself and won't be afraid to carry the football if he needs to. He'll also have just a few more receivers to throw to with Santana Moss, Pierre Garcon, and Josh Morgan.
They have talent at the TE position with Fred Davis and Chris Cooley, but these guys need to stay on the field. Davis was suspended for the final four games last season and Cooley battled injuries.
Defensively the Redskins lost Atogwe and Landry and were replaced by Meriweather, Jackson, and Williams. It's not much of an improvement on Washington's part, but it's better than nothing. The defensive line is solid, but the secondary will be in trouble if it cannot hold it together.
The Redskins do have enough offensively to light a spark and draw some attention, but going up against the New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, and Dallas Cowboys in their division is still going to be their biggest challenge. Getting RGIII is the start of rebuilding a team, but they will need to continue building in the next few years in order to be a contender.