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Numbers Game: Redskins Bolster Defence

Scott Cullen
2/27/2009 11:58:15 AM
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Sticking to their typical free-spending ways under Daniel Snyder, the Washington Redskins spent big money to make significant defensive improvements on the first day of NFL Free Agency.

Numbers Game looks at the deals for DT Albert Haynesworth and CB DeAngelo Hall

The Redskins Get: DT Albert Haynesworth and CB DeAngelo Hall.

Haynesworth, 27, is the most dominant defensive tackle in the game right now and coming off a season in which he registered career highs in solo tackles (41) and sacks (8.5).

The Redskins already had a solid run defence in 2008, allowing 95.4 rushing yards per game, which ranked eighth in the league.  Bringing in Haynesworth to pair with Cornelius Griffin inside, should only improve that situation.

In terms of pass rush, Haynesworth's biggest benefit may be that he will force constant double-teams which will free up defensive end Jason Taylor, provided that he comes back.  Taylor struggled in his first season with the Redskins, but if Haynesworth is wreaking havoc on the interior of the defensive line, Taylor could be a double-digit sacker once again.

Tennessee's defence, which ranked sixth against the run, will definitely have to address the loss of Haynesworth, either through free agency or the draft, where none of the options are close to Haynesworth's calibre.   Without making a significant addition on the defensive line, the Titans defence will suffer significantly, from ends Kyle Vanden Bosch and Jevon Kearse (among others) not generating as much of a pass rush to the defensive backs who will be under more pressure in coverage.

At the back end of the Redskins defence, 25-year-old DeAngelo Hall is productive enough, but maybe not as good as the hype.  After getting picked on relentlessly in Oakland last year, when opposing quarterbacks were consistently avoiding Nnamdi Asomugha, Hall was released and signed on with the 'Skins. 

In 2008, there weren't any corners in the league who matched all of Hall's totals of 74 tackles, five interceptions and 21 passes defended, so he's certainly a capable starter; just not a shutdown guy.

While the two deals combined will guarantee more than $63-million and could total nearly $170-million if the players play through the end of their respective contracts, the bottom line is that the Redskins are a better team after securing two defensive starters.

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@ctv.ca



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