Rick Snider: It's just a quiet day for austerity-minded Redskins

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Sports,NFL,Redskins,Rick Snider

The free agency board was popping the first hour with tight ends, receivers, pass rushers and guards changing teams.

The Washington Redskins? They re-signed their punter.

The Kings of the Offseason were dethroned. Booted from Versace right back to Walmart.

The NFL's $18 million salary cap sanction last year limited the Redskins to just two big quick signings in receivers Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan. This year's $18 million hit seems to have bankrupted Washington.

Brother, can you spare some salary cap room?

Fans were grousing on Twitter over Washington's idleness while watching Kansas City make the first move minutes after free agency's start on Tuesday by signing Miami tight end Anthony Fasano. Tight end Martellus Bennett then went to Chicago. Cleveland paid Baltimore pass rusher Paul Kruger $40 million. Miami grabbed receiver Mike Wallace.

Washington countered with punter Sav Rocca returning. Maybe the Australian really jumped the signing period by signing 16 hours ahead Down Under.

In past years, Washington might have competed for guard Louis Vasquez, who got $23.5 million from Denver, or guard Andy Levitre, signed by Tennessee for $39 million. They Redskins would have stopped Dallas tight end John Phillips from going to San Diego.

Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, cut by Philadelphia, would have been seen at Redskins Park by dinnertime. But then, past years wouldn't have found Washington cutting cornerback DeAngelo Hall because of cap restraints.

Owner Dan Snyder's annual spending sprees often caused agents to float the Redskins are suitors to drive up the market price. Nowadays nobody's even trying that bluff.

Minutes into free agency, running back Reggie Bush was rumored to be coming to Washington. Instead, he headed to Detroit. That wouldn't have happened in the past. But then, signing Bush isn't needed given Alfred Morris' standout rookie year.

It's quite a day when former Redskins quarterback Chase Daniel gets a three-year deal with Kansas City while Buffalo cuts passer Ryan Fitzpatrick less than two years after signing a mega-deal.

The Redskins just don't have enough cap room for first-day signings. Not that there's anything wrong with second-day bargains. Watch the Redskins follow the first wave with a few sensible signings that bolster some positions.

However, Washington still has some real needs, several caused by the cap sanction, like possibly losing tight end Fred Davis and special teamer Lorenzo Alexander as well as Hall. The Redskins aren't filling those gaps. Instead, it's just another year of stretching players.

Not that the Redskins can't still contend with carry-overs and some modest newcomers. They did it last year. Its just two straight years gives competitors a big advantage in stockpiling talent. Meanwhile, the Redskins don't have a first-rounder this year or next.

Free agent signings haven't lifted Washington to a Super Bowl yet, though. Maybe austerity will prove better.

Examiner columnist Rick Snider has covered local sports since 1978. Read more on Twitter @Snide_Remarks or email rsnider@washingtonexaminer.com.

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