Redskins spend a lot of money to lock up Jason Hatcher

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Under Daniel Snyder, the Redskins have become more famous for their offseason moves than their in-season ones. Whether it’s signing Albert Haynesworth to a ludicrous contract or trading away a bevy of draft picks in order to select Robert Griffin III, Snyder has proven he is willing to spend as much as it takes to win. Unfortunately, as Redskins fans have witnessed over the last decade-plus, it seems that simply throwing bricks of hundred-dollar bills at players doesn’t necessarily equate to winning.

If this were five years ago, there is no doubt that Demarcus Ware, Darrelle Revis and Eric Decker would have all been making trips to D.C., where at least one of them would have received a monstrosity of a contract. Now, it seems that the Redskins only marquee acquisition this offseason will be Cowboys defensive tackle Jason Hatcher.

Bringing in Hatcher on a four-year $27.5 million deal should help Washington’s defense, but the contract is still a high price for a defensive tackle who is about to turn 32 and has only been a factor for three years. Not all of the contract details have been released, but with an average of $6.9 million a year, Hatcher would become the seventh highest paid defensive tackle in the league.

So, is Hatcher worth his new contract? Well, even if he retained his level of play from last year, in which he recorded 11 sacks and made the Pro Bowl, it would still be hard to justify the signing. Over the last three seasons in which Hatcher has been a starter for the Cowboys, Pro Football Focus (PFF) has had him ranked as the 10th, fourth and eighth best defensive tackle in the NFL. That being said, even with his standout year in 2013, PFF only had Hatcher ranked as the 10th best defensive tackle in this year’s free agent class alone.

While Hatcher’s numbers from last season were impressive, it is clear that his production trailed off over the second half of the year. With seven sacks and 26 total tackles over the first eight games, Hatcher only produced four sacks and 15 total tackles over the final eight.

The fact that Hatcher is closing in on 32 can’t be forgotten either. No matter what he accomplished last year, it’s hard to imagine he has much room left to grow. If the Redskins knew they were going to get four years like last year out of Hatcher they would be ecstatic, but that is a real question mark. Though Hatcher has really come on over the last three seasons, there is a reason why he only started one game over the course of his first five years in the NFL. Redskins fans everywhere need to hope that Hatcher isn’t just a one-year wonder.


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