1. Signing defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth (2009)
Of all the half-baked free agency moves that Vinny Cerratto and Daniel Snyder made, this was (by far) the most Cerratto and Snyder-iest.
The Redskins brass ignored red flags surrounding Albert Haynesworth, signing him to a seven year, $100 million deal, giving him $41 million guaranteed.
So what did the Redskins get in exchange for their investment?
20 games played, 53 total tackles and 6.5 sacks. After failing several conditioning tests, speaking out against coach former head coach Shanahan's plans to move him to the nose tackle position and several off the field incidents, the Redskins shipped Haynesworth to New England for a 6th round pick (pick used for Alfred Morris)
2. Replacing safety Ryan Clark with Adam Archuleta (2006)
Back in 2005, Sean Taylor paired with LSU product Ryan Clark to create a very exciting and opportunistic safety tandems in Washington. At 21 and 26 years old respectively, the duo where on the verge of becoming one of the best young duos in the league.
But then Danny Boy went full Danny Boy on us, opting not to resign Clark. Instead, he inked former Rams' safety Adam Archuleta to a six year, $30 million contract (which, at the time, was the largest contract for a safety in NFL history).
Arch Deluxe was never a good fit for the Redskins. He started only seven games before being relegated to special teams and spot duty behind Vernon Fox and Troy Vincent. Just one year into his deal, the Redskins dealt Archuleta to Chicago for a sixth rounder.
Meanwhile, Ryan Clark held down the starting safety position for eight seasons in Pittsburgh, winning a Super Bowl during that span. Dagger.
3. Signing cornerback Deion Sanders (2000)
Don't lie. You were psyched for Primetime. Seeing him on stage in the sweet Burgundy & Gold suit was enough to give even the most skeptical of Redskins fans hope.
(Mind you this was the first offseason Daniel Snyder spent big money. Us Redskins fans didn't know better as of yet.)
They paid Neon Deion a deal worth $56 million over eight years. He managed four interceptions and chipped in on returns, but at 33, he was clearly past his prime(time). He lasted one of those eight before retiring at season's end. I am fairly certain that the Redskins are STILL paying off his contract.
4. Signing quarterback Jeff George for (2000)
Speaking of the 2000 Redskins, you can argue that the Jeff George signing was just as bad as any other name on this list. While the money wasn't really that bad (four years, $14.8 million), the George signing did manage to drive your Pro Bowl quarterback (Brad Johnson) out of town and derail a team that could have accomplished something significant.
Fresh off a NFC East division winning season behind Johnson's All-Pro season, the Redskins (for some reason) picked up George. Enamored with his arm strength and ball placement, George eventually surpassed an injured Brad Johnson and started seven games for the team, winning just one of those games.
Following a subpar 8-8 with George at the helm, the Redskins hired Marty Schottenheimer to replace Norv Turner. Behind George, the Redskins lost the first two games to open the 2001 campaign by a combined 67-3. George was promptly released and replaced by the combination of Tony Banks and Kent Graham. Less than 18 months later, Brad Johnson won a Super Bowl in Tampa Bay. Who knows what could have been.
5. Signing defensive tackle Dana Stubblefield & trading for defensive takcle Dan Wilkinson
6. Trading a 2nd & 4th round pick for quarterback Donovan McNabb/Giving McNabb $78 million extension (2010)
7. Trading a 2nd round pick for defensive end Jason Taylor (2008)
8. Trading a 3rd & 4th round pick for wide receiver Brandon Lloyd (2006)
1. Trading two 1st round picks for linebacker Wilber Marshall (1988)
Back in 1988, free agency was a brand new concept to the NFL. In fact when linebacker Wilber Marshall signed a five year, $6 million deal that spring (which the Bears failed to match), he became the NFL's first free agent to join another team in eleven seasons.
Marshall started every game during his five years here in Washington, registering 621 tackles, 24.5 sacks, 12 interceptions during that time. The former Bear became the heart and soul of the resurgent Redskins defense that finished ranked second overall in 1991 en route to Super Bowl XXVI.
Marshall turned in his most dominant season as a pro in 1992, tallying 138 tackles, six sacks, three forced fumbles and two picks en route to win the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year award. In 2002, he was named one of the 70 Greatest Redskins of All Time.
2. Trading quarterback Norm Snead & cornerback Claude Crabb for Sonny Jurgensen (1964)
Next time you complain about the Donovan McNabb trade, just remember we screwed the Eagles out of a pretty decent quarterback 50 years ago.
Despite setting NFL records for passing yards (3,723) and touchdowns (32) in 1962, Philly still dealt Sonny Jurgensen to Washington in exchange for quarterback Norm Snead & cornerback Claude Crabb in 1964.
Jurgensen played 11 seasons for the Redskins, becoming not only one of the finest quarterbacks of his era, but one of the best players in franchise history. His long list of accolades includes eight times All-Pro, five NFL passing yardage championships, five Pro Bowls and two passing touchdown championships. Jurgenson is in the Redskins Ring of Fame as well as the 70 Greatest Redskins list.
He was named to the NFL 1960s All-Decade team and inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983
The only factor keepingthe Potbelly Passer from being No. 1 on my list is that Billy Kilmer, not Jurgensen, started Super Bowl VII versus the undefeated Dolphins.
3. Trading two 1st round picks & and 2nd for defensive tackle Dave Butz (1975)
This transaction technically went down before the NFL's free agency period began. But when you get one of the best defensive players in the history of your franchise for the cost of a couple draft picks, he belongs on the list.
Due to a contract error, Dave Butz was granted free agent status just two years after the St. Louis Cardinals selected the defensive tackle from Purdue fifth overall. Head coach George Allen (father of current general manager Bruce Allen) acquired Butz from the Cards for two 1st round picks and a 2nd round pick.
Butz went on to play 14 years for the Burgundy & Gold, including three Super Bowls. He made his only Pro Bowl in 1983 after registering a career-high 11 sacks. Butz officially recorded 35.5 sacks in his career, largely in part because sacks were not an official NFL stat until 1982. Unofficially, his 59.5 career sacks would have been good enough for third in Redskins history.
Butz was named to the NFL All 80s Team and was named one of the 70 Greatest Redskins of All Time.
4. Trading Laveranues Coles for wide receiver Santana Moss (2005)
Of all the under-promising over-performing players acquired during the Daniel Snyder era, trading for wide receiver Santana Moss is one move that really has panned out, paying great dividends over ten seasons with Washington.
Looking for explosive weapons on the offensive side of the ball, the Redskins traded wide receiver Laveranues Coles to the Jets in exchange for wide receiver/return man Santana Moss. Moss became not only a fan favorite, but one of the most prolific receivers in the history of the franchise.
The Cowboy Killer resides near the top of the list in many Redskins franchise marks. He ranks third in career catches as a Redskins (581), third in single season catches (93 in 2010), fourth in career receiving yards (7,867), first in single season receiving yards (1,483 in 2005) and sixth in career touchdown receptions (47).
5. Signing linebacker London Fletcher (2007)
6. Signing running back Terry Allen (1995)
7. Signing linebacker Ken Harvey (1994)
8. Signing wide receiver Henry Ellard (1994)