Trotter Never Fit In

The problem with free agency can be summed up in two words: Jeremiah Trotter. And the Redskins, and Trotter, both showed what can go wrong when neither side does enough homework.

That's why the Redskins will release Trotter, who never quite fit into their defense. But both sides deserve blame. Actually, this was owner Dan Snyder's doing: he desperately wanted Trotter two years ago so the Redskins overpaid to sign him.

Kevin Mitchell was coming off a solid season -- the defense was ranked in the top 10, remember. But he's a limited player and Trotter had been to Pro Bowls. So Snyder craved him (against the wishes of the since-fired Joe Mendes).

But here's the thing: the Redskins asked Trotter to play differently than he had in Philadelphia. It struck me last season when I talked to Trotter about this and why he had not lived up to expectations here. Certainly the injury his first season set him back and that lingered into this season.

That wasn't the only reason, however. The Redskins wanted Trotter to play more in pass coverage, something he rarely did in Philadelphia. They wanted him to read a little more. In Philly, he often took off for a gap, trying to blow up the run. And he was good at it.(He also played behind two excellent tackles in Hollis Thomas and Corey Simon).

But Trotter said he only talked briefly with the Redskins about what his role would be. That's incredible. You're going to sign a guy for millions and there's little discussion about how you'll use him? And shouldn't a player care about how he'll be used -- then again, most see the dollar signs and figure they're good enough to do anything.

Trotter tried: there were no questions about his work ethic. But shouldn't it make you wonder why teams allow Pro Bowl guys to walk away?

It takes a guy a while to learn a new role and Trotter was starting to take more than baby steps when he got hurt. But his mindset is geared for something else, as we saw when he blew the play against Carolina (not covering Stephen Davis on the fourth and one).

That's his game, however. It's too bad the Redskins didn't know that. They would have saved themselves some cash.


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