Examining the Redskins Offseason Curse – is it Real?

The Washington Redskins have had some of the worst luck in recent memory. Just about every offseason, at least one major detrimental event happens to the team. Most recently, Reuben Foster tore his ACL in OTA’s. Here, let’s revisit the past the several seasons to examine Washington’s continued pattern of bad luck and misfortune.


In 2016, the Redskins and quarterback Kirk Cousins started to hold talks about a long-term extension. That failed and forced Washington to put the franchise tag on him. Even though that is not that bad, worse things are to come. In free agency, Washington did not lose anyone too significant and Alfred Morris and Robert Griffin III were both under-performing after impressive rookie seasons.

In the 2016 offseason, Washington gained two players who still make an impact on the current team, Josh Norman and Vernon Davis. Free agency was not too bad, but it was the draft that started their bad luck. The Redskins selected seven players in the 2016 draft and only two are still with the team. Those players are Josh Doctson and Matt Ioannidis. Doctson is seen as one of the biggest busts in recent memory and Ionaaidis is a solid starter and recently signed a three-year, $21.75 million contract extension with the team.

Injury wise, Washington had four players placed on injured reserve before the season started, a pattern that fans have become all-too familiar with.


The 2017 offseason is where things start to get worse. Washington had an average free agency period – they signed some decent players,such as Zach Brown and D.J. Swearinger, but lost a key receiving threat in DeSean Jackson. The 2017 NFL Draft turned out to be a solid one for the Redskins, as a majority of their picks are still with the team.

The biggest event that happened during the 2017 offseason was the Redskins general manager fiasco . On March 9th, the Redskins fired general manager Scot McCloughan. Washington did not hire another general manager and did not announce one until June 13th of that year. On that day, Washington announced that Doug Williams will be Senior Vice President of Player Personnel and said that they will not be naming a general manager, but that Doug Williams will essentially act as the de-facto guy. Hiring a “general manager” after the draft and free agency is unheard of due to the fact that your new general manager had no say in any of the free agents signings or draft picks. Even though Williams was already employed by Washington as a senior executive, Williams more than likely had little to no say in what went on.

When it came to injuries, Washington had five players not play because of injuries that happened in the offseason. Trent Murphy and 2016 second-round pick Su’a Cravens were notable players who were placed on injured reserve.


Washington had a pretty good 2018 offseason but as always, something had to go wrong. During the new league year, Washington traded for Alex Smith but had to give up cornerback Kendall Fuller. With that trade, Washington gave up on trying to re-sign Kirk Cousins, which fans had mixed reactions too. Washington also signed Paul Richardson to boost their receiver corps. In hindsight, Richardson was not a great signing, but hopefully he pans out.

In the draft, Washington got Darrius Guice, Daron Payne, and Trey Quinn. Guice and Payne were the Redskins top-two selections and both have a very bright futures. Quinn, on the other hand, was the 2018 NFL Draft’s Mr.Irrelevent and has been getting a lot of hype during OTA’s so far this year. However, he only played in two games his rookie season due to injuries.

Even though Washington had a decent offseason, the injury bug came again. Second-round pick, Derrius Guice tore his ACL in the preseason, ending his rookie campaign before it began. Guice was expected to be the lead back but due to his injury, Washington signed Adrian Peterson. In addition to Guice, five other players did not play in 2018 due to injury.


The Redskins have had an excellent start to the 2019 offseason. They got the quarterback of the future in Dwayne Haskins and another potential star in Montez Sweat, their two first-round picks, and did not overpay for any big-name free agents. Even after having a good draft and free agency period, Washington can not get away from their curse. At the beginning of OTA’s, projected starting linebacker Reuben Foster suffered a torn ACL.

Even though that is only one player, the Redskins have yet to start training camp and they have already lost a key player on their team. Foster was set to play a big role and replace the departed Zach Brown in the middle of the field. It will be interesting to see what happens with Washington as this year’s offseason progresses into training camp and preseason in the coming months.



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