Redskins coach Jay Gruden says there’s more than one way to target a position of need.
In 2017 for instance, Washington needed defensive line help. Top-tier defensive end Calais Campbell, who would eventually go on to sign with Jacksonville, was their initial target, Gruden told Craig Hoffman of 106.7 The Fan at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. on Tuesday.
“There’s different ways to target a position,” Gruden said. “It doesn’t mean we have to target it by paying a guy $500 million.”
Campbell, 31, racked up 47 tackles and 14.5 sacks this season on a defense that powered the Jaguars all the way to the AFC Championship. That came at a high cost. The Jaguars signed Campbell to a four-year, $60 million deal that pays an average annual value of $15 million.
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The Redskins found another route, paying defensive linemen Stacy McGee (five years, $25 million) and Terrell McClain (four years, $21 million) a combined $46 million. McGee, 28, contributed 24 tackles and no sacks in 16 games. McClain, 29, tallied 17 tackles and two sacks over 12 games.
“Like we addressed our defensive line, we tried to get Calais Campbell last year, but we ended up getting Stacy McGee and… Who was the other one?” Gruden said, reaching for McClain’s name. “Oh, yeah. McClain. So we got two guys for basically the price of one, or three for the price of one, so there’s other ways to attack it.”
Following Gruden’s two-for-the-price-of-one philosophy, McGee and McClain combined for 41 tackles and two sacks, to Campbell’s 47 tackles and 14.5 sacks. Almost equal value? But not quite.