Remember when Commanders owner Daniel Snyder wanted Jeff George?

Washington won the NFC East in 1999.

The then-Redskins had finished 10-6 to win the division and defeated the Lions before traveling to Tampa and losing to the Buccaneers in the second round 14-13.

Daniel Snyder had taken over the ownership of the team following the draft. Charley Casserley had already traded for quarterback Brad Johnson after Trent Green had determined to leave via free agency following the 1998 season.

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The 1999 team was at times very exciting offensively. Stephen Davis ran hard for 1,405 yards. Michael Westbrook led the team in receiving yards with 1,191 yards. Brad Johnson passed for 4,005 yards, as well as provided veteran leadership at quarterback the team had not enjoyed in several seasons.

Consequently, when it was time for the next offseason, Mr. Snyder determined he would act as general manager, seeing Casserly had “resigned” just prior to training camp of the ’99 season.

Snyder signed aging veterans to outrageous contracts: Jeff George (4 years, $18 million),  Mark Carrier (5 years, $15.9 million), Bruce Smith (5 years, $25 million), Deion Sanders (7 years, $56 million).

Each veteran had already reached and passed his prime, yet there was Mr. Snyder giving them too much money for the year 2000. Apparently, he had no understanding of team chemistry verses bringing in several outside players and paying them more than your own homegrown players.


Even more, why did he mess with the most important position on the team, quarterback? No doubt Snyder immediately alienated Johnson, and why wouldn’t this move have angered Johnson?

Making things worse, the quarterback Snyder wanted and brought to town was Jeff George. They guy who in 2001 would say leadership was overrated. He had already played in Indianapolis, Atlanta, Oakland and Minnesota. One can only imagine how upset head coach Norv Turner was over such a move by Snyder.

Johnson (7-4 in the games he started) was still Turner’s quarterback, but George would be in the lineup, starting five games as Washington went 1-4 in those games. After a 6-2 start, Washington limped down the stretch to 7-6.

Snyder again thought the only answer was for him to make a huge splash. So he fired head coach Norv Turner. The Redskins looked lost and apathetic losing 32-13 to the Cowboys and 24-3 to the Steelers.


Johnson, a free agent, couldn’t wait to get out of town, left for Tampa and led the Buccaneers to 9-7 in 2001 and a Super Bowl title in the 2002 season.

Mr. Snyder’s quarterback Jeff George, in 2001 started 0-2; the team played so horribly, new coach Marty Schottenheimer determined he was better off without George and cut him.

What on earth had Daniel Snyder been thinking that he thought it would be best to shake up a division winner replacing Brad Johnson with Jeff George?

For Washington fans, we had no idea, it was only the beginning…

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire