The Washington Redskins have been uncharacteristically quiet in the 2010 free agency market, a time of year where they are known to make big splashes.  This weekend we will take a look at the moves they’ve made thus far which look to be a change in approach – the very same changes which make me raise an eyebrow at the signing they made today.

Larry Johnson is a gifted athlete.  Anyone following his career while he was a member of the Kansas City Chiefs could attest to that.  He runs with power and he runs with purpose and he has a knack for finding the end zone.

But there’s a reason the Chiefs were willing to part ways with him, allowing him to find his own way onto the Cincinnati Bengals (a team notorious for being willing to put up with players who have “character issues”) for the last half of last season.

The first two seasons where the Chiefs were giving L.J. a full workload after parting ways with Priest Holmes, 2005-2006, Johnson got an average of 35 more carries per season than Adrian Peterson (a notably high workload runningback) in his two top carry seasons.  That doesn’t include the 10 additional receptions Johnson got over those seasons than Peterson.

Larry Johnson has never played a full season of games since then.

With Clinton Portis tentatively set to be the starting runningback for the Redskins next season and two young RB (Anthony Alridge and P.J. Hill) hoping to get carries, it’s highly unlikely Larry Johnson would be asked to carry the ball over 250 times – which would be 125 fewer than the average over his two most productive seasons.

All in all, L.J. is a big upgrade over Ladell Betts, but will Johnson’s attitude be a problem?  Let’s hope not.

When he’s healthy and being a team player, he can be very helpful to an NFL squad.

I hope Mike Shanahan knows what he’s getting himself into, because although he has seen L.J. rush for more than 550 yards against his Denver Broncos over the span of 4 games in 2005-06, he’s yet to see what he’s all about behind the scenes.  Let’s hope Shanahan and Bruce Allen spoke with Herm Edwards (former Chiefs head coach) and Marvin Lewis (Bengals head coach) before turning to Daniel Snyder to open his wallet.