Washington Football Team: To QB or Not is the Question This Offseason
One of the biggest questions facing the Washington Football Team this offseason is regarding their QB situation. Do they want to spend resources and money on a proven veteran, hit the draft AGAIN, or roll with who is already on the roster. Given their rumored pursuit of Matthew Stafford, it would seem they want to go the first route. Nonetheless, the question still exists. Therefore, we take a look at the question to QB or not to QB for Washington.
Last season the Washington Football Team went through 2020 with four QBs. Dwayne Haskins started the season. Then he was benched in favor of Kyle Allen after four weeks. Kyle Allen was injured in a game against the New York Giants and lost for the season. That injury, in turn, brought in Alex Smith. Smith was returning after being two-years removed from a gruesome leg injury himself. He then got hurt and so Ron Rivera had to turn to Taylor Heinicke.
They often say when you have to play two QBs you have no QB. If that is the case for Washington then they must look for a QB this offseason. We already know they explored the option of acquiring Stafford from the Detroit Lions. However, since the expedition failed what is next? Here are some options.
Sam Darnold – New York Jets
It is believed that the Jets could let go of Sam Darnold for a second-round pick and also a mid to late-round pick. That is pretty cheap for a QB in the NFL. I have often said that Darnold is a good Qb who plays on a bad football team. Bringing him to Washington could turn him around and also add a young veteran to the core of the team.
If Washington were to bring in Darnold, they would have two years to figure out his worth. He is only entering the fourth year of his deal and then the team could exercise the 5th year option as well.
Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys
Yes, I understand this is a long shot. Nevertheless, there is a possibility he is available. The word is that Dallas will place the franchise tag on Prescott if they are unable to reach a long-term deal. That bears watching because it would then depend on what tag they place. The exclusive tag gives the Cowboys the only negotiating rights. If Dallas used the non-exclusive tag, Prescott can seek another deal, and then the Cowboys would have the opportunity to match.
Related Article – Indianapolis Colts: Dak Prescott Has To Be on Their Radar
Washington could jump into the negotiations on a non-exclusive bidding war. They are currently in the 6th best salary cap situation at roughly $42 million under. Depending on what Washington wants to do with their situation they could offer a solid contract to Prescott and then tie the hands of their division rival. Dallas is only $23m under currently.
Marcus Mariota – Las Vegas Raiders
What will the Raiders do with Mariota? Will he be with the team as the backup to Derrick Carr? Rumors are swirling that the Raiders could look to trade him. Does Washington make sense for Mariota? Sure they do. But at what price? If Washington has to trade for him, how high of a pick or player do they risk? This one bleeds so many questions.
Other options could include QBs that are released. It is unclear who will be available and who will not. Thus, if Washington is going to be a player in the QB market they may have to jump into something they are not ready for. The other option is to wait and possibly miss out.
This year’s draft is very deep at QB. In the first round alone there are possibly seven QBs who could be taken. Although, there are also a couple of QBs that could also be franchise caliber available on day two or three. If the Washington Football Team wants to try and use the draft in finding their next QB there are options available and they may not have to overspend. As long as Daniel Snyder stays out of the draft room.
To Not QB
The Washington Football Team does have two QBs currently on their roster, Alex Smith and Taylor Heinicke. They also have Kyle Allen who is an Exclusive Rights Free Agent. In saying that, they really do not have to search for a QB on the open market. Although, let’s be real, is this QB room ready to take Washington to the next level?
Smith is the wily veteran of the group. He returned in 2020 after suffering, what many thought would be a career-ending leg injury. However, through the grace of God, self-determination, and modern medicine Smith did the unthinkable. While Smith showed he can still play at a high-level, can he sustain that for 17 games or more? He missed multiple games at the end of the season in 2020. What is not to say that happens again in ‘21.
Smith’s cap number/contract is also something to consider. Smith counts roughly $24m against Washington’s cap. That is a large number for a backup. Washington will likely release Smith at some point this offseason. Doing so will create $10 million in dead cap money. Also, if Washington designates Smith as a post-June 1 release, they will save $19 million towards the ‘21 cap.
Heinicke recently signed a 2 $8.5 million incentive-laden contract. Many across the fan base believe that Heinicke should be the starting QB. Slow down on that notion. Yes, Heinicke played well in the playoff game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But nevertheless, he is not a starting NFL QB. He may be warm enough to be a decent number two.
Allen is not exactly on the roster. He is an Exclusive Right Free Agent. Meaning that Washington is the only team that can negotiate with him. An ERFA is a player who has accrued two or fewer seasons and their contract has expired. All Washington has to do to retain Allen is making him a qualifying offer. That offer can be for the league minimum.
Allen is believed to have the hold on the starting job if he returns and Washington chooses not to bring in another QB. He is returning from a horribly broken ankle. He has stated that he will be ready in time for training camp. Given the shortened offseason work, it could be tough on him. He does, however, have a strong knowledge of Scott Turner’s offense which helps him in the long run.
Washington has several options on the table. It remains to be seen how Marty Hurney, Martin Mayhew, and Ron Rivera want to proceed. My prediction is that they QB. Look for them to bring in a knowledgeable, young QB whom they can mold into a star in their offense. I personally like the move for Sam Darnold if he becomes available.
What do you Think the Washington Football Team should do with their QB situation? Leave a comment below.
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