We like to keep an eye on our NFC East rivals here at Inside The Star, and things are certainly bad for the Redskins right now at quarterback. It was reported yesterday that Quarterback Alex Smith’s gruesome leg injury last year will probably cost him 2019 as well. What’s next for Washington at their most important position?
According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Redskins are going to handle their offseason business as if Smith won’t play next year.
One storyline to follow for 2019: The #Redskins are planning as if they won’t have QB Alex Smith next season, sources say. They believe he’ll miss the entire season with his broken leg issues and are acting accordingly. If he’s ready, they will be pleasantly surprised.
So barring that unexpected recovery from Alex, who will be starting for Washington next year? And what resources do they have to replace him?
The Redskins could go with the only other QB currently under contract, longtime backup Colt McCoy. Unlike Smith, McCoy is expected to be back from his leg injury much faster. He was one of the higher-paid backups in the league already with a $3.5 million cap hit in 2019, so Washington may decide to just ride with him.
They could also re-sign veteran Josh Johnson, who was brought in after McCoy’s injury last year. Despite coming in off the street, Johnson performed decently and helped the Redskins get their only victory after losing Alex Smith. At the least, Johnson and McCoy could compete for the starting job.
But considering that Washington went 1-6 after Smith’s injury, and were more lucky than good in their six wins prior to that, they may decide to just use the 2019 season to rebuild.
The Redskins hold the 15th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. However, many are calling this a weak quarterback class. If it’s going to be a down year anyway, Washington is probably smarter to wait for a better QB crop and perhaps a higher draft pick in 2020.
If Washington looks to tank this year then just riding with McCoy makes sense. But if they want to try to compete, that leaves an unappealing free agency market to turn to.
Keep in mind, though, that Smith will still count about $20 million against the Redskins’ salary cap even if he’s placed on injured reserve. So they won’t be able to throw big money at someone like Nick Foles if he becomes available.
One name that stands out is Tyrod Taylor, whose contract has expired with the Cleveland Browns. He was mired in the early atrocities of Hue Jackson but could still be serviceable in the right offense. Another is Teddy Bridgewater, who spent the last year backing up Drew Brees in New Orleans.
If not them, Washington will be hoping for some potential cap casualties like Joe Flacco or Blake Bortles. Otherwise, the next names on the list are guys like Matt Cassel and Brandon Weeden.
Or… Robert Griffin III. How fun would that be?
What Washington decides to do, or not do, will ultimately depend on their belief in contending this season. A smart team might roll the dice on a mid-round rookie QB, let him compete with a competent guy like McCoy, and see if something special happens.
Worst case scenario; you flop this year and improve your 2020 draft pick. Not like you were probably going anywhere anyway.
But thankfully for the Cowboys and the rest of the NFC East, the Redskins rarely does things the smart way. We’ll find out their next master plan in the next few months.