Washington have spent the past several years building a defence capable of tearing up the league. Chase Young was the final piece of the puzzle on a front line full of first rounders, and made the instant impact everybody expected he would. I said it before he was drafted but that guy was an NFL player playing college ball. Born for it.
Washington might need a linebacker or two but Cole Holcomb had an impressive year this season, and seems to be a bright spark for in the middle of the defence. Their secondary is full of talent. Picking up Landon Collins on a mega deal was a smart move with long term intentions. He’s versatile and I love what he brings to the game. Kendall Fullers a solid corner, who returned to them last year, and young 7th round rookie Kamren Curl made a great impact this season too.
As a result of spending literally four years building a defence, Washington ended up the second best defensive team in the league this season, behind only the Rams. We can’t question that this defence is legitimate. The problem that they have is the need for a franchise quarterback. Dwayne Haskins is a very unfortunate situation, where they wasted a first round pick. Simply put. But now, new coaching staff, new approach, it’s time for some fresh blood.
I love Alex Smith, and I love his comeback story. There is absolutely still a role for him there, and would love to see him stay and take on a mentoring role for whoever Washington end up bringing in. In the last few days, Washington signed Taylor Heinicke to a two year deal, after he put some serious heart into his playing time this season. However, the deal is by no means starter money. Will Alex Smith continue to run the offence? What are Washington’s thoughts on the quarterback plan? Are they looking to give Taylor Heinicke a legitimate shot?
Here’s a few options:
1. Draft Mac Jones or Kyle Trask in the first round
This one causes the least ripples and makes the most sense. Could you make an argument that Washington could pick somebody a little later (Ian Book, Sam Ehlinger), and use the first round pick for elite receiver talent to pair with Terry McLaurin etc? Yes of course. However one of these two QBs makes sense to me here.
You can start Alex Smith for a few games, allow Mac Jones or Trask to get the ground beneath them, and then put them in to take over. Then all of a sudden you have your elite defence, your franchise quarterback, and a strong core on the offence to go around them. If you get the pick right, you walk the division, and find yourselves making a push in the playoffs.
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I like what we saw from Antonio Gibson this season, Terry McLaurin is great. If they can spend this years draft picks taking a couple of receivers, another tight end, to add some more depth to their receiving options, i like where Washington could be at come January.
2. Trade for Deshaun Watson
If you put Deshaun Watson on Washington’s roster they are a contender. It’s that simple to me. That’s an elite defence. They’ve got a great coaching staff. Deshaun would take them to the next level. However, there’s complications with this.
For one, you’d have to give up a lot of draft picks, and I’d imagine also throw in some young talent to sweeten the deal. BUT, it’s not all bad, as I believe with Houston clearing house they’d also be willing to move Brandin Cooks and his contract. Washington has cap space right now, and would likely still have some room even after bringing in Deshaun. So they could take Watson and Cooks in exchange. This trade is a win now move, by a team in a position to grab their division by the neck.
Some Washington fans won’t like this, but hear me out. You have to make the deal worth it to Houston. You don’t have a pick in the top 5. So Houston need something of value to sweeten the deal. Here’s how I’d draw it up.
- Deshaun Watson
- Brandin Cooks
- Chase Young
- Washingtons Round 1 Pick 19
- Washingtons third and fourth round picks in 2021
- Washingtons Round 1 Pick in 2022
Now breathe. Yes it’s a lot. At least it looks like a lot. Chase Young is an incredible talent, and that is exactly why offering him to Houston makes them listen. Without a top 5 pick, you’re not even in the game. Houston won’t pick up the phone. As good as Chase Young is, and I believe he is difficult to replace. You can find somebody who is 70% as good to replace him. Grab a vet free agent to fill the void. The Chase Young offer gives Houston a key piece on a brand new lifeless defence. Then the host of picks allows them to start to negotiate their way into a quarterback. Houston fans might wonder what they’re going to do to be able to get their QB now, as technically they don’t really have one. Well then you phone Miami. Get up to three. However you need to.
The loss of Chase Young would sting. I get that. But then you still have a very good defence, and now one of the top three quarterback talents in the league. You’re welcome.
3. Take a punt on free agency.
The good thing about Washington’s team, and that defence I’ve mentioned, is that they’re still a very young team with time on their side. So they could try an experiment. I don’t believe any of the quarterbacks available are going to win you a Super Bowl. There isn’t anybody good enough to do so. Trubisky, Mariota, Jameis Winston. These guys are experiments.
Out of the bunch, i’d go with Mariota. For these reasons. He’s the one we’ve not seen play for a couple of seasons. He’s an enigma right now. We don’t know how good he could come back and be. Where as Winston and Trubisky we’ve seen come out and play up and down and left and right and be fairly average. Mariota has been working in Las Vegas, and I believe preparing himself for a comeback. I’d take a shot on him, and if it doesn’t pan out, you go and get a long term solution next season. The issue there is you’re then in this exact same position a year down the line with all your talent one year closer to needing new deals.
Washington have time on their side, yes, but in a weak division, there’s a window there for them to solidify themselves in the playoffs for the next several seasons. Either you need to get the quarterback decision absolutely right, or, you need to go and get Deshaun Watson. It’s that simple. Make a splash.