The bad luck is continuing for the Redskins in 2018. Last season, the team was decimated by injuries and so were their playoff chances. This season started off different.
Washington was 6-3 and held a two game lead in the NFC East heading into a matchup with the Texans. The injury bug bit the quarterback position in Joe Theismann fashion. Alex Smith suffered a gruesome leg injury that has his future in jeopardy. Just two weeks later, backup Colt McCoy suffered a similar leg injury.
A 6-3 record quickly turned into 6-7. With the way the NFC playoff picture is playing out, the Redskins seemed to have a cake walk to the postseason thanks to an easy schedule. Unfortunately for them, Mark Sanchez and Josh Johnson simply cannot win games in the NFL. McCoy is not a starting quarterback either, so Washington has some thinking to do about who will be their leader next season.
Before diving into three potential options, let’s have some fun here with one familiar name: Robert Griffin III. Who can forget when RGIII took the league by storm in 2012 after being selected second overall by the Redskins. He rattled off seven straight wins to finish 10-6 and captured an NFC East title for Washington. The mobile quarterback re-injured his knee in a playoff game against Seattle which cost his team. The Redskins had that game won before Griffin went down.
While it is a long shot, Redskins’ fans should acknowledge that his career was ruined by injuries and the Shanahan’s. Would it be a happy reunion? Maybe not but it would be short term for a team who is desperate and has ties with Griffin from the past.
Another potential option could be Colin Kaepernick, who the team supposedly had interest in before signing Josh Johnson.
Let’s go ahead and take a look at three other quarterback options that the Redskins could consider.
3. Teddy Bridgewater
The Louisville product was a standout in college and was drafted to be the next big thing in Minnesota. Well, he could have been. Bridgewater was a two-year starter who led the Vikings to a playoff berth and had Seattle beat until the infamous Blair Walsh missed field goal.
The following preseason, Bridgewater suffered a knee injury that could have cost him his career and even his leg. We all know what happened next, as Case Keenum led the Vikings to the playoffs, they overpaid Kirk Cousins, and Bridgewater unfortunately ended up on the Jets.
Now in New Orleans, Bridgewater is backing up Drew Brees, but should get a starting job after this season. Washington should be in the running. This is a quarterback who threw for 3,231 yards in 2015 with 14 touchdowns. He does not turn the ball over much and has a winning background, both in college and the pros. We have all heard the story of his childhood and that proves that he is a strong minded kid with a will to win and be great.
Bridgewater and the Redskins seem like a match made in heaven. He is a player that will not be looking for a ton of money and could be more than just a one-year fix in Washington. The other free agents are journeymen who will be placeholders until a quarterback emerges in the upcoming draft years. Not Bridgewater, as he could turn into a stable player at the position for years to come.
2. Dwayne Haskins
If the Redskins were to go quarterback in this year’s draft, this is the guy. There have been talks of Drew Lock, Ryan Finley, or even Will Grier, but Haskins is the safest of the bunch. Haskins threw for 4,580 yards and 47 touchdowns this year at Ohio State. He finished third in Heisman voting behind two guys who had better years but will not be available in the draft.
Kyler Murray will likely be playing baseball and Tua Tagovailoa has to play another year at Alabama before becoming draft eligible.
Haskins set passing records at Ohio State and was praised by his coaches and teammates for being a strong voice in the locker room. The Buckeyes and Haskins were criticized for a blowout loss at Purdue and not playing well in wins against Maryland and Nebraska. That was enough to keep them out of the playoffs, but Haskins did not play defense. His stock should not fall because his offense put numbers up all year.
The Redskins have needs at linebacker and wide receiver so a first round quarterback may not seem attractive. But it is possible and rather than trading up for Grier, who is playing himself into a top pick, staying in their spot for Haskins is a strong option. Plus, “Dwayne to D.C.” might be too catchy of a slogan to pass up.
We are really scraping the bottom of the barrel here when names like Ryan Fitzpatrick come to surface but it would only be for a year. When it is put into context, Fitzpatrick is a more attractive name than Tyrod Taylor, Blake Bortles, or Josh McCown. Why? Fitzpatrick brings energy and attitude. All quarterbacks just named will turn the ball over at a high rate. The veteran journeyman will win fans over with his character and passion for the game.
Fitzpatrick brought back “Fitzmagic” early in the season when he threw for 400 yards in back to back games to begin the year. Obviously, it was going to end abruptly but fans in Tampa had fun while it lasted. This is a player who has 190 touchdown passes in his career, including 31 with the Jets in 2015.
He has played for seven teams in his career and has been in a backup role for most of them. Becoming a free agent, Fitzpatrick will not be looking for a lot of money. The 36-year-old will just be looking for a chance to keep playing football.
When it comes down to it, Fitzpatrick will throw a better ball than Taylor or Bortles. He can use his legs to run effectively enough and has a lot of experience around the NFL. The Redskins will be in a tough spot if Fitzpatrick is under center next season and success cannot be expected. But of the remaining options out there, Fitzpatrick might be the best of a bad bunch.