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Redskins Interested in Mayfield & Lamar?

March 9, 2018
The Washington Redskins interviewed Baker Mayfield at the combine in Indianapolis, per Robert Klemko of the MMQB.

The Redskins also reportedly have interest in Lamar Jackson, as first mentioned by Matthew Berry of ESPN and confirmed by J.P. Finlay of NBC Sports Washington.

Are the Redskins simply doing their due diligence as good organizations should always do? Yes. That is a big part of it. For now. For late April. Possibly for a few years from now.

However, as we discussed for several hours on 106.7 The FAN Thursday night, the Redskins could be doing more than just their homework.

Could they draft Mayfield at # 13 overall despite committing a boat load of resources for Alex Smith? Yes, they could. Should they? That’s a completely different question and answer.

Here’s why they should not:

Entering free agency (and this will change to some degree), the Redskins have too many holes to invest in another quarterback at # 13 overall.

They have Alex Smith under contractual control for five years (if they choose) and they believe they finally have long-term stability at the quarterback position.

They would also be creating a potential nightmarish divide in the fan base, media and potentially inside the building. That’s something the Redskins have majored in so many times over the years.

Here’s why they should draft Mayfield, if he’s available at # 13:

Alex Smith’s conversion from Kansas City to Washington and therefore Andy Reid to Jay Gruden is far from a sure thing.

Alex Smith is 33 years old and like almost every quarterback in the NFL (outside of the one the Redskins didn’t value and got rid of) has a little bit of an injury history. It’s not a major concern in any way, but in general, your body does not feel better and stay healthier, the older you get.

Colt McCoy has only one year remaining on his contract. It’s hard to fathom that he would want to re-sign with Washington after being bypassed time and time again for the starting position.

Good teams and great organizations almost always draft the best player at a reasonable need on their board. That’s what the Redskins should do, even if the popular notion is that they don’t need a quarterback.

The Redskins, of course, haven’t been considered a good organization for 25 years, so perhaps they can do something to change that perception and reality, by doing something that makes sense.

Not convinced? OK, that’s fine.

What if the Redskins take Mayfield or another quarterback (Lamar Jackson? Mason Rudolph?) with the thought of trading them to a team that does not get that particular quarterback who they valued in the draft?

In other words, if the Redskins cannot or choose not to make a trade on the clock for the # 13 pick, with a team willing to pay the price to move up in the first round, perhaps they could take Mayfield (or another QB) with the thought process being this – we select and control his rights and can trade this pick to a team on the clock later In the round, or after round one.  Perhaps, even after the draft for current players on their roster that the Redskins may want, desire and need.

The downside? If you are the Redskins – you would have to be prepared for the possibility that you could get "stuck" with the prospect for the longer term. It has to be a selection that you would desire as well. 

Once the players signs a rookie deal, he basically becomes untradeable for a year and probably two, because of the dead money cap hit.

If that happens, the player would be on your roster and in this case, assuming McCoy would not be released, he would be your # 3 quarterback and likely inactive for most games in 2018.

But….anything can happen. Every team is just an injury away from having the # 3 turn into the backup. Or a starter. Remember what happened in Houston and with Oakland a few years ago? Remember the Eagles march to the Super Bowl with Nick Foles and (gasp) former Redskins developmental quarterback, Nate Sudfeld, one bad injury/snap away from playing?

Here’s an important thing to remember. The Redskins have spent a fortune in pursuit of an answer to their quarterback situation in the Bruce Allen era. They’ve done it completely wrong. As usual.

They franchise tagged Kirk Cousins twice. They were wrong. As usual. Then they walked with nothing more than a black eye and a possible (but not guaranteed) 2019 end of the third-round compensatory pick.

It’s time for the Redskins to re-coup some of the assets that they have spent and wasted over the years. It’s time to sucker potential trade partners like the Redskins have largely been suckered in the Bruce Allen and beyond era.

That could be now, two years from now, or three years from now. You might not get an immediate return and that is and should be understandable. This is how great organizations operate. The master plan might be difficult to see right this moment, but the seeds you plant now should bear fruit in due time.

For example, the New England Patriots drafted and developed Jimmy Garoppolo (2nd round, # 62 overall, 2014) for over three years before turning him into a second-round pick from the San Francisco 49ers. It wasn’t a huge net gain (# 43 overall, 2nd round), but they had a young insurance policy for Tom Brady (which they needed) and ultimately got something for somebody they could not keep this spring.  

The Patriots also drafted Jacoby Brissett in the third-round of the 2016 draft, who they traded just before the regular season last year to the quarterback starved Indianapolis Colts in a deal for a former first-round wide receiver project. 

The quarterback market is a desperate one. Teams are willing to overpay for the hope that they can find a stud or stability.

The Redskins must know this, because they’ve been guilty of this over the years, especially in the Bruce Allen era.

Draft a quarterback in the first round and you have plenty of options. Draft a quarterback in the second round and you still have plenty of options.

You can never, ever have enough quarterbacks which is what made the Sudfeld decision beyond perplexing.

Here’s the bottom-line: The Redskins will get crushed by everyone if they draft a quarterback early in the draft. Those are the same people that crushed Mike Shanahan for having the vision to draft Kirk Cousins after trading the castle for Robert Griffin III.

It might be unconventional, but it’s time for the Redskins to do it how others do it. And for whatever it is worth, I’ll give them a standing ovation.

Chris Russell has covered the Washington Redskins for eight seasons for multiple media outlets and was a part of the Redskins Radio Network broadcast team for five years. He covers the Redskins, Washington Valor and Baltimore Brigade for Monumental Sports Network (www.DCHotRead.com).  Listen to Chris on Washington D.C.'s # 1 sports radio station, 106.7 The FAN   



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