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The Washington Football Team must avoid half measures with the quarterback




There has been much debate about who the Washington Football Team should act as a quarterback for, but here’s a better question. Should they trade for one of them?

Are there any Breaking Bad viewers in the audience? Do you remember the advice Mike Ehrmantraut gave to Walter White in Season 3? “No half measures?” That advice would come back to bite Mike and the rest of the Los Pollos crime organization (Spoilers), but it’s much safer to apply it when discussing the Washington Football Team.

The meaning of the saying is quite transparent. Basically, if you’re going to do something, go all in, as indecisiveness and inefficient resource allocation can be detrimental down the road.

It has taken weeks to look at the Washington Football Team’s possible quarterback options to get to this point, but I have come to the conclusion that the Washington Football Team should avoid all half-measures when trying to settle down, or run out of least stabilize their quarterback situation.

This conclusion requires further questions: What is a quarterback half measure? To answer that, let’s start with the full measures.

In order for Washington to take a full measure, they would have to acquire a quarterback who is unequivocally capable of winning those games in 2021, or unequivocally possesses that potential. This umbrella includes a trade for Deshaun Watson, Dak Prescott or Russell Wilson, or a trade for one of the top four quarterbacks in the NFL Draft: Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Zach Wilson and Trey Lance.

In my opinion, if the Washington Football Team can’t do any of these things, they should instead use their resources as sparingly as possible when it comes to the quarterback position. Because realistically, it is not entirely certain that other options will be worth their asking price.

There are quite a few potential startups in the off-season free agent and trading markets, but the term “ potential starter ” masks the futility of spending resources to make a near-lateral move. For me, it’s all about comparative value. That is where the desire lies to avoid half measures.

Half-height quarterbacks on the market include Marcus Mariota, Sam Darnold, Teddy Bridgewater, Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo, and others. Listed prices for trade candidates at QB vary slightly, but most will take at least a day 2 pick. Some, like Mariota, may be closer to an early Day 3 pick, but at that point there are also financial considerations to consider as Mariota will have a lot of incentive money tied to him in 2021 when he starts.

Let’s suppose the Washington Football Team trades a second round for Darnold, or a first round for Carr, or a third round for Bridgewater. Is the added value of Darnold, or Carr, or Bridgewater, great enough to justify the value of simply holding all the tow bars and rollers Taylor Heinicke or Kyle AllenUnless a best-case scenario presents itself, I tend to think the answer is “no”.

More likely than not, half a measure simply dilutes Washington’s ability to build with design capital and cap space, and half a measure also puts them in short-lived QB purgatory – a position from which they may not choose high enough in 2022 to get their legit quarterback of the future. In an ideal world, Mariota or Darnold could develop in DC. But one cannot ignore what they have become.

Both Mariota and Darnold are massive mining projects, and it is more likely that any deal struck for them will ultimately disappoint and Washington fall short in terms of capital. Bridgewater is a mid-range starter, but Washington is in the same predicament when they act for him. They’re sending valuable capital and cap space for a quarterback who wins them six or seven games. Derek Carr is a little better, but is he even good enough to recoup that lost value?

Simply put, if the Washington Football Team can’t trade for Watson, Prescott, or Wilson, or trade for a franchise quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft, they need to be careful and frugal with their resources. There is nothing wrong with being patient and on time with your quarterback situation. If nothing is there, don’t try to force it. Save your resources, draw one low-priced quarterback for free agents like Ryan Fitzpatrick or Brandon Allen or CJ Beathard, and try Heinicke or Allen for a year.

If Heinicke or Allen somehow becomes the long-term solution? Excellent. If not, you are still in a better situation than if you were to use assets to execute a half measure. You still have design capital and room for contracts, you probably choose a relatively large amount, and you can use your withheld resources to better pursue a full measure by 2022. If I’m going to take a gamble, I want it to be a good one.

There’s been a lot of debate about half-size off-season quarterbacks, but the fact is, they may not deserve the airtime. Anything less than a full size at quarterback is a waste of time and resources, and the Washington Football Team must use discretion when looking for ways to meet their greatest need. For Washington in 2021, it is full size or bust.

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