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Washington QB Search: Is Sam Darnold next after missing on Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff?

Who will be Washington’s Week 1 starter?

New York Jets v Washington Redskins Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Washington’s seemingly endless search for a starting QB has been in full effect since their season ended with a home playoff loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Taylor Heinicke led the team in a heroic effort that won him a lot of fans. The reason he was starting was due to a series of unfortunate events. Dwayne Haskins Jr. was benched, then returned to the field only to be released before the season ended due to multiple reasons on and off the field. Kyle Allen took over for him, but his season ended after a nasty ankle injury. The NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year Alex Smith took over, leading the team to a playoff berth, but he also dealt with injury issues with his surgically-repaired leg.

Now Washington enters the offseason with Smith still undecided about his playing future(though he sounds like he still wants to play). Allen is an ERFA and Heinicke is a RFA so both of them will likely be back on cheap deals, and the team also has Steven Montez who was minutes away from having his first NFL snap during a playoff game until Heinicke willed himself back onto the field after a shoulder injury.

Washington has been involved in a lot of trade rumors since the season ended, and have been linked to a few QBs. They were negotiating with the Detroit Lions until the end to acquire Matthew Stafford, and reportedly offered their 1st round pick(19th overall) and a 3rd to get him. That was a solid offer, but the Lions traded Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams for two 1sts, a 3rd, and QB Jared Goff. Now it is being reported that Washington also called the Rams about the possibility of trading for Goff and his big contract. That deal probably wouldn’t have went over well with the fanbase, but now Washington’s new power trio(Ron Rivera, Martin Mayhew, and Marty Hurney) move onto the next targets.

Who will be Washington’s QB? When Alex Smith decided he needed a few weeks to figure out his future, the Washington Football Team knew it could not wait. While the team is open to a return for Smith, it also made calls on Stafford and Goff before they were traded. Expect them to weigh all QB options, including if Sam Darnold is made available. While plenty of teams have been calling the Jets on Darnold, there’s been no indication they would trade him. Yet.

This report from NFL.com says Washington will be one of the teams likely to call the New York Jets if they make Sam Darnold available. They messed up their shot at getting the #1 overall pick late last season, and now hold the 2nd pick in this year’s draft. They are behind the Jacksonville Jaguars who are expected to draft Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence. That will give the Jets their choice of the remaining QBs if they decide to move on from Darnold. Justin Fields, Zach Wilson, and Trey Lance are some of the top options available.

Sam Darnold is in the final year of his rookie contract, and would cost $4.6 million for the team that trades for him. He still has the 5th year option available if the team trading for him doesn’t want to lock him up long-term based on his first 3 years in the NFL. Darnold is a young QB who has dealt with injuries and played for a bad team his entire career.

Another possible QB mentioned in the article was Las Vegas Raiders Derek Carr. They have been getting calls about him(Washington isn’t mentioned as one of them teams), and could be open to trading him. Carr is coming off one of his better seasons, and could fit what Washington needs. He has two years left on his deal, and will cost $19.6 and $19.8 million with no guaranteed money for either year.

Will the Raiders trade Derek Carr? For the last few years, the answer has been a firm no. That may not be the case now. Teams have been calling the Raiders to gauge interest in trading for Carr, and at least right now, the team appears open to considering it in some form or fashion — as long as it can replace him with someone on the same level. In reality, teams believe Las Vegas is open to dealing one of two QBs — Carr or Marcus Mariota. Guaranteeing Nathan Peterman $1 million in 2021 was a sign they could part with another QB. Will someone make them an offer good enough?

Poll

Who do you want to be Washington’s starting QB in 2021?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    Alex Smith
    (145 votes)
  • 24%
    Taylor Heinicke
    (466 votes)
  • 2%
    Kyle Allen
    (56 votes)
  • 21%
    Sam Darnold
    (399 votes)
  • 18%
    Derek Carr
    (350 votes)
  • 9%
    Marcus Mariota
    (180 votes)
  • 14%
    Other
    (274 votes)
1870 votes total Vote Now