Although the Redskins are set at quarterback in 2016, Coach Jay Gruden said recently that he hopes to bring in a young signal caller via the draft or as an undrafted free agent.
“You have your starter. You got your quality backup. And you've got to have [another] one in the [quarterback meeting] room—whether it’s your third on the active roster or a practice squad guy—that you can develop,” Gruden said at last week’s NFL owners meetings.
When OTAs begin this spring, there will be a clear cut pecking order at quarterback in Ashburn. Kirk Cousins will be the Redskins’ starter, obviously, after signing the nearly $20 million franchise tag. And Colt McCoy will be the backup, having agreed to a three-year deal earlier this month.
Behind those two, Gruden wants a youngster who can be developed with little pressure to play anytime soon.
The Redskins have kept three quarterbacks on their active roster every season since 2011.
Washington attempted to land a developmental quarterback a year ago when General Manager Scot McCloughan signed Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday as a college free agent. But after a couple of weeks at the facility, Halliday unexpected decided to walk away from the game. The team invited some other hopefuls to rookie minicamp, but they didn’t stick, either.
The Redskins will have options in this year’s draft. Although the top prospects like Jared Goff (California) and Carson Wentz (North Dakota State) will be long gone, intriguing options such as Cardale Jones (Ohio State) and Kevin Hogan (Stanford/Gonzaga High School) figure to be available in the mid to late rounds. The team owns eight picks in next month's draft, including a pair of seventh round selections.
McCloughan could also target a prospect who slips out of the draft, just as Halliday did.
However the player is acquired, Gruden just wants the Redskins to have one.
“You can never have too many good arms in the building and you want a young guy that can develop through the system,” Gruden said. “It can be a college free agent. It would be nice to draft a guy but you know, we’ll see.”