The Washington Football Team is on the hunt for a quarterback and, fortunately, they're about to enter a bountiful offseason full of choices.
Unfortunately, though, they'll be among many, many hunters who are vigorously searching for their next prize.
On Monday, ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted that, in his mind, the number of teams who'll make a change at QB in the coming months should be set at 18 — and he'd take the over!
So, based on that, Washington may simultaneously find themselves in both the best and worst time in league history to be in need of a standout signal-caller.
The options at the position are overflowing: The Burgundy and Gold has at least an outside shot (if not more) of landing names like Deshaun Watson, Matt Stafford, Cam Newton, Sam Darnold, Jimmy Garoppolo, Dak Prescott, Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Teddy Bridgewater, Tyrod Taylor, Mitch Trubisky and Jacoby Brissett.
Others, like Carson Wentz, Jared Goff, Ben Roethlisberger and perhaps(?) Aaron Rodgers could be on the move, too.
Even if a lot of those passers fall into the long-shot category, a handful — such as Stafford via a trade and Newton and Winston via free agency — could very easily wind up taking snaps for Washington in the fall.
From reclamation projects to proven veterans to one outright superstar, the organization can go in a host of different directions, depending on the number of resources they're inclined to spend or part with in order to get their guy. And that doesn't even begin to count the prospects coming out of school for the draft, which introduces a whole other crop of throwers.
The issue, though, is if their guy is already a pro, he — whoever he is — will probably draw multiple suitors, meaning they better be willing to be aggressive or else they might be left wondering why they weren't more aggressive.
In Kyle Allen, Taylor Heinicke (who'll require a new contract) and a reinvigorated-sounding Alex Smith, Washington has nearby arms they could proceed with in 2021. They qualified for the playoffs with that trio doing most of the work under center and in shotgun, after all, so why not run it back and strengthen the roster elsewhere?
But if Ron Rivera was serious when he told the media after the Wild Card loss to Tampa that he wants his quarterback to be "established" for his second year as coach in DC, then Allen, Heinicke or Smith can't be at the top of the depth chart in Week 1. They simply can't be.
Yep, the battle between franchises on the market will be fierce, and to truly compete for the top possibilities, Washington's got to be prepared to dangle their first-round pick to potential partners and maybe rising contributors like Daron Payne or Montez Sweat as well. That will cause some fans to squirm and that's why this is such a difficult juncture to be unsettled at QB.
That said, after an endless period in the NFL when the demand easily outweighed the supply, the supply has somehow caught up with the demand. Washington would be wise to act before that changes and if they can’t net a Watson or a Stafford, acquiring a different player from the outside would still be sharp. If you claim you're on the hunt, don't come home empty-handed.