While Washington’s quarterback of the future remains a mystery, there is one QB move the organization should definitely make for 2021: bring back Kyle Allen.
It’s actually quite simple. Allen won’t cost much, especially working back from a broken ankle, and he knows offensive coordinator Scott Turner's system inside and out.
Whatever Washington does to fix their long-term need at QB, Allen helps get them there.
If they keep Alex Smith, then Allen is the backup.
If they repair the relationship with Dwayne Haskins, then Ron Rivera finally gets to see the preseason competition he wanted in 2020 between the former first-rounder and Allen, only it happens in 2021.
If they draft a new hot-shot first-round rookie? Allen can provide guidance, competition and maybe even start the first half of the 2021 season as needed.
What if they sign a veteran QB, knowing that the defense in 2021 could be good enough to compete at the upper reaches of the NFC? Then they have the perfect backup in Allen.
Allen's stats aren't jaw-dropping - he's a career 63-percent passer with 23 TDs against 17 INTs with an average of about 220 passing yards-per-game. Ask around the NFL and the upside for Allen is actually quite reminiscent of Colt McCoy - great in the locker room and QB room, and good enough on the field to help for a few games.
Unfortunately for both Allen and McCoy, turnovers and injuries can be a recurring issue. In four starts this season in Washington, Allen was hurt twice, including the season-ending ankle injury in Week 9.
When he was on the field this year, however, some advanced stats make the case Allen played far better than Haskins or Smith.
Smith's "mild calf strain" might be fine, but in a way it serves as a reminder that the 36-year-old QB is still working his way back from a traumatic leg injury that likely will impact him the rest of his life. To roll with Smith in 2021 demands a capable backup, and Allen looks like that guy.
This really shouldn't be too hard. Why?
Allen is an exclusive rights free agent, which is probably part of why Washington traded for him last season instead of waiting for his probable release in Carolina.
Despite being signed as an undrafted free agent in 2018 out of the University of Houston, as of now, Allen has only accrued two NFL seasons. For a season to accrue, the player needs to log six regular-season games. In 2018, Allen logged just two games.
With just two accrued seasons in 2019 and 2020, Washington can offer a one-year contract at the league minimum and Allen is unable to negotiate with other teams. It's possible Washington will offer multiple years or more money, but not necessary.
Add all of that up, and bringing Allen back makes too much sense to avoid.