Football Team

Why Washington WON'T trade for each of the QBs they're linked to

Football Team

The conversation, and blog-versation, and podcast-versation around the Washington Football Team these days centers around why they WILL be able to trade for any one of the quarterbacks they've been linked to.

This story, however, will approach things from the opposite side.

For once, instead of focusing on the reason why the Burgundy and Gold is poised to end up with (insert your logical signal caller here), let's analyze the reason why the Burgundy and Gold is poised to not end up with (insert the same logical signal caller here, too). 

Here's a QB-by-QB look:

Why won't Washington trade for, say, Deshaun Watson?

Because they can be outbid.

A February report stated that Houston is looking for "at least" two first-rounders, two second-rounders and two young defensive starters. And if the Texans are more interested in that final part of the equation, then Ron Rivera can certainly offer them that with guys such as Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Matt Ioannidis and Montez Sweat.

However, if Houston cares more about the draft capital than the help on defense, Washington can't match the likes of the Jets, who own this year's second overall pick, or the Dolphins, who are right behind New York. 

Plus, in the cases of those two AFC East franchises, they can also send back Sam Darnold and Tua Tagovailoa in any sort of Watson deal, giving the Texans someone to try and develop in place of the departed Watson. 


Unless Rivera floats Chase Young out there in whatever proposal he potentially comes up with, others have the firepower to outdo his organization.

Why won't Washington trade for, say, Sam Darnold?

Because he might be really bad.

The thought of saving a 23-year-old and former No. 3 selection from the Jets and, more importantly, the influence of Adam Gase is awfully tempting, sure. What if Darnold is a star waiting to break out who just needs a better environment than the dark, smelly closet where he was trying to grow since entering the league?

There's definitely a chance that he's one transaction away from blossoming, but that angle is for another day. For now, consider this counter to that idea: What if he's just a bust?

Perhaps Rivera and Scott Turner are too turned off by Darnold's sub-60% career completion percentage and his 45-to-39 TD-to-INT ratio. Maybe they're content to leave the task of figuring him out to another team.

Acquiring Darnold for something like a second rounder and a Day 3 choice would be a bargain for someone who went at the top of the draft just three years ago. That said, sometimes players are bargains for a reason.

Why won't Washington trade for, say, Derek Carr?

Because the reported asking price is too high.

The early word is that Vegas is asking for two first-rounders for Carr, which is steep. Carr would undoubtedly be a palpable upgrade for Washington and is worth considering, but until the Raiders come down from that level, their phones might be dormant. 

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Why won't Washington trade for, say, Carson Wentz?

Because, uh, there are many factors on this list.

Well, to begin, JP Finlay already came out and said the Football Team hasn't even called Philadelphia about the former MVP candidate who's since fallen off dramatically. 

Beyond that, which is all that you really need to know, the Eagles may also want to avoid sending Wentz to an NFC East rival... and Wentz's contract is ginormous... and he may have completely lost it in terms of reading a defense and hitting open receivers. 

That should about do it for this one.

Why won't Washington trade for, say, Russell Wilson?

Because Seattle would be freaking crazy to give him up.

The 32-year-old sparked a controversy Tuesday when he told Dan Patrick he's frustrated with how much he's been sacked while leading the Seahawks. Since those comments, folks have drawn connections between Wilson and all the QB-needy operations around the league.

One analyst even went as far as to claim that "what Wilson wants is what Washington has."

Between Wilson expressing his displeasure and also speaking out about how he'd like to be more involved in Seattle's personnel decisions, Watson attempting to force his way out of Houston and Tom Brady picking the Bucs last offseason and then recruiting a bunch of standouts to come with him, there's chatter that the NFL is about to start mirroring the NBA. And, OK, that could be the path the sport is headed.


From Seattle's perspective, though, they aren't in a position where they must get rid of Wilson. Know what they'll do instead of that? Listen to the star who's carried them to the playoffs eight times and draft every offensive lineman they can in April.

The Texans shipping Watson away would also be nuts, but at least it sort of makes sense on their end — they have a new coach, a new GM and are coming off a 4-12 campaign. Oh, and Watson seems legitimately pissed.

Pete Carroll and Co, on the other hand, have long been on the cusp of another Super Bowl. Therefore, they'll simply make Wilson more comfortable and go win 11 games with him once more in 2021.

Why won't Washington trade for, say, Gardner Minshew?

Because it's debatable if he's any better than what they've already got.

If you've listened to 106.7 The Fan's Sports Junkies in recent days, you may have heard host Eric Bickel making the argument for Washington to pursue Minshew. Jacksonville is almost assuredly going to welcome Trevor Lawrence to their city soon, so they could have the opportunity to move on from the player who's started 23 times for them since 2019.

If you scan Minshew's Pro Football Reference stats, the numbers are actually rather appealing; his career completion percentage is just under 63 percent and he's thrown for 37 six-pointers compared to just 11 interceptions.

The issue, though, is deciphering how much of that production came in garbage time when the putrid Jags were trailing. Also, he was benched on multiple occasions. Why? 

Just on a statistical basis, he's more accomplished than Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen, and on an upside basis, he has more than Alex Smith. Yet Rivera and Turner have displayed their admiration for Heinicke and Allen in plenty of instances, while Smith is as revered as it gets. 

Minshew simply might not be worth chasing in their eyes.

Why won't Washington trade for, say, Marcus Mariota?

Because there will be free agents with similar track records available in March.

All it took for Mariota to become relevant again is one outstanding relief appearance for an injured Carr late last year. Thanks to that performance, the Raiders are now apparently receiving "real" interest in their backup.

Mariota's scrambling ability and age — he's still only 27 — are desirable traits, but if Vegas wants too much compensation for him, Washington could just sift through the free-agent market to find quarterbacks that are in his tier.

Jacoby Brissett, Mitch Trubisky, Tyrod Taylor and Jameis Winston all possess varying skill sets and the same kind of experience that Mariota has. Unless Rivera truly appreciates what Mariota can do, he might opt to sign another option.