The Washington Football Team just got a lot older, a lot hairier and a little more magical, thanks to some late Monday night news.
Per Adam Schefter, the Burgundy and Gold agreed to terms on a one-year deal with Ryan Fitzpatrick, the 38-year-old veteran (perhaps veteran is more fitting). Schefter also reported that Fitzpatrick "is expected" to head into training camp as the starter.
Short of acquiring a long-term answer at QB in a trade — an idea that was really fun to discuss and fill countless podcast episodes with, but also one that always felt far-fetched — adding Fitzpatrick to the roster is just about the most awesome way to fill out the depth chart for 2021.
And here are three reasons why that's the case.
1) He's going to sling the ball all over the place
In Alex Smith, Washington had one of the most conservative, risk-averse signal-callers the NFL has ever seen. And when Smith wasn't playing, which unfortunately was the Sunday outcome for much of his tenure with the organization, guys like Dwayne Haskins, Kyle Allen, Colt McCoy and Case Keenum were never able to do much downfield.
Get ready for that to change as long as Fitzpatrick is in the huddle. This is a dude who can connect on clutch fourth-quarter completions even when his head is looking toward the tunnel and his target is sprinting down the sideline:
The journeyman's aggressiveness will often get him into trouble — he's had five seasons of more than 20 interceptions — but it'll also lead to dazzling highlights and insane comebacks, too. Terry McLaurin, Logan Thomas, Antonio Gibson, JD McKissic and any other new pass catchers next year better be ready for the ball to come their way at ALL times.
2) He's not a major commitment in any way
As Schefter explained on Monday, Fitzpatrick's contract with Washington has a chance of costing as much as $12 million, depending on if he's able to exceed certain milestones or snap counts (those specifics will surely be revealed later).
That is not a prohibitive number at all; in fact, it's $2 million short of the money that the team saved by moving on from Alex Smith.
Also, Fitzpatrick doesn't preclude Ron Rivera from finding a younger and potentially more permanent QB, either in the upcoming draft or next offseason. He's already shown he can handle the mentor role at some of his previous stops, and by this time next year, his deal will be up. The man is the perfect bridge option.
3) He can help Washington win
Don't overlook this one!
Before the Dolphins chose to cram Tua Tagovailoa into their lineup, the right-hander had them on track for a postseason berth. Overall, he posted a completion percentage that almost finished in the 70s and threw for 13 touchdowns against eight INTs in 2020.
If he replicates that sort of production for Rivera and Co., another NFC East title is absolutely possible.
No, nothing with him is a given. If he was legitimately consistent, he wouldn't be on the verge of joining his ninth NFL outfit. But still, if he's on he'll make a difference on offense and should pair nicely with a strong defense.
The distant future is up in the air still, but the upcoming season just got a lot more interesting, and also possibly more fruitful.