Ron Rivera pledged more competition on the Washington Football Team roster this offseason, and that's certainly the case at the wide receiver position.
Everybody knows about Terry McLaurin. In 2020 he posted the first 1,000-yard receiving season in Burgundy and Gold since 2016. McLaurin is Washington's best wideout, without question.
After that, the team spent money to upgrade the group.
Curtis Samuel signed a three-year, $34 million contract to join Washington as a free agent in the early days of free agency. Washington also added a true slot WR by bringing in Adam Humphries on a one-year deal.
Going forward, those are the top three wideouts on the Washington roster.
What happens after that is less certain but consider Cam Sims to be the fourth wideout.
He showed flashes of playmaking ability in the second half of last season and Washington already re-signed him this offseason. Even though he was only a restricted free agent, still the team committed to him this offseason.
Washington drafted Antonio Gandy-Golden last season in the fourth round, and while his rookie year was largely a flop, the organization will give him another chance in 2021. As they should. He has elite physical traits and most league sources thought it would take at least a year for him to make the transition from Liberty University to the NFL.
That's five receivers.
Then comes Steven Sims Jr, who disappointed in 2020 after an encouraging rookie season in 2019. Sims has quickness and speed, but his hands presented problems. Additionally, Sims had served as the team's punt returner but his decision-making and ball security were suspect.
Washington signed DeAndre Carter last week, and while he's listed as a wideout, the only job available for Carter is return man.
It's no sure thing Carter makes the team, but the fact that Washington went out and signed a return specialist is not good news for Sims.
There's also the likely return of Kelvin Harmon.
In 2019, Harmon showed promise late in his rookie season, grabbing 30 passes for 365 yards in eight starts. He injured his knee during the 2020 offseason and missed all of last year.
Assuming he's healthy and ready to go for training camp, Harmon can help in Washington. He's a physical presence with good hands and a willing blocker. Plus he can go downhill on special teams when asked.
There's also Isaiah Wright, an undrafted rookie last year that helped on special teams and made 27 catches. Don't count him out for one of the final roster spots either.
Before the draft, here's a guess at the depth chart:
- Terry McLaurin
- Curtis Samuel
- Adam Humphries
- Cam Sims
- Antonio Gandy-Golden
- Kelvin Harmon
- DeAndre Carter (KR/PR)
Not much space left, and it's not even a given that Washington will keep seven receivers. Plus the team could add another wideout in free agency.
Obviously, the major turnover at the quarterback spot will highlight the changes in Washington's offense this offseason, but there might not be another position group that experiences as significant an overhaul as the receivers.
And that's good news.