Football Team

These returning youngsters should not impact WFT free-agent plan

Football Team

In a part of the NFL calendar when everyone is focused on the non-college basketball madness that's about to ensue next week, bringing up a group of young players coming off of injured reserve feels like the type of conversation that would make everyone at the party stop talking at once. 

Hey, who invited this jerk?

Well, now that the jerk has your attention, let's proceed.

The following is a list of unproven yet often-talked about names that the Washington Football Team gets back on the field in 2021 after their respective stints on I.R.: Kelvin Harmon, Bryce Love, Saahdiq Charles and Thaddeus Moss.

Harmon and Love were 2019 draft picks while Charles was selected last year and Moss was claimed soon after the event concluded. All four have the potential to contribute on offense and all four have been the subject of many back-and-forths on Twitter, both when they were collectively healthy as well as when they were hurt. 

That said, none of the four should impact Washington's free agency approach. Not even a bit.

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Yes, Harmon finished his rookie campaign with a very promising stretch of games, and his size is something that's unique among the offense's receivers. Hearing that he suffered a torn ACL before having a chance to build on his first season was disheartening, because he would've been in line for plenty of targets. 


Even so, his presence won't hold Ron Rivera and the front office back from pursuing outside threats of all price ranges beginning next Monday. 

Love, meanwhile, drew some encouraging reviews early on during last summer's training camp, but that was the peak of his first experience under Rivera. Forget the running back potentially factoring in to how Washington acts on the market, the question with him is whether he'll be able to be healthy enough to compete for a job when football picks up again.

After lining up for a pair of snaps in 2020, Charles is still largely a mystery. Will he eventually settle in at guard, or does Washington still view him as an option at tackle? 

The fact that he was drafted by Rivera bodes well for him going forward, but he hasn't demonstrated anything that indicates he can be relied on for anything more than depth.

Lastly, Moss possesses multiple positive traits, most notably his blocking, but he was essentially red-shirted in 2020. Projecting the undrafted tight end to make even the practice squad feels risky.

Veterans like Matt Ioannidis, Landon Collins and Kyle Allen, should he be re-signed, are the type of pieces that could potentially sway the direction that the franchise goes in free agency. They were all on I.R. in 2020, too.

The four lesser-known guys covered above, on the other hand, simply don't have enough tape or stats to convince Washington's decision makers to trust them over an available pro at their same position. Therefore, they'll just have to sit and see if any more talent and competition is added to their sections of the depth chart.