As predicted, Joe Flacco did not land with the Washington Redskins. Among a slew of obvious reasons, above all, Flacco carried a $26 million salary cap number for 2019.
The Ravens traded Flacco to the Broncos on Wednesday, and in turn, that again changes the evolving quarterback landscape around the NFL. Just last season Denver signed Case Keenum to shore up their QB position, and now it looks like Keenum will be on the move, again.
That brings the situation to the Redskins.
Washington probably won't have Alex Smith this year. He suffered a significant leg injury last November and the question seems more focused on if he ever plays again, not just if he can play this fall. The 'Skins have Colt McCoy under contract for 2019, but that's it.
Bruce Allen's team will have to add passers this year, and at least one will likely come via the NFL Draft in April.
Beyond that, there isn't much of a budget for another quarterback. The team owes $20 million to Smith and nearly another $4 million to McCoy.
While some teams allot $25 million or more to the quarterback position, that is generally to pay an elite passer to run the operation. The Redskins already have $24 million on the books, and Smith is highly unlikely to play.
That means the team can't add much more money at quarterback, and that means the team is unlikely to add a player like Keenum. Whether Keenum leaves Denver by trade or release, he seems likely to command at least the $7 million he's owed this season. For context, some backup quarterbacks in the league make more than that, and Keenum is only two years removed from an outstanding season with a talented Vikings team. He's likely to make at least $10 million per season should he hit the open market.
Keenum, like Flacco and Nick Foles, will cost too much for the Redskins. And after a 6-10 season in Denver where he completed about 63 percent of his passes with 3,890 yards and 18 touchdowns against 15 interceptions, it's not clear Washington should want to pay much more.
Instead, think about Teddy Bridgewater.
A backup with the Saints last season, Bridgewater is a few seasons removed from a dangerous leg injury. Similarly to Smith, some wondered if Bridgewater would ever play again.
Well, he has, and he's been at least serviceable on the field. Never a game changer but a reasonably accurate passer, Bridgewater guided the Vikings to an 11-5 season in 2015 before his massive knee injury cost him the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
For his career, Bridgewater is a 64 percent passer. He's thrown more TDs than INTs. Most importantly, perhaps, he made less than $3 million last season. Bridgewater played on a heavy incentive deal, which is similar to McCoy's contract, and didn't hit many incentives playing behind Drew Brees.
If the Redskins can add Bridgewater to a similar deal this offseason, he could provide good competition for McCoy in training camp. And there would be two veterans to work with a potential rookie QB too. Depending where the quarterback gets drafted, this scenario could unfold for less than some teams are paying their top QB.
It's not ideal, but any time a team is paying $20 million towards a player that won't see the field, the situation won't be ideal.
Think about this way: The 2019 NFL salary cap is expected to land around $190 million. With just the salaries from Smith and McCoy, the Redskins have spent about 13 percent of their cap at the QB position. How much more can the team dedicate to the same spot?
Consider the whole picture, and suddenly, Bridgewater looks like a better option than Keenum.
MORE REDSKINS NEWS:
- One Less QB: How Flacco trade affects Redskins and their QB situation
- No Further Help: MD Governor pulls out of new Redskins stadium talks
- New QB Theory: Fans may not like this one