Following season-ending injuries to starting quarterback Alex Smith and backup Colt McCoy, the Redskins are naturally seeking some help behind Mark Sanchez. We learned earlier today that the team was set to audition a handful of signal-callers, and now there are two more names to add to the list. JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington reports (via Twitter) that Washington will work out quarterbacks Landry Jones and Ryan Mallett today.
However, it sounds like the organization already has their eye on one quarterback in particular: Josh Johnson. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the Redskins are hoping to sign the veteran. There are some hurdles that both sides need to overcome, including Johnson’s status as the recent number-one overall pick of the San Diego Fleet of the Alliance of American Football.
The 32-year-old Johnson has bounced around the NFL and UFL since being selected by the Buccaneers in the fifth round of the 2008 draft. The veteran’s last NFL action came in 2013, when he ran for 20 yards on seven carries in two games with the Bengals (he didn’t attempt a pass during his time in Cincy). His last extended look came back in 2011 during his final year in Tampa, when he completed 19 of his 36 pass attempts for 246 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions (to go along with 67 rushing yards).
Working in Johnson’s favor is his relative familiarity with the Redskins’ system. Head coach Jay Gruden was the Bengals’ offensive coordinator during Johnson’s stint in Cincinnati, and Gruden was also an offensive assistant with the Buccaneers during the quarterback’s rookie campaign. Johnson is obviously a different game manager than both Smith and McCoy, but the Redskins may be enticed by the free agent’s presumed ability to quickly learn the playbook.
Mallett had spent the past three seasons in Baltimore as Joe Flacco‘s backup, but he’s yet to find a new gig since hitting free agency. Meanwhile, Jones had a brief stint with the Jaguars this season, although he didn’t end up seeing the field for Jacksonville. The team is also reportedly set to audition E.J. Manuel, T.J. Yates, and others.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.