Redskins Rumors

Washington Interested In Trey Lance?

On Day 1 of the legal tampering period, Washington moved to add its bridge quarterback. Ryan Fitzpatrick joins Kyle Allen and Taylor Heinicke on Washington’s roster, and while he will have to win a competition for the QB1 job, it is expected Fitz will be the team’s starter. But Alex Smith‘s injury and Dwayne Haskins‘ quick exit leaves Washington without a long-term option. They may use this draft to acquire one.

Washington “loves” Trey Lance as a prospect and may be willing to part with considerable assets to acquire him, The Athletic’s Michael Lombardi said during his latest GM Shuffle podcast. Lance is expected to be drafted somewhere in the top 10. Washington holds the No. 19 overall pick.

[RELATED: Trey Lance To Stage Second Pro Day]

How much capital Washington would be willing to part with for Lance may depend on how the draft unfolds, but moving up from No. 19 into Lance range may mean climbing 15 spots to No. 4 overall. Although the Chiefs and Texans made similar trades for Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson in 2017 — Kansas City climbing from No. 27 to No. 10 and Houston moving from No. 25 to No. 12 — and gave up just one future first-rounder to make those jumps (the Chiefs also threw in a third), the 49ers trading up from 12 to 3 this year took their 2021, ’22 and ’23 first-rounders and a 2021 third. The Falcons are open to dealing their No. 4 choice, but Washington would likely have to sacrifice future first-rounders and change to acquire that pick.

It does not sound like the Bengals are willing to trade down from No. 5 to 19. Were Lance to drop to No. 6, the Dolphins may be interested in accumulating another haul of picks. The rebuilding Lions (No. 7) would surely listen as well, should the North Dakota State prospect fall that far. The Panthers have indicated they are still interested in QBs at No. 8, even though Sam Darnold is Charlotte-bound, and the Broncos have not made a move to bolster their position. Denver has started an NFL-high 10 quarterbacks since 2016, and GM George Paton indicated the team will bolster its QB group this offseason.

Of course, the 49ers could render all of this moot if their trade-up was for Lance. Mac Jones has emerged as the early clubhouse leader to go third overall, but Lance is not out of the picture. Both Lance and Justin Fields will hold second pro days, seemingly with the partial purpose of Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch — who were not present at either’s initial workout — traveling to watch.

While a move into the top 10 would be costly, Washington does reside in an unusual situation. The team tried to land a long-term option by trading for Smith and extending him in 2018. After Smith’s injury, the team selected Haskins a year later. Haskins is now in Pittsburgh, having seen his stock crater after two rough Washington seasons. Fitzpatrick will turn 39 in December, and Allen and Heinicke are ex-UDFAs either coming off a major injury (Allen) or were out of football entering last season (Heinicke). Washington attempted to trade its first-rounder and change for Matthew Stafford and inquired on Darnold.

Lance is one of the most unusual prospects in modern draft history, having played one season at a Division I-FCS school. The 20-year-old QB played 17 college games, flashing immense promise as a dual-threat talent (28 TD passes, zero INTs, 1,100 rushing yards in 2019), but his profile points to him benefiting from a season developing in a backup role. With Fitzpatrick signed to a one-year deal, Washington could offer such an arrangement.

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Washington Looking To Add Left Tackle

Trent Williams last suited up for Washington in 2018. The team has not replaced the perennial Pro Bowler with a long-term option, but that will be the goal going into the draft.

Washington will look to add a new starting left tackle, with John Keim of ESPN.com noting the team believes it can do so in the first three rounds of this draft. While Washington should be on the radar for a quarterback trade-up, the team sticking at No. 19 and drafting a tackle or trading down and selecting one soon after appears to be firmly in play.

Cornelius Lucas and Geron Christian split time there last season, and Pro Football Focus graded Lucas as a top-25 tackle over the course of the season. Washington has Lucas signed through 2021, with the former UDFA agreeing to a two-year, $3.8MM deal in 2020. Washington only used the 29-year-old blocker as an eight-game starter last season; Christian started six games. PFF graded the latter 60th among tackles. The team drafted Saahdiq Charles in last year’s fourth round, though Keim notes it views the LSU product as a tackle or guard. Charles played one game last season.

While Williams battled myriad injuries as his Washington career waned, the team did not have to worry about adding at this spot. Ron Rivera has since said the O-line is a priority. If Washington either trades up for a passer or does not end up with a tackle fairly early, the team could look to longtime Steelers starter Alejandro Villanueva. However, Washington will not consider the veteran until after the draft, Keim adds.

Beyond Penei Sewell and Rashawn Slater, Scouts Inc. grades Oklahoma State’s Taven Jenkins and Virginia Tech’s Christian Darrisaw as first-round prospects. The likes of Jalen Mayfield (Michigan), Liam Eichenberg (Notre Dame) and Texas’ Samuel Cosmi profile as possible second-round selections. Stanford’s Walker Little once loomed as a potential first-round prospect, but his stock has dropped due to a season-ending injury in Week 1 of the 2019 campaign and the fact that he opted out of the 2020 season.

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Washington Waives Thaddeus Moss, 4 Others

Washington’s Thaddeus Moss UDFA signing generated interest due to the team’s need at the tight end position at the time and the name-brand appeal the LSU alum carried. But Moss did not play last season, spending it on IR. He is now on the waiver wire.

Washington waived the second-generation pro Friday. In addition to the Moss cut, Washington cut defensive lineman Caleb Brantley. The former late-round pick opted out of the 2020 season.

The son of Hall of Famer Randy Moss, Thaddeus was part of LSU’s historically explosive offense in 2019. He joined Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase, Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Terrace Marshall Jr. as a key Tigers pass catcher that season, hauling in 47 passes for 570 yards and four touchdowns. Two of those came in the national championship game.

After doctors discovered a fracture in Moss’ foot at the Combine, he missed extensive training camp time. Washington waived him with an injury designation ahead of last season. He spent the season on Washington’s IR list. Although Washington was light at the tight end position going into last season, ex-quarterback Logan Thomas broke through and filled that need.

The Browns drafted Brantley in the 2017 sixth round, but the former Florida Gator has not seen much action as a pro. After recording two sacks in 12 games as a rookie, Brantley has played in just eight over the past three years. Washington also waived wide receiver Emanuel Hall and running backs Javon Leake and Michael Warren on Friday.

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Dan Snyder Gains Full Ownership Of WFT

Dan Snyder now owns the Washington Football Team outright. Adam Schefter of ESPN.com recently reported that Snyder has officially acquired the 40% interest in the team previously held by minority owners Frederick Smith, Robert Rothman, and Dwight Schar (Twitter link).

The three minority owners had filed suit seeking a ruling that Snyder must purchase all of their shares or none of them, as their value is higher collectively than individually (Snyder was reportedly willing to purchase the 25% share owned by Smith and Rothman but not the 15% share owned by Schar). The litigation had taken an ugly turn, with Snyder filing his own suit alleging that Schar had engaged in a smear campaign by leaking information concerning a $1.6MM settlement that WFT reached in 2009 with a former female employee who accused Snyder of sexual misconduct. To be clear, two separate investigations in 2009 failed to substantiate the former employee’s claims, and Snyder did not admit to any wrongdoing in the settlement.

Whether Schar had anything to do with the reports on that settlement or not, it came just months after a number of former female employees came forward with allegations of a longstanding culture of sexual abuse. The NFL’s investigation into those allegations is ongoing, but it is not presently expected to amount to significant (if any) sanctions.

Snyder certainly doesn’t seem concerned that he will face any sanctions that will affect his ownership. As Peter King of NBC Sports wrote in his last Football Morning in America column, Snyder borrowed heavily to buy out the minority owners, a buyout that checked in at $950MM (Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post tweeted that the final price tag was $875MM, but either way, it was a sizable chunk of change).

Obviously, this development further entrenches Snyder at the top of WFT, and as King writes, the multi-billionaire has no intention of selling the club. Though he may take on other partners in the future to offset his newly-incurred debt, he actually intends to one day pass the club down to the next generation of Snyders.

So buckle up, WFT fans. In the 22 years of the Syder regime, Washington has won just four division titles and has just two playoff wins (both in the wildcard round). It has not won a postseason game in 15 years, though the club has put together a solid offseason and should compete for the NFC East crown again in 2021.

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49ers, Washington Expressed Interest In Sam Darnold

The 49ers and Washington moved on to other quarterback plans this offseason, but going into free agency, the NFC teams had Sam Darnold on their respective radars.

Said to have received inquiries on Darnold in early February, the Jets indeed spoke to the 49ers about their former top-three pick, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The 49ers are not believed to have discussed this year’s No. 2 overall pick seriously with the Jets, but weeks before they made that seismic trade with the Dolphins, Rapoport notes they did ask what it would take to acquire Darnold.

Washington held conversations on the three-year starter as well, but Rapoport notes the Jets had not reached a consensus on their quarterback path yet. Washington then moved on, signing Ryan Fitzpatrick, who joins the re-signed Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen.

San Francisco obviously took a much bigger swing, dealing two future first-rounders for the Dolphins’ No. 3 overall pick this year. This opened the door for the Panthers, who joined both Washington and the 49ers in the Matthew Stafford pursuit. Washington offered its first-round pick and change for Stafford. The Panthers offered their No. 8 overall pick and Teddy Bridgewater to the Lions but had to change course, pivoting to Darnold months later.

Darnold will head to Carolina for his fourth NFL season, while the 49ers have been connected most closely to Mac Jones at No. 3 overall. Jets GM Joe Douglas said the team likely would still be moving forward with Darnold were it not in possession of the No. 2 overall pick, which is expected to be Zach Wilson. Although other quarterback dominoes have moved this offseason, with Stafford and Carson Wentz trades shaking up situations elsewhere, there were a lot of moving parts in the Darnold saga.

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William Jackson III: “Blessing” To Leave Bengals

William Jackson III is glad to be done with the Bengals. Now with the Washington Football Team, the standout cornerback says it was a “blessing” to leave Cincinnati.

[RELATED: Washington Adds William Jackson III]

Cincinnati, they got some crude fans, man. You know misery loves company. When nothing (is) going good, everybody’s not doing any good,” Jackson said (via 106.7 The Fan). “(WFT) has been nothing but supportive since Day 1. The Bengals, on the other hand, them dudes – they wonder why they’re not winning. I’m happy I’m out of that thing man. It’s a blessing to get away and I wish them the best, but Washington – let’s go from here.

Jackson spent four up-and-down seasons with the Bengals, but saved his best for last. After a so-so 2019, he notched 45 stops, eleven passes defensed, and one interception in his platform year. Then, he parlayed that into a three-year, $40MM deal to join up with Washington and aid them in their bid to return to the playoffs.

The cornerback drew lots of interest on the open market, but his price tag was too rich for the Bengals’ blood. Instead, they pivoted to former Cowboys cornerback Chidobe Awuzie (at about half the price of Jackson’s deal) and ex-Steeler Mike Hilton (for just over 50% of WJIII’s contract).

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Ron Rivera: No Rush To Solidify WFT’s QB

Ryan Fitzpatrick will enter training camp as Washington’s top quarterback, but he’ll have to earn his starting role through competition. Meanwhile, head coach Ron Rivera says he’s in no real rush to find the team’s QB of the future.

If you put all the other pieces into place and now you start going forward, when that guy does show up, when that guy is in the right position, you can grab him,” said Rivera (via Rhiannon Walker of The Athletic). “I went through it the other way my first stint as a head coach in Carolina. We drafted the guy of the future for us in the first round.…At that point, we had not put all the other pieces around Cam Newton.

So, I’ve always thought if you can do it the other way where you put all the other pieces around and then go out and get your quarterback, that might be a pretty good situation, too. I’ve seen a lot of teams that have had things in place then drafted their quarterback next year. This could be one of those situations where we put all the other pieces in place and then a year or two from now, the right guy is there and we can make that move.”

For now, WFT is set to move forward with Fitz, Taylor Heinicke, Kyle Allen, and Steven Montez on the depth chart. At N0. 19 overall, they won’t be in the mix for top QBs Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, or Trey Lance. From the sound of it, they won’t be vaulting up to the top five unless they’re especially keen on one of those passers.

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Washington Signs WR/KR DeAndre Carter

Washington is making an interesting special teams addition. The team has signed receiver/returner DeAndre Carter, they announced on Thursday.

Carter entered the league as an UDFA in 2015 originally with the Ravens, but he didn’t see a regular season NFL field until 2018. After grinding for a few years on the practice squads of teams like the Raiders, Patriots, and 49ers, he finally broke through with the Eagles. He played in seven games for Philly before being waived and claimed by Houston, where he made more of an impact.

In seven games for the Texans that year, he caught 20 passes for 195 yards, while also serving as their kick and punt returner. In 2019 he appeared in all 16 games for them, catching 11 passes for 162 yards while once again serving as the kick and punt returner.

He served the same role for the first nine games of 2020 before getting cut and claimed by the Bears. He played the final month of the season in Chicago returning punts. He’s never returned a kick to the house, but has done some damage. Washington doesn’t have any clear better options currently on the roster, so he’ll presumably slot in as the primary returner for 2021.

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