The coach and his new brain trust, General Manager Martin Mayhew and Executive Vice President of Football / Player Staff Marty Hurney, have several options for introducing a new quarterback. They could trade for a veteran, sign a vacant agent, or draft a prospectus at # 19 (or sooner if they trade).
One of the most sensual veteran decisions is longtime Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, who turns 33 on February 7th. The Lions approved Stafford’s request to leave Detroit this off-season as the organization is revising its term for the third time. Number 1 in 2009 is one of the most talented players in his position and age that will be available through trade in a while.
What is the Scouting Report on Stafford?
Still considered one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL, with one of the strongest arms in the league, 12 years of experience, and undisputed toughness. He displayed many of these traits in a win over Washington last fall when he threw 276 yards, three touchdowns, and no picks.
For someone who shoots deep and has a big arm, he did relatively well not to flip the ball; His interception rate of 1.9 percent last season took 14th place out of 35 qualified passers-by. He’s also shown himself capable of winning late after making 31 fourth-quarter comebacks in his career.
One of Stafford’s relative weaknesses is accuracy. He’s never completed more than 67.2 percent of his passes, a mediocre number in the modern NFL. In 2018, Peyton Manning dropped out of the film about Stafford, accusing him of staring at the recipients. He said, “Even if you know you’re going to toss it to the right and into the apartment, look left to start or look down the center. Don’t let these defenders know where you are going. “
Overall, however, Stafford is arguably one of the top 10 or 15 quarterbacks in the league and a player capable of providing Washington with a significant upgrade.
But wasn’t he dealing with injuries?
Yes, and he’s also one of the toughest quarterbacks in the game. Last season he started all 16 games despite rib, thumb, ankle and neck injuries. The only time he has missed games due to injury in the last decade was in 2019, when he suffered multiple fractures in his back and had to sit out the team’s last eight games.
Injuries are not expected to limit Stafford in 2021. And even if he did, he showed no restraint when injured. In Week 15, when the Lions were out of the playoffs, Stafford played through torn cartilage in his chest that caused him cramps.
How would he fit in Washington?
Stafford would immediately improve Washington’s position. The team has many problems to solve on the offensive – filling out their receiving corps behind Terry McLaurin, re-signing right guard Brandon Scherff, etc. – but the quarterback is the most important.
Last season, a low cap offense was capped by quarterback play. Even Alex Smith, who excelled in intangibles and the Xs-Os battle before the Snap, fought. His 80.4 passerby rating was 31st out of 35 qualified quarterbacks. Stafford finished 14th with a better cast (96.3). It remains to be seen if Smith will return to Washington, but it is highly unlikely that the team can afford to keep Smith and add Stafford.
Stafford’s skills – intelligence and arm strength – also play a role in Offensive Coordinator Scott Turner’s Air Coryell-based program. The offense is based on checkdowns and deep shots, and throughout Stafford’s career he has built a reputation for going deep.
How is his contract situation?
Stafford has a two-year team-friendly contract with $ 43 million remaining. He owed $ 20 million in 2021 and $ 23 million in 2022. This is manageable for Washington, which has around $ 35 million cap space this season and could create more by releasing Smith or revising its deal ($ 23.3 million cap hit this one Year). According to Over The Cap, Stafford’s contract will rank 19th on average for quarterbacks for the next two seasons.
Perhaps most importantly, even if the NFL’s wage cap drops to $ 175 million per team due to the NFL’s lost revenue from the pandemic, Stafford will still only make up about 11 percent of that – leaving Washington plenty of room to fill other positions the list. However, it is possible that Stafford, who will have a voice in the Detroit trade process, could insist on getting a new deal as part of a deal.
What other teams will take part in the Stafford competition?
Indianapolis, San Francisco, New England, Denver, and New Orleans could haunt Stafford. The Colts appear to be the toughest contender, with plenty of space and a roster of championship calibers that emerges from an 11-5 season. Most notably, this includes depth in skill positions and an elite offensive line.
What would it take to make a deal?
It is likely that a trade for Stafford, in addition to one more second or third round player, will require a first round selection based on the number of teams expected to be interested. Other teams have higher picks in the first round than Washington, such as Denver (No. 9), San Francisco (No. 12), and New England (No. 15), but Washington has an additional selection in the third round (No. 74 ). from last year’s Trent Williams deal who might help the team put together a deal.