Monday, February 6, 2012

Name The Next Redskins QB: Even the Beat Writers are Undecided

This weekend, there have been a few stories on who will be the starting QB for the Redskins in 2012.
The thing is that I'm not sure anybody knows who will be at this point, possibly not even head coach Mike Shanahan and GM Bruce Allen. It really depends on a number of factors and a few decisions the Redskins will make in the next few weeks/months leading up to the draft in April.

What We Know
Is actually very little. Most is speculation with some fact sprinkled in. Although most of it is straight gossip and rumor from "sources" (anybody can be a source), "league sources" (which usually means a source from another team including a GM or a scout or agent) and "inside sources" (which usually means somebody within the organization although this could include a janitor or a cashier from the Redskins team store).

- Peyton Manning may become a free agent. He is due a large roster bonus by March 8th and the Colts could cut him loose anytime before that. While the Jets, Cardinals and Dolphins are rumored to have have the Redskins. Matter of fact Kyle Shanahan implied that the Redskins would be interested if Manning was healthy. Of course, we don't know that a) the Colts will release Manning (although all signs point to it happening sometime after The Combine) b) if Manning is healthy (he was medically cleared, but can he throw a football like he used to?) and c) would Manning even want to come and play for the Redskins?

- The top free agent quarterback not named Drew Brees is Green Bay's Matt Flynn. There has been tons of rumor that the Redskins may target him. But nothing has been that confirmed.

- After the Senior Bowl NFL Network's Michael Lombardi reported that the chatter in Mobile had the Redskins targeting free agent QB Kyle Orton. Which many thought was a bit crazy.

-Not so says ESPN's (and friend of Mike Shanahan) Adam Schefter who reported yesterday:
 - Now CSN Washington's Ryan O'Halloran has a story that the Redskins would be interested in Manning if he's healthy and Kyle Orton but not Matt Flynn. According to his sources, the 'Skins aren't that high on Flynn and think he's like Kevin Kolb.

- There have also been rumors that suggest the Redskins may target a trade up to the #2 overall spot in order to get Robert Griffin or Andrew Luck (depends on who Indy doesn't take at #1). But we won't really know until April 26th.

Heck, even the beat writers seem to be a bit divided on which QB they think is the best fit for the Redskins. One writer who I really like and read frequently seems to be convinced that Matt Flynn would be a great pick up for the Redskins. Another is convinced that the price tag will be too high for an untested player like Flynn and that the Redskins would be better off financially (thus more money to spend on putting players around the QB) by trading up for Griffin.

Here's my thoughts: I think the Redskins will bring in a free agent veteran QB who will start the 2012 season. Meanwhile the Redskins will draft a QB early in the draft (be it Griffin, Luck, Tannehill or Weeden) and probably that rookie will be starting by the end of the year unless the veteran pulls off a Kurt Warner in Arizona type of performance and leads the Redskins to the playoffs. Either way, it doesn't look like the Redskins will be bringing in a veteran to be a long term solution (like they had hoped with Donovan McNabb and long term being at least 3 years or so) but more of a stop-gap while they develop their quarterback who hopefully will be in DC for the next 10 years or so.

What We Don't Know

- Who is the veteran? It doesn't seem like it will be either John Beck or Rex Grossman. Based on the Kyle Orton story, it looks like Grossman may be the odd man out in DC. He's a free agent and the Redskins could probably bring him back easily, but if Orton is signed he won't be back. Beck has one more year left on his contract and I think the Shanahan's will give him a full off-season to try and figure out if he can run their scheme. But Beck could be cut prior to the season with little consequence.

- Who is the rookie? Ryan Tannehill may be the best fit if the Redskins choose this path. He ran a pro style offense with Mike Sherman at Texas A&M. Matter of fact, he ran many stretch plays with a play action bootleg pass in that scheme. Sound familiar? It should. That's Mike Shanahan's bread and butter of his scheme. The big question is whether Tannehill is worth #6 overall. Robert Griffin is, but will he be available at #6. Is he worth going all in when the Redskins have needs at WR, CB, OL and S? Can the Redskins even make that trade if a team like the Browns have the firepower (2 1st round picks in 2012 draft) to out gun the Redskins if they want Griffin?

Keep reading.....we have a few months before this all gets sorted out.

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