Grading the Redskins quarterbacks on their 2017 performance
It may seem strange to grade Colt McCoy given that he didn’t see the field for significant action in 2017, but there are a few factors that make him an important piece moving forward. So, he deserves a grade for this and based on some of the decisions that were made on the team that could directly connect to him.
In the preseason, McCoy saw a little bit of action in three games for the Redskins. In these performances, he went 21-of-35 for 186 yards, two touchdowns, and one interceptions. By no means was this a great performance for McCoy, but it demonstrated that he could be a serviceable option as a backup in the event that Kirk Cousins went down. However, the end of the preseason was more telling about what the Redskins coaching staff thought of McCoy.
During final cuts, the Redskins opted to release second year man Nate Sudfeld, a former sixth round pick who was expected to serve as the developmental backup and would possibly see action if Cousins got injured. Instead, the Redskins parted ways with him and trusted the 31-year-old McCoy as their lone quarterback aside from Cousins. Other teams would have kept Sudfeld as an insurance policy in case Cousins got hurt and McCoy played poorly. This was a vote of confidence that shows that the team won’t be afraid to play McCoy and doesn’t care what the consequences are if he sees the field.
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Moving forward, this could signal that the Redskins would turn to McCoy for a season or two if Cousins should leave. While Cousins has spoken of a desire to stay, the negotiations of the past couple of years have always been far apart. And Cousins isn’t going to sign a deal until March. So, the Redskins will have to plan on him possibly leaving. But given the way this season unfolded, it seems like McCoy would get a chance to start while the team develops a rookie in the wings.
All that said, it’s still hard to give McCoy an overwhelmingly positive grade. He had some good things happen in the preseason and the off-field signals from the front office are positive. But still, he threw no passes in 2017. Perhaps that will change in 2018, but for now, McCoy has to get an incomplete grade for the 2017 season. There’s just too much uncertainty surrounding him due to his lack of playing time.