5 free agents that the Redskins need to target in the 2019 offseason
The Redskins need help at quarterback. That much is clear. Given the unfortunate injury to Alex Smith and the fact that he is likely to miss all of the 2019 season, if not, more, the team has been doing a lot of homework on quarterbacks. That said, there are some obstacles that they will have to overcome in their pursuit.
For starters, the Redskins have little cap room available to target a high-end quarterback. Because of Smith’s roughly $20 million cap hit, the team won’t be able to pay another passer on anything more than a short-term deal and maybe even a “prove it” deal for one year. They likely need to have a quarterback on a rookie contract, but they could also consider some players on the free agent market.
Teddy Bridgewater is one of those guys. Bridgewater was the Vikings’ starter in 2014 and 2015 before suffering a gruesome knee injury in practice ahead of the 2016 season. Since that injury, he has started just one NFL game — a mediocre outing in a meaningless game for the Saints at the end of the 2019 season — and has functioned more as a backup because of his lack of health.
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Still, when healthy, Bridgewater shows flashes of solid play. He’s not ever going to be a top-tier quarterback, but he could easily fall into a game manager role and help his team to win games. And since he doesn’t turn 27 until November, he has a long career ahead of him — provided that his knee is fully (or mostly) healed.
For the Redskins, Bridgewater would provide potential competition for Colt McCoy. He would also offer more long-term upside and they can sell Bridgewater on the chance to compete for a starting job. Considering that Bridgewater is likely to command well below market value for quarterbacks ($6-$8 million per year would make sense) the Redskins would probably be able to afford him.
Signing Bridgewater would be smart, as it would prevent the team from having to trade up in the 2019 NFL Draft to get a quarterback if they were worried none of the top options would fall to their pick. It gives them protection and essentially guarantees that they won’t strike out if their preferred quarterback candidates are off the board ahead of the 15th pick.