Why the Washington Football Team should sign Tyrod Taylor

Los Angeles Chargers QB Tyrod Taylor. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles Chargers QB Tyrod Taylor. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

This piece is part of the Riggo’s Rag Roundtable quarterback debate. For more Washington Football Team QB options, click here.

Yes, I said it.  The Washington Football Team should sign Tyrod Taylor?  I know, I know, it’s not a tantalizing name and admittedly, he’s not an alluring player on the surface.

But if you dig deeper and listen to what Coach Rivera is looking for from the position, Tyrod just may be the best available option.

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Why the Washington Football Team should sign Tyrod Taylor

This is one you have to stay with me on folks. Don’t have a preconceived opinion without at least hearing me out.

As we move along the early stages of the offseason it’s becoming apparent the WFT will not make the big splash at QB.  The one serious attempt at acquiring an established franchise QB came up short with Matthew Stafford.  The other high-profile names we’ve heard rumored for Washington either lack substance or are unrealistic.

So allow me to offer a realistic option.

As it becomes evident the future franchise QB will not be acquired via trade, allow me to remind you that a majority of franchise QBs in the NFL are drafted, not traded for, or signed as a free agent.

With the WFT drafting at 19, it’s unlikely they select a QB and if they do, it’s even more unlikely that the player will be prepared to start in 2021.  They may also choose to pick a project QB after Round 1.

Either way, the outlook for the 2021 season at QB appears to be destined for that dreaded “stopgap” type of player.

As the team figures out who that may be, I ask you to listen to what Coach Rivera has said.  The No. 1 trait he’s looking for from his QB is leadership.

In 2018 Tyrod Taylor played for the Cleveland Browns, he was praised for his leadership of a young team by the coaching staff.  Browns coach Hue Jackson said, per Ryan Isley:

"“I would be remiss if I did not say Tyrod Taylor and what he has done on this football team since the day that he walked in the building at practice, his leadership, how he has conducted himself here and trying to do everything he can to get this organization winning Taylor coordinated practice with teammates away from the facility, something he also did in Buffalo.”"

Jackson went on to say “Taylor has a toughness and competitive spirit.

Taylor’s QB coach in Cleveland was Ken Zampese (WFT current QB coach). Zampese stated, “Tyrod sets the bar for consistency, there is no doubt about it. There is no man more consistent than him when he gets here. The bar is set very high. It’s fantastic.”

Bills head coach Sean McDermott had nothing but praise for the leadership and play of Taylor while in Buffalo.  Why is that important?  A couple of reasons.  First, McDermott is a well-respected coach and has plenty of influence.  More importantly, he was the defensive coordinator under Rivera in Carolina.

These connections matter in the NFL.

Let’s compare those leadership traits next to another QB on the WFT radar, Sam Darold. Jets beat reporter Rich Cimini was on the John Keim Podcast and didn’t have glowing reviews for Darnold.  He mentioned that Darnold doesn’t command the room.  He’s very quiet and lacks presence.

This doesn’t sound like a Rivera guy to me. Taylor does.

Ok, so he’s a leader, check.  It’s also a well-known fact that Rivera and OC Scott Turner would prefer a QB who is mobile.  To clarify, mobility has more to do with being elusive than running for 1000 yards.   A mobile QB not only keeps the defense on its heels, but it helps with the running game and sets up the run action passing game.

Taylor does just that.  In his three years as starter Tyrod averaged over 500 yards rushing while scoring 14 TDs in total with his feet.

As I continue to listen to Coach Rivera, I hear the emphasis he places on taking care of the football.  This may be Taylor’s greatest strength.  Tyrod has never thrown more than six interceptions in a single season.   As a matter of fact, Taylor has been in the league for 10 years, has thrown 1,392 passes, and has only thrown 20 total interceptions.

You know what that does?  That keeps you in ball games.

Taylor clearly brings all the intangibles that Rivera is looking for.  He’s also fiscally attainable.  Last year his contract paid him $7.5 million.  I’d expect the WFT could sign Tyrod for a similar type of deal.  As we look at another similar player rumored to be on the WFT radar, Marcus Mariota, let’s compare.

Not only would Washington have to trade for Mariota, but his baseline salary is also $10 million with escalators that could push that salary to nearly $20 for the 2021 season.

And what are you getting with Mariota?   This is just my opinion, but they’d be acquiring the dime store version of Taylor at a price that far exceeds the retail.  Not to mention losing draft capital to attain him.  No thanks.

As it stands, the WFT has two players under contract.  Alex Smith (who could be released) and Taylor Heinicke.  Heinicke is reaching cult status with some of the fan base.  But you can’t enter the season with him as your only option.

Even if Heinicke wins the starting job in camp, he’s proven to be injury-prone, and having a low-cost veteran like Taylor would be the perfect compliment.

As we look forward to 2021, allow yourself to be realistic with the QB options.  Everything can’t be forced in one year.  Not many quarterbacks can win you games, but there’s a bunch that will lose them for you. Taylor will not.

This leadership group will not panic. No longer will we see an organization that makes knee-jerk decisions.

Tyrod has the intangibles, he’s affordable and attainable.  He’s proven to be a solid bridge QB to younger QBs and he can be a viable stop-gap QB while the organization continues their search for the future QB of the WFT.

Next. More Riggo's Rag Roundtable QB picks. dark

Click the links below to read about each QB option.

Roundtable: Which QB should the Washington Football Team target?