JD McKissic’s latest comments prove Washington can’t let him leave

The Washington Football Team‘s offseason will be headlined by the Feb. 2 rebrand and quarterback search. That’s just the way it goes.

At the same time, though, Washington also has laundry list of players who will hit free agency and plenty of cap space — just over $37 million, according to Spotrac —  to re-sign as many of them as they see fit.

While Brandon Scherff is expected to seek greener pastures, the likes of Bobby McCain, JD McKissic, Tim Settle, Cam Sims, DeAndre Carter, Joey Slye and Danny Johnson are all potential candidates to be retained.

It might sound crazy because he’s technically a “backup,” but McKissic is easily the most important player of that group.We’ll dive into his stats in a minute, but Washington cannot afford to let the veteran hit the open market.

Not only will McKissic have plenty of teams vying for his services, but he also wants to continue making memories in Landover.

JD McKissic wants to stay with the Washington Football Team.

In an interview with Nicki Jhabvala of The Washington Post, McKissic, seemingly without hesitation, expressed his desire to re-sign. The reason behind that? He appreciates the “opportunity” he’s been given.

“Definitely, I want to stay,” McKissic said. “Everybody knows that.”

“I finally got the opportunity to just really be trusted and really show my versatility and what I can do. They gave me the chance to do that.”

Sometimes, all a player wants is to feel wanted. Up until he signed a two-year deal with Washington before the 2018 season, McKissic wasn’t seen as one of the most versatile running backs in the NFL.

In fact, he was barely used. In three years with the Seahawks, McKissic totaled 50 carries for 197 yards and a touchdown, to go with 36 catches for 282 yards and two more scores as a receiver out of the backfield.

From there, McKissic was claimed off waivers by the Lions right before the start of the 2019 season. Unlike Seattle, Detroit showed a greater appreciation for his unique skillset. In 16 games for the Lions, he logged 72 total touches which he turned into 438 scrimmage yards and a touchdown.

An improvement, but still not good enough.

Finally, we arrive at McKissic’s time in Washington. While serving as the complement to third-round draft pick Antonio Gibson, McKissic finished 2020 second among running backs with 80 receptions. Only Alvin Kamara (83) had more.

Those 80 catches were good for the second-most on Washington. He also finished third in receiving yards and total touchdowns.

In 2021, McKissic grew in importance on Washington’s offense. He wound up missing the final six games on injured reserve with a neck injury, but still finished second on the team in both catches (43) and receiving yards (397).

On top of being a chain-mover and consistent outlet for Taylor Heinicke, McKissic was extremely dependable in pass protection.

He was even responsible for some of the most memorable moments of the season, like his long reception against the Giants in Week 2 that set up Ricky Seals-Jones game-saving touchdown and his gravity-defying game-winning TD against the Falcons in the final minute of regulation.

What more needs to be said? McKissic wants to stay in Washington and he’s become an invaluable component of their offense.

Pay the man and reap the rewards.