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Assessing how the Washington Commanders can land a franchise QB using their trade capital

Andrew Buller-Russ

The Washington Commanders’ front office has one major objective this offseason, and everyone knows it. If general manager Martin Mayhew goes another season without acquiring a starting quarterback who can come in and make an immediate impact, his days in Washington just might be done. Ditto for Ron Rivera if they don’t reach the playoffs.

With a strong, youthful core who has yet to reach their full potential, the sky is the limit for this organization, yet without a QB, we can largely expect the same results, if not worse.

Some might think that without a better option on the roster than Taylor Heinicke, the franchise might be a bit pessimistic about next season, but not coach Rivera. Instead, he realizes the Commanders are actually in a unique position heading into the offseason, in which they have a lot of trade capital to offer in a potential trade for an above-average starting quarterback.

In a recent interview with Ben Standig of The Athletic, Rivera noted how the Commanders are positioned well for the upcoming player movement cycle.

“We’d like to believe we would be a viable option for a lot of [quarterbacks],” Rivera told Ben Standig of TheAthletic.com. “We understand what the capital will take to bring a type [of] player like that here. We believe we have a lot to offer.”

Washington Commanders coach Ron Rivera to Ben Standig (H/t to Pro Football Talk)

Related: Washington Commanders 7-round mock draft

What can the Washington Commanders offer for a QB?

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Washington Football Team
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t that long ago that a report emerged suggesting the Washington Commanders would be willing to essentially go all-in on landing a top starting quarterback this offseason, which even included the possibility of trading Chase Young.

While the idea of trading the second overall pick from the 2020 NFL Draft is a bit of a stunning observation on the surface, if the Commanders are serious about adding the best quarterback possible to their fleet, trading Young should absolutely be on the table.

In fact, so should everyone else on the roster. This includes Terry McLaurin.

If McLaurin or Young were the difference between having a quarterback such as Aaron Rodgers compared to another season of Heinicke, it’s safe to say their pick would be Rodgers. Not to mention, AR12 would likely bring along his pal Davante Adams as well.

Yet, an AR12 to Washington blockbuster seems increasingly unlikely. Not just from how the four-time MVP has responded, but also how the team has seemingly no interest in even picking up the phone in trade talks.

The biggest factor though is that Washington and Green Bay are both in the NFC and neither the Commanders nor the Packers want to face the star players they’d have to trade to one another for the next several seasons as they both desire to go on deep postseason runs.

Here’s a brief overlook at the top tradeable assets the Washington Commanders can offer this offseason:

  • 11th selection in 2022 NFL Draft
  • Chase Young, EDGE – $11.3M cap hit if traded
  • Terry McLaurin, WR
  • Montez Sweat, EDGE
  • Jonathan Allen, DL – $24M cap hit if traded- $14.5M in cap savings
  • Da’Ron Payne, DT – Saves $8.5M on 2022 salary cap with a trade
  • Antonio Gibson, HB
  • Logan Thomas, TE
  • Chase Roullier, C
  • Jamin Davis, LB
  • Curtis Samuel, WR
  • Matt Ioannidis, DL – $6.9M cap savings with trade
  • Kendall Fuller, CB
  • Landon Collins, SS

Parting with any of the top four could likely immediately bring at least an above-average quarterback to Washington in 2022, but it’s unlikely to be a one-for-one swap, which means it could take as many as two or three assets from this list, combined with later draft picks for future selections.

It’s also important to note that Washington only has six selections in the 2022 NFL Draft, meaning any trade featuring a large amount of this season’s draft picks would leave them with little chance to fill out their depth chart with younger players.

This likely indicates any trade for a top quarterback will feature a mix of current players, potentially their top draft pick, and possibly future selections as well. A trade fitting this way of thinking would prevent Washington from surrendering all their immediate picks in addition to on-hand talent, while still keeping hopes alive to continue improving, should they not have a Super Bowl caliber team this season

Related: 5 Washington Commanders starting QB options for 2022