By: Jake Rajala
The Washington Football Team showed lots of potential last year as they snuck into the playoffs. WFT had an early postseason exit against the Buccaneers, but they gave the defending Super Bowl champions an intense fight in the 23-31 loss. Ron Rivera’s squad entered the offseason with a very talented defense, an elite wide receiver (Terry McLaurin), but a huge question mark at the quarterback position.
It would seem likely that the WFT would add a talented player at the most vital position (QB) amid a team that’s well built around the weak QB spot. Yet, the WFT opted not to trade for a QB or draft one early on. Since the 2020 NFC East champions didn’t draft a QB, they’re left with Ryan Fitzpatrick competing against Taylor Heinicke for the starting gig. Fitzmagic may be serviceable, but the WFT has a unique opportunity to still obtain a very talented QB on a team that’s ready to compete “in the playoffs”.
The quarterback that Washington should target: Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers is a world class athlete who seems firm about leaving Green Bay. I don’t believe Rodgers will cave in to this situation, nor will the Pack hold Rodgers hostage after drafting a QB in the first round last season. I believe a situation like this will take lots of time given the magnitude of the player and the returning compensation on the table, but eventually it will take place. And I believe the WFT would be a good landing spot. To be fair, I don’t believe it’s the most logical landing spot – but it would be the most exciting from my perspective.
Reason number one: Rodgers would get to play in the NFC East
Aaron Rodgers has owned the NFC North for quite some time, but he could hold a bigger throne in the NFC – which is the NFC East. The NFC East was historically bad in 2020. If he moved to the nation’s capital, he would be on the defending NFC East squad looking down (7-9 in 2020). The division improved as expected, but the Cowboys and Eagles secondary is still weak, or less experienced heading into 2021. Outside of porous secondaries in the NFC East, the Eagles and Giants are slowly rebuilding as a whole.
If Rodgers was traded to the Raiders or Broncos in the AFC West, he would play in a much more competitive division, to say the least. If Rodgers heads to the NFC East, the reigning MVP would get a much softer schedule than one in the AFC West or even NFC North.
Rodgers would also get to play the Packers this upcoming season, as Washington faces Green Bay.
Reason number two: Rodgers gets to play with Curtis Samuel and Terry McLaurin
The most thrilling part of seeing Rodgers in a Washington uniform lies with the weapons offered. Rodgers would get to have Percey Harvin 2.0 in WR/RB Curtis Samuel. If Rodgers had an ultimate slot WR that could make plays in open space, we would really witness Rodgers’s passer rating skyrocket. Yes, Curtis Samuel is the jack of all trades and he can stretch the field with Aaron, but WFT also holds an elite number WR1 in Terry McLaurin. McLaurin would truly give Davante Adams a run for his money in elite showcases if he was gifted a QB like Rodgers.
McLaurin with Rodgers is far more fascinating than Jerry Jeudy/Courtland Sutton with Rodgers, or Henry Ruggs with Rodgers. All in all, Rodgers would get another elite WR1, along with a talented WR2 that he’s been long craving for.
Reason number three: WFT has an elite pass rush
If Rodgers goes to Washington, they will be an instant playoff team, undoubtedly. Yet, Rodgers is solely focused day in and day out on the ultimate prize: winning a Lombardi trophy. In order to win the Super Bowl, they will likely have to play the Buccaneers or Saints in the NFC/then most likely the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl.
In order to beat the Chiefs or the Bucs/Saints, WFT will have to do what only has ever worked: get to the QB without blitzing. The WFT can get to the likes of Pat Mahomes with their front seven and make the QB’s life miserable. Chase Young and Montez Sweat are arguably the top edge rushing combination in the NFL. They both run 40 times like RBs but also carry 6’6 260 frames. To sum it up, WFT holds a scary pass-rushing unit that fuels their defense, and in this day in age, we all know all too well that defense wins championships.