I am really not sure how to feel about this.
Last year, it felt like a new beginning for football in Washington with the hiring of Head Coach Ron Rivera. Despite the ridiculous amount of turnover in Washington largely in part to douchebag owner Dan Snyder, it genuinely felt like a breath of fresh air when Rivera was brought on board to man the ship. I even liked his hiring of Jack Del Rio, one of the great defensive mines in today’s NFL.
Shortly before the 2020 season started, Ron Rivera was diagnosed with squamous cell cancer. Despite that, Rivera beat the odds, battled cancer, and went into remission so he could lead his team in his debut coaching season. Somehow, Ron Rivera made chicken salad out of chicken shit. The WFT’s biggest issue on the field was not having a Quarterback, but Rivera still managed to make it to the playoffs under a rotation of Alex Smith, Kyle Allen, and Taylor Heinicke. While it was not an amazing season from a win/loss perspective, it was enough to give the WFT fans hope.
A few weeks back, there were rumblings that Alex Smith was not happy with the franchise and felt he was not treated well. All signs were pointing to Smith leaving the team, as we all know how Dan Snyder feels about people who criticize him. The chances of Smith remaining at the helm were slim to none. That of course set things in motion for fans to assume big things were to come for the Quarterback position. Would we draft up? Would we try and make the impossible trade for DeShaun Watson? There was discussion about pursuing Marcus Mariota or even Cam Newton. Or would we go for a realistic acquisition and try to land Sam Darnold and develop him into a long term solution? In all my years of watching football, there have never been so many options on filling a Quarterback vacancy.
Yet somehow, we end up with another past his prime veteran Quarterback signed to a one year deal.
There is something about the Washington Football Team’s need to sign past their prime players to the role of Quarterback.
Rich Gannon, Jeff George, Brad Johnson (I don’t care if he won in Tampa, anybody would have won with that defense), Tony Banks, Jeff Hostetler, Mark Brunell, Todd Collins, Donovan McNabb, Rex Grossman and Mark Sanchez.
I know some of these Quarterbacks were hired to be backups, but most of them were hired to be starters. I know we the team has been burnt the past few times they tried to develop a young quarterback out of college, but signing a veteran player to a one year deal like Fitzpatrick just did does not sound like the answer. Yes, Jason Campbell was a bust. RGIII was never going to be a long term option with his style of play. Case Keenum just simply did not have the talent to be a franchise player. And Dwayne Haskins? I’m really not even sure why he was signed in the first place.
I like Ryan Fitzpatrick the person. His beard along makes me feel like an inferior man. His personality is infectious and will one day be a major network’s dream to have as a color commentator or analyst of sorts. I often times wonder how he even gets his helmet over his huge hair. The guy is an anomaly and will probably be an excellent addition to the locker room.
But will he be the long term solution on the field?
History says no. Ryan Fitzpatrick will have ups and downs all year long. He may even do well enough to get signed for another three years and the eventually tank like he did in Buffalo. As likeable as a guy that Fitzpatrick is, I really wish we went with another option.
I hope FitzMagic proves me wrong. I hope he can carry this team to another NFC East divisional title and help us advance in the playoffs.
But I’m a Washington Football Fan. I’m a skeptic by nature, and the lack of Fitzmagic we will end up seeing in 2021 is only going to prove me right.