Redskins free agent fits: Backup quarterback

Redskins free agent fits: Backup quarterback
February 27, 2014, 1:45 pm
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Jay Gruden likes what he sees from RG3

When free agency opens March 11, the Redskins will have about $30 million in cap space and lots of holes to fill. Over the next few weeks, Redskins Insider Tarik El-Bashir will examine the field of potential free agents, by position, and evaluate who might be a fit in Washington.

Today, we’re looking at backup quarterbacks. 

Background: From the moment the Redskins picked Kirk Cousins 100 spots behind Robert Griffin III in 2012 draft, most suspected Cousins eventually would want to be a No. 1 on a team of his own. Well, that day is arrived. Cousins has not requested a trade but acknowledges that he’s informed management that he’d like an opportunity to play ... somewhere. It’s unclear if the Redskins would seriously consider trading the 25-year-old. It’s also unknown if there’s even a market for him. But if the Redskins were to get an offer they could not refuse, they’d need to sign a veteran free agent to back up Griffin. That’s a lot of ‘ifs’, but in the NFL you can never be too prepared. 

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Best available: Josh McCown, Bears. He’ll turn 35 in July, but he’s still got plenty of game. He appeared in eight contests last season, starting five in place of an injured Jay Cutler, and put up some impressive stats. McCown competed 66.5 percent of his passes for 1,829 yards and tossed 13 touchdowns and one interception. His base salary was $840,000. Recent reports suggest the Bears, Jets and Buccaneers are all interested.

Best fit: Tarvaris Jackson, Seahawks. The 30-year-old hasn’t played much the past two seasons as Russell Wilson’s backup in Seattle, but he’s made 34 career starts, so he can handle the responsibility if called upon. Jackson appeared in three regular season games last year—all blowout victories—and completed 10 of 13 pass attempts for 151 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. He earned $840,000 last season.  

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Best of the rest: Shaun Hill (Lions) is a solid pro and capable of stepping in a pinch but he just turned 34; Rex Grossman (Redskins) knows Washington’s schemes and personnel but he’s hasn’t taken a meaningful snap since 2011. Others include: Luke McCown (Saints), Matt Flynn (Packers), Kellen Clemens (Rams) and Colt McCoy (49ers).