The Washington Football Team made some improvements to its receiving corps this offseason -- finally.
During an NFC East title run in 2020, the defense in Washington might have been elite but the offense was unable to get to that same level. The WFT signed Curtis Samuel and Adam Humphries in free agency. Antonio Gibson is expected to take on a bigger role in the passing game while J.D. McKissic is already a proven commodity out of the backfield.
Terry McLaurin is a true No. 1 receiver and proved it further by totaling 87 catches for 1,118 yards in 2020. The Ohio State product has put up big numbers in his first two years. The most impressive part of McLaurin's career is that he has done it with five different quarterbacks.
The WFT has been unable to find that consistent option under center. McLaurin has played with Case Keenum, Dwayne Haskins, Colt McCoy, Kyle Allen, and Alex Smith. In 2021, another quarterback will join that list but this should be a better option all around.
Ryan Fitzpatrick signed a one-year deal with the WFT in free agency. This is a move that was criticized by some but one former All-Pro wide receiver was onboard.
Chad Johnson spent 11 years in the NFL and saw great success with the Cincinnati Bengals. He was a two-time First Team All-Pro selection and a six-time Pro Bowler. Johnson went over 1,000 yards receiving seven times and led the league in 2006 with 1,369 yards. Whether you like Johnson's personality or off-the-field antics to not, his accomplishments on the field are undeniable.
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Washington would like to think that his prediction will come true. Johnson stated in the tweet above that McLaurin will rack up 1,500 yards with Fitzpatrick under center. Yes, this tweet is from March but he backed up his initial prediction recently and even added Samuel into the mix.
Washington might actually have a quarterback to rely on and a receiving duo that can put up big numbers. Chad is committed to the idea, writing that these receivers are "gonna go crazy'' and adding, "I guarantee their production is bananas.''
In 2020 with the Carolina Panthers, Samuel finished with 1,051 yards from scrimmage. He was a major weapon in an offense that featured D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson. The WFT will find new and creative ways to get Samuel involved in the offense.
McLaurin welcomed the addition of Samuel. These two spent time together in college with the Buckeyes and now have a chance to feed off each other in the NFL. With Fitzpatrick under center, Washington will have a veteran who is not afraid to throw the ball down the field. This could be something to watch with receivers who are strong route runners and have elite speed.
Fitzpatrick is going to turn the ball over more than Smith did during his tenure in D.C., but he has a chance to make more plays. Fitzpatrick has shown time and time again that he is open to taking shots and has the arm strength to get the ball down the field. This is something Washington has not seen since the days of Kirk Cousins throwing to Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson.
Will McLaurin put up the numbers that Johnson expects? It is a lot to ask but anything is possible. What we do know is that the offense for the WFT will be better than year's past and it begins with Fitzpatrick and the receiving corps.
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