The Washington Football Team checked all the right boxes in 2020. New head coach, new name, new path way to a division title.
Washington complied a 7-9 mark, yet somehow forced their way down to the wire with a fourth option at quarterback. This time last season, Taylor Heinicke was battling in St. Louis for a starting job in The XFL.
Thanks to a 306-yard performance against the eventual Super Bowl champions Tampa in the Wild Card Round, Heinicke isn't getting out of D.C. as the team announced they agreed to terms with the 27-year-old on a two-year, $8.75 million extension.
Heinicke's signing won't necessarily mark the end of Alex Smith's comeback tenure. It also won't stop Ron Rivera from going with a younger option in the 2021 NFL Draft to spice up the competition. It does buy Washington some stability though overpaying for another option.
Heinicke, Smith, Kyle Allen, Dwayne Haskins. All four at least started one game in 2020 for Washington. They also all proved that there is an argument over the team's biggest need.
Or on the perimeter in the form a quality No. 2 wide receiver?
Looking back, Washington found a gem in Terry McLaurin when drafted out of Ohio State in 2019. Two years later and the Buckeye has bucked his way into the fringe tier-one-receiver category.
McLaurin's sophomore success had him finishing with 1,118 receiving yards and 87 catches. The next closest WFT receiver? Cam Sims with 477 yards and 32 catches.
Washington has quality No. 3's and No. 4's already on the roster. Depending on the formation run will decide who seems the most playing time. For size? Antonio Gandey-Golden. For speed? Steven Sims Jr. For a mix? The other Sims is a go-to choice.
None though have shown they have the "It" factor to take some of the weight off of McLaurin. Good thing for Washington, there's plenty of names to choose from this offseason.
Everything will be based off fit to enhance Washington's skill set. For a slot option, JuJu Smith-Schuster will come at a high demand. He also comes with a trending following on TikTok. For vertical threats, Will Fuller will suffice - though the Texans will likely franchise-tag him if they can't forge a long-term deal.
There's also the more expensive names such as Allen Robinson, Chris Godwin and Kenny Golladay. In bang-for-buck, Golladay could be the best fit thanks to his natural hands and big-play ability.
Golladay is coming off a down season with the Detroit Lions that was hampered by injures. But Golladay, or somebody at that level, is about as important to WFT as the QB spot.
The No. 1 priority? Maybe we should say there are two of them. And if WFT pulls this off? Maybe the receiver they add to the roster is so good that he's not even a "No. 2'' behind McLaurin.