The NFC East has a changing of the guard, but does that mean it'll change the draft landscape?
The Philadelphia Eagles finally ended the Carson Wentz fiasco by trading him to the Indianapolis Colts. The return? A 2021 third-round pick and a 2022 conditional second-round pick. Should Wentz play 70 percent of the snaps, the 2022 pick could upgrade to a first-round selection.
So, what does this have to do with the Washington Football Team? Plenty, we think.
The Eagles will carry a $33 million dead cap space role for the 2021 season. That, and the presence of Jalen Hurts there, makes it tougher to justify Philly investing even more in the position using its premium pick.
Will one of the fantastic four gunslingers in the 2021 NFL Draft therefore be left on the table for WFT? Could this push Washington into trading up for a quarterback? Should it?
Washington has made it clear they will be in the running to upgrade under center. Does this mean free agency? The draft? Should they run it back with Taylor Heinicke? Alex Smith?
Ron Rivera and Martin Mayhew will need to decide what direction they will go. Should Smith retire or WFT cuts him, they'll save $13.6 million in 2021. A name like Marcus Mariota could be added via trade. The same could be said for Cam Newton in free agency.
Both players are on Washington's radar.
The real question will be if Washington views either a franchise option beyond 2021. Mayhew and Rivera are, ideally, looking for the long-term option, which could mean an upgrade in the draft is the best choice due to contract length. Behind Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson and Justin Fields and Trey Lance all loom.
Then again, what good is a quarterback without weapons around him? Without an offensive line? Without a system that will help him work?
Wentz's trade won't singularly decide what WFT does on draft night. Their free agency haul might. With needs at receiver, the offensive line and in coverage for defense, all four positions could be upgraded.
The odd man — or rather position — is where Washington looks early on draft night. Should Terry McLaurin find a running mate? A trade-up from 19 can make sense. Should WFT feel comfortable with the option with the quarterback, it'll be about adding a pass-catcher.
Wentz leaving the division put pressure on Jalen Hurts to be the quarterback to fix Philly's offense. ... and that may leave a draft-worthy QB for Washington.
CONTINUE READING: Darnold Trade To Washington? Thanks To Wentz, Price Just Dropped