Zac Boyer will be entering his third season covering the Washington Redskins for The Free Lance-Star this fall. Make sure to follow Zac on Twitter (@ZacBoyer) for the latest updates or e-mail him with any questions at email@example.com.
Several Factors To Determine If Return To Redskins Possible For Rex Grossman
ASHBURN – Several factors will determine whether or not Rex Grossman returns to the Washington Redskins next season. From the coaches’ standpoint, familiarity within the offense is not a factor.
Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said the team does not necessarily need to have a quarterback on the roster who knows the Redskins’ offense. It is widely expected the team will consider taking a quarterback with an early-round draft choice, if not the first, and potentially having one of the three quarterbacks currently on the roster – Grossman, John Beck or Jonathan Crompton, on the practice squad – is not a necessity.
“I don’t think it’s a system that takes a long time to learn,” Shanahan said. “You can get better at it, but everyone in the league runs similar plays.”
Grossman, 31, is a free agent following the season after signing a one-year, $1.15 million contract when the lockout ended in August. Beck, 30, is in the second year of a three-year contract. He is making $800,000 this season and is due to make $1 million next year.
One person familiar with Grossman’s market value said the quarterback did receive overtures from other teams after the lockout, but that his mind was mostly set up to return to the Redskins this season, his second in Washington. He is open to returning to the team for next year, but a variety of reasons, including other offseason moves the Redskins make at the position, will play a significant role in his decision.
While head coach Mike Shanahan said yesterday he began looking at tapes of college quarterback prospects at midseason, it’s a practice he does each year and is not solely restricted to evaluating that position. Thus far, Shanahan said, he’s looked at “10 to 15” quarterbacks and watches approximately “75 to 80” of the best plays they’ve made in a game this season.
“You’ve got names, but sometimes you can’t relate to how a guy is playing because you hear a lot about [them] on TV,” Shanahan said. “A lot of it’s hype and not evaluation, so you like to go back and kind of put the play with the name.”
This year’s draft class is flush with quarterback prospects. Stanford’s Andrew Luck and Baylor’s Robert Griffin III, the Heisman Trophy winner, are considered the top two should they both formally announce their intents to enter. Luck, who has all but formally submitted paperwork to enter, is a pro-style quarterback who will likely be the first pick; Griffin, much more mobile, is considered reachable for the Redskins, who can pick between fourth and 11th depending on the outcome of tomorrow’s game at Philadelphia.
“Everybody’s looking for a franchise quarterback,” Kyle Shanahan said. “You want one of those guys that there’s no question about. There’s probably only about five or six of them in the league. Then there’s a lot of guys who can play and a lot of guys who need to be replaced. You’re always trying to find that one [quarterback] and we’re still looking to do it.”
Grossman said yesterday he is aware of the talk regarding the Redskins selecting a quarterback in the draft, but it’s something he has mostly chosen to avoid given that he can’t control any of it.
That echoes statements he made earlier in the week when asked about his future within the organization.
“When I go out and play on Sunday, I’m not worried about any of that,” Grossman said. “I go out and try to play for my teammates, coaches and this organization to go out there and win. When I look at my situation, I’m trying to make the best of it at every possible scenario. I’m not fully naive to the situation, but I definitely feel like some things are out of my control. But what I can control, I want to make a case for myself.”
What will make that case is winning. Ironically, Grossman can heavily influence his usefulness to the Redskins next season by leading the team to victory against the Eagles, as a win would move the team farther back in the draft order and away from the certainty of earlier picks.
That’s something Grossman, regardless of his performance, has always been able to do.
“What you do love about Rex is he competes,” Kyle Shanahan said. “He lets it go. He’s not scared of the moment. He’s trying to win the game.”