Washington Redskins: Preparing for Life After Rex Grossman

Scott FitzGerald@scott_iCorrespondent IApril 19, 2012

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 11:   Rex Grossman #8 of the Washington Redskins runs off the field after winning the season opener against the New York Giants at FedExField on September 11, 2011 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

As of April 26th, the Washington Redskins will have a new franchise quarterback. All indications are pointing to Robert Griffin III being the next quarterback to take the reins for the burgundy and gold. 

The organization still wanted an insurance policy in case of a freak accident with the No. 2 overall pick and so they re-signed the much-maligned former starting QB Rex Grossman to a one-year deal. 

Fortunately for Redskins fans, Grossman's newest contract signifies an end to his tenure in DC. Mike and Kyle Shanahan are presumably choosing to retain his services so that he can serve as a system ambassador for the rookie. 

Once RGIII gets comfortable with the system and starts to develop on the field, Grossman is only serving to mentor the rookie and fill in when needed. 

But the team needs to look beyond Grossman for a backup quarterback.  

Play along with me: It's late November and the 'Skins have a .500 record or better and RGIII goes down with an injury. Are you going to trust Grossman?  

For the 2012 season at least, it appears as if there is no other option. Grossman's going to be the bridge to RGIII's tenure as DC's franchise QB.  

But what happens after the 2012 season? If, for some unknown reason, John Beck is on the roster still for this season, would fans trust him?

Then there's Jonathan Crompton. That's really all you need to say about him. He's currently under contract with a future/reserve deal and has shown no signs at all of being a viable backup option.  

Should the Redskins wait until next offseason to get a solid long-term insurance plan for RGIII's repaired ACL? What options do they have at their disposal currently?

Free Agency

The current crop of remaining unsigned QBs reads like a fantasy football draft from the early-to-mid 2000s. Currently unsigned and still available: Mark Brunell, Jake Delhomme, Jeff Garcia, Donovan McNabb, Byron Leftwich, Vince Young and Chad Pennington.

There are few free agents left that are under 30 years old: Kevin O'Connell, Curtis Painter, Trent Edwards and Rudy Carpenter.  

Absent from that list is the one free-agent quarterback that is worth a look: Dennis Dixon. The former Pittsburgh Steeler is entering his fifth year in the league and has yet to show much of the talent he displayed at Oregon.  

At this point, Dixon is the best of what's left. He was among the three QBs brought in by the Baltimore Ravens for a workout. With Dixon, there is still some untapped potential and he could spend 2012 learning the Shanahan system as the third-string QB.

2012 Draft Class

I would not advocate using a pick in this year's draft for a third-string quarterback. However, if a late-round prospect goes undrafted, Bruce Allen and company should bring in a QB or two for a cup of coffee during training camp.  

With RGIII already studying the Redskins offense and the team planning on building around him to play to his strengths, it would behoove the front office to acquire a third-string project in the mold of Griffin.  

There are four athletic quarterbacks that should go undrafted and could be brought in as a long-term understudy to RGIII.  

Jacory Harris

A mobile, strong-armed prospect who has plenty of starting experience at Miami.

The knocks against him are his build (could afford to put on weight, as opposed to Grossman), his mechanics and his mental game.

Knowing how highly the Shanahans think of their abilities to coach up signal-callers, Harris could make a nice project.  

Dominique Davis

Speaking of problems with the mental game, the former Boston College sophomore was suspended for academic reasons and finished his collegiate career at ECU.

Davis' athleticism is his only real strength heading into the NFL. He has Tebow-like mechanics (not a compliment) and makes questionable reads and plays on a regular basis. He could learn a lot sitting behind RGIII.

Chandler Harnish

Coming out of the MAC, Harnish put up some gaudy numbers. He's a good runner, decent mid-range passer and managed the spread offense well.

With small hands, questionable NFL arm strength and subpar accuracy, Harnish could pick up the scheme quickly and lead a good scout-team offense, but would need a lot of work in the weight room and with receivers.  

Aaron Corp

The former USC QB lost his spot to Matt Barkley after breaking his leg in 2009. Once USC had moved on from Corp, he transferred to Richmond and suffered a torn ACL. When finally healthy in 2011, Corp put up pedestrian-like numbers against weak competition.

Corp had loads of potential coming out of high school and into USC but never panned out. He was able to run a 4.65 40-yard dash at his pro day recently but is injury history is raising red flags throughout NFL front offices.

Corp could be a diamond in the rough or another prospect who peaked before getting his high school diploma.  


The Washington Redskins should look into a near-team contingency plan at quarterback beyond the 2012 season. 

Due diligence now will help the 'Skins tremendously when the day comes that we can finally say, "former Redskins quarterback, Rex Grossman." 

For more by Scott and his cohorts, check out The Recap.


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