Here’s Why Washington HC Ron Rivera is Not Rushing to Sign a Franchise Quarterback

Published 04/02/2021, 1:38 PM EDT
Dec 26, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) throws against the Las Vegas Raiders during the second half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


The Washington Football Team has been active during the off-season. In an effort to bolster their squad, Ron Rivera and his team went out to get Ryan Fitzpatrick.

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Fitzpatrick had an impressive season in Miami, where he served as the back-up to Tua Tagovailoa. However, it seems like he will get the nod for the starting quarterback role, as Washington doesn’t have immediate plans to sign a franchise quarterback.

Washington Football Team Head Coach Ron Rivera spoke recently to The Athletic. He noted that there is no immediate rush to sign a franchise quarterback.

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Rivera is more focused on building a strong team right now and believes that the quarterback needs to be the final ingredient. He compared his situation in Washington to his earlier stint in Carolina, where the franchise struggled to put pieces around Cam Newton.

Nov 8, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith (11) attempts a pass against the New York Giants during the fourth quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

“I say that just because … if you put all the other pieces into place and now you start going forward, when that guy does show up, when that guy is in the right position, you can grab him.

“I went through it the other way my first stint as a head coach in Carolina. We drafted the guy of the future for us in the first round. … At that point, we had not put all the other pieces around Cam Newton.”

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Ron Rivera not in a hurry to bring a new quarterback to Washington

The situation with Cam Newton is why Rivera is in no rush to bring in a new quarterback immediately. He believes that it would be a much better solution to build a strong team and then introduce a new quarterback later.

Rivera added that there are several teams who have used this model, and there is no reason it won’t work for Washington. “So, I’ve always thought if you can do it the other way where you put all the other pieces around and then go out and get your quarterback, that might be a pretty good situation, too.

“I’ve seen a lot of teams that have had things in place then drafted their quarterback next year. This could be one of those situations where we put all the other pieces in place and then a year or two from now, the right guy is there and we can make that move.”

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Dec 26, 2020; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) celebrates with wide receiver Isaiah Ford (84) after the game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. The Dolphins defeated the Raiders 26-25. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Will Ryan Fitzpatrick have a successful stint in Washington? The move shows that Washington are not planning for the long-term at the quarterback position.

But Fitzpatrick has shown that he can be more than serviceable in that role. And he buys the franchise enough time to look for a new quarterback.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1193 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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