“We were never involved in Flacco,” Allen said at the JW Marriott across the street from the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. “We were looking at free agency, I don’t think it’s any secret there’s players being offered in trades from other teams. We’ve listened to that. We feel good where we’re at. I can’t tell you who is exactly going to back up Colt [McCoy] if Alex [Smith] can’t go, but we have some time.”
That solution could come via the draft. The Redskins will meet with every quarterback participating in the combine this week, Allen said, and they already have met with Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray. The former Oklahoma standout has been the most talked about prospect at the combine and is expected to be an early first-round pick — probably chosen before Washington selects at No. 15.
The team is an odd position, with Smith expected to miss all of 2019 after suffering a gruesome broken leg that has put his career in danger. McCoy is the only other quarterback under contract for 2019, so the team must evaluate how to approach the position. Drafting a quarterback at No. 15 is in play, as is signing a free agent to compete with McCoy. Doug Williams, the Redskins’ senior vice president of player personnel, said Thursday that the team would like to add someone who can compete for the starting job, instead of simply adding depth. Coach Jay Gruden indicated that quarterback could be addressed through both free agency and the draft.
Money, however, is an issue. Smith carries a $20.4 million salary cap number for 2019 that accounts for 10.7 percent of Washington’s cap space, according to the website Over The Cap. McCoy’s $3.4 million cap hit takes up 1.8 percent. That’s already 12.5 percent of the salary cap, and adding an upper-tier free agent would require an even more significant chunk of cap space to be dedicated solely to quarterbacks on a roster with several other holes.
The Redskins are expected to have $18.8 million in cap space, according to Over The Cap, to rank 24th of 32 teams — although they have some options to grow that number by releasing players or restructuring or extending contracts.
“We don’t allocate by position so much,” Allen said. “If you look at us, you’ll probably say we’re a little heavy in the offensive line compared to the league average. But it’s based on the player. We rate the player, and then we put a value on that player’s talent. So we might find something at another position, a blue-chip player comes available, we will pay for that. We try to pay for the value no matter what the position is.”