Domonique Foxworth: Washington Football Team's title window opens in 2021


It took a few months for them to find their stride but at long last, the Washington Football Team, winners of four straight, look like the team to beat in the NFC East.

Leading the worst division in football, if not all of sports, isn’t exactly cause for a parade, but there’s no doubt Washington is ahead of schedule in its development. Washington boasts impressive victories over Philadelphia, Pittsburgh (an upset that spoiled the Steelers’ bid for a perfect season) and San Francisco, displaying admirable moxie and late-game poise in each performance, particularly for a team that entered the year with little to no expectations.

Led by sophomore standout Terry McLaurin (their first 1,000-yard receiver since 2016) and Defensive ROY frontrunner Chase Young, Washington boasts as much young talent as any team in football.

During his Wednesday appearance on Get Up, ESPN analyst Domonique Foxworth beat the drum for Washington, commending the team’s rapid improvement under newcomer Ron Rivera. While the former cornerback doesn’t see them as contenders this year, Foxworth wouldn’t be surprised if Washington made a Super Bowl push as soon as 2021.

“The Washington Football Team, their Super Bowl window, it opens next season,” said Foxworth, well-aware that won’t be a popular opinion. “We’re stuck in the way that we think about building teams. Everyone thinks that you need to have a quarterback first to build your team. I think we take for granted that the most important thing in building a team is getting players to play above the price that you’re paying them.”

Here, Foxworth touches on one of the sport’s biggest misconceptions—that organizational rebuilds begin and end with the quarterback position. Having a Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson in your back pocket never hurts, but in order to build around a player of that elite caliber, you need the requisite cap space to pay upper-echelon free agents. And where does that cap space come from? It comes from hoarding affordable young talent, the Chase Youngs and Terry McLaurins of the world, playing on bargain-bin rookie contracts.

Washington’s financial flexibility puts them in an enviable position compared to cap-strapped teams like the Rams and Falcons, both saddled by the financial burden of their absurdly well-compensated starting quarterbacks. It’s not quite “Moneyball,” but it looks like Washington’s scrappy bunch of overachievers is on to something.

“They’re not a perfect team,” said Foxworth, acknowledging that veteran Alex Smith, who began the year as Washington’s QB3 behind draft bust Dwayne Haskins and frequent Rivera collaborator Kyle Allen, likely isn’t the team’s long-term solution at quarterback. “But they have so much cap room and flexibility because they are getting players to outperform their contracts. To make some key additions next year in the draft and free agency, they should be Super Bowl contenders within the contract of Chase Young, in particular.”

It’s a bold take from Foxworth, who seems to conveniently forget that 31 other franchises are gunning for the same prize, but he’s right about one thing—Washington’s arrow is undoubtedly pointing up.

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