The Washington Football Team, when it releases quarterback Alex Smith, will have roughly $53 million in salary cap space, making this one of its most important offseasons in years.
With many ways to spend it, John-Paul Flaim of The Sports Junkies offered up his take on how Washington should allocate that money in free agency. Here's who he'd go after, ordered from most to least desirable, if he had control of the Football Team's purse strings.
Kenny Golladay, 27, Detroit Lions – WR
2020 Salary: $2.3 million
*CMV: 5 years, $85M | $17M AAV
*Calculated Market Value for next contract
2020 Stats: 5 G, 20 catches (32 targets), 338 yards, 2 TDs
JP's Take: Terry McLaurin is smaller, so Golladay would be different in that way in that he's 6-4. He was injured a lot last year, but if you go back to 2019, he was over 1,000 yards; he was over 1,000 yards in 2018 as well. And in 2019, he had 628 yards on deep balls — that's 20 yards or more — that ranked second in the league.
Curtis Samuel, 24, Carolina Panthers – WR
2020 Salary: $2.05 million
CMV: 4 years, $49.9M | $12.4M AAV
Receiving: 15 G, 77 catches (97 targets), 851 yards, 3 TDs
Rushing: 41 carries, 200 yards, 2 TDs
JP's Take: He's a smaller guy, 5-11. What entices me... the 41 carries for 200 yards and two touchdowns. So he can be your No. 3 gadget guy. I want both guys (Golladay, Samuel), is my dream scenario, whoever the hell the QB's gonna be. So you would have McLaurin, Golladay and your gadget guy.
Jameis Winston, 27, New Orleans Saints – QB
2020 Salary: $1.1 million
2020 Stats: 4 G, 7-for-11 (63.6%), 75 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs
2019 Stats: 16 G, 5,109 yards (60.7%), 33 TDs, 30 INTs, 84.3 RTG
JP's Take: I'm gonna roll the dice with ole' Jameis. It's just too tantalizing. If you need a QB and you're gonna go through free agency, the guy threw for over 5,000 yards two seasons ago. We all know he had 30 interceptions, but I'm just gonna grasp that maybe he's matured and learned behind Drew Brees and in Sean Payton's system, and I'm gonna roll the dice with Jameis.
Mitch Trubisky, 26, Chicago Bears – QB
2020 Salary: $9.32 million
CMV: 2 years, $16.7M | $8.3M AAV
Passing: 10 G, 2,055 yards (67%), 16 TDs, 8 INTS, 93.5 RTG
Rushing: 33 carries, 195 yards, 1 TD
JP's Take: If I'm not able to get Jameis, I'm gonna dust off the cobwebs on Mitch Trubisky and roll the dice. You have to add somebody, and Mitch Trubisky, I think he gets a really bum rap. I don't think he's great, but people think he is just trash. I'm willing to give Trubisky about $10 million. I can give him a two-year deal and eat a little bit in year two if it doesn't work out. I'm more into Trubisky than Ryan Fitzpatrick. He can run a little bit, and if you look at his touchdown-to-interception ratio, it's not that bad. His QBR was better than Big Ben, better than Jared Goff. His numbers aren't as bad as you think.
Lavonte David, 31, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – LB
2020 Salary: $10.75 million
CMV: 3 years, $38.1M | $12.7M AAV
2020 Stats: 16 G, 117 tackles, 3 forced fumbles, 2 fumbles recovered, 1.5 sacks, 12 tackles for loss, 1 INT
JP's Take: I'm going to linebacker and I'm going to the Super Bowl champions, and I'm gonna try and steal Lavonte David. He is 31 but he was a second-team All-Pro in 2020. You look at the last four seasons, every one of those seasons he's had over 100 tackles, and in nine seasons in the NFL, he's done that eight times in his career. He's consistent. He's a little bit longer in the tooth than maybe you would like at 31, but I don't think he's done by any stretch of the imagination. You get a stud linebacker. When we look at Washington's defense, the linebacking corps is one of the weaknesses.
In Summation: "So that's my Top 5. That's what the Marties need to be ready to do from moment one you're allowed to do it."
Junkies co-host John Auville chose to play the foil, electing to go with an all-receiver free agency wish list of his own.