While some teams do it, it’s rarer and rarer to see NFL teams head into a season with only two quarterbacks on their 53-man roster. It seems the Washington Redskins are going in that direction, with Kirk Cousins to start and Colt McCoy as his backup.
The third man on the quarterback list right now is Nate Sudfeld. The 22-year old rookie who played college football for Indiana is likely to be cut and put on the practice squad once the season begins. He looked pretty good in the preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons, completing 10-of-15 passes, throwing one touchdown pass. He’ll be pushing to make a case to keep him on, but he’s not going to overcome McCoy as the #2. He might end up changing the team’s mind about putting him on the practice squad.
However, considering how many quarterbacks are trying just to win a roster place around the league, the Redskins think the roster spot is better used on a different position. Whether it’s Sudfeld on the practice squad of simply signing a veteran waiting for the call up through free agency, the Redskins think other issues of depth need to be addressed, and for now don’t see Sudfeld, the round 6, 187th overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft, as someone who might become something in the future for this franchise, at least not from what they’ve seen right now.
McCoy, the man Texas fans still cry about his BCS championship game injury from time to time, has been a backup on the Redskins for the last couple of seasons, appearing in one game last season, throwing 11 passes. He did a little bit more in the failed season of 2014, and hasn’t really been regarded as a starter since his first two years in the league, playing for the Cleveland Browns. He has a career passer rating of 78.9.
Cousins is entering his second season as a starter for the Redskins, leading the NFL in completion percentage last season (69.8%), leading them into the playoffs for the first time since 2012. He threw for 4166 yards, throwing 29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He’ll be playing on the franchise tag, with the player and the team unable to reach a long-term deal. He’ll be making $20 million, and has a lot riding on this season in terms of his future earnings.