Rivera open to making Stafford-like commitment to a veteran QB originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Podium No. 2 at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis on Tuesday became the latest place where Ron Rivera addressed the one topic that matters most for his club these days: the search for a legitimate quarterback.
While standing at that location, and then later when holding a scrum with local media who made the trip to the Combine, the Commanders head coach entertained inquiries about how Washington intends to solve its signal-caller situation and again hinted that he plans to be aggressive.
“There’s an old saying: ‘What are you willing to pay for that Major League Baseball card?'” Rivera responded when asked how much he’d be comfortable shipping away in a trade for a veteran. “Whatever you pay, that’s what you think the value is.”
“Does anybody really care what was traded for Matthew Stafford last year?” he added before answering that obvious question with the obvious takeaway. “Nope.”
Though the Combine is where each of the league’s franchises get their first up-close look at the sport’s next class of rookies, Rivera seemed more focused on the idea of landing an already-established quarterback via a swap with another organization.
He did indicate that he’s intrigued by the crop of soon-to-be professional passers that he’ll meet with in Indy and continue to grade until next month’s draft, but he also expressed a preference for acquiring a vet if at all possible.
“I would be fine with it,” Rivera said about the prospect of entrusting the Commanders to a rookie. “The reason I’d be comfortable with a rookie is just because of the players we have. We have a solid offensive line and we’ve got skill players at the skill positions. Would it be ideal? No, but I’d be comfortable.
“If we had an opportunity to get a veteran guy, we’d feel really good about that veteran stepping in.”
The issue, however, is that it’s questionable if Washington will even have the chance to secure such a player. Rivera acknowledged that he presently has “no clarity” on which quarterbacks could be moved, and though it’s awfully fun for Commanders supporters to envision someone like Russell Wilson donning the team’s rebranded uniforms, all of that fantasizing could very well conclude with a much less thrilling arrival.
Despite the uncertainty of what might unfold with non-Washington operations, Rivera declared that his outfit, at least, is primed to negotiate.
“What we hope is that we’ve said enough,” the coach explained. “I’ve talked to people in interviews as far as the media’s concerned, it’s been put out there, that we feel that we have a lot to offer. We’d most certainly be willing to discuss and talk and just listen to what people have to say and would love to be able to get into those conversations.”
Before departing to resume what’s sure to be a busy week in Indianapolis, Rivera dropped one more line regarding the Commanders’ desire to do a deal, as if he hadn’t been forward enough.
“As long as we’re smart about it, you can do something similar,” he said in reference to the Rams’ trade for Stafford. “You can make that type of commitment to a guy if that’s what you’re going to get.”
Rivera sure seems prepared to step up to the quarterback counter and plunk down a large investment in order to improve Washington’s outlook. What remains to be seen is if anyone will emerge on the other side and hear him out.