Washington will be open to signing major free agents, per Rivera originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Last year, Ron Rivera wanted Amari Cooper to be the crown jewel of his first free agency class with Washington. Yet Cooper ended up turning down the Burgundy and Gold’s enormous offer and re-signed with the Cowboys instead.
From there, Rivera opted to bring in cheaper players, such as JD McKissic and Logan Thomas, to round out his offense. After swinging for the upper deck but missing the pitch entirely, the coach switched up his approach and just went for contact. That’s how he handled his defense, too.
In an interview on the brand new BMitch and Finlay show, though, Rivera explained that he’ll once again be open to offering a mountain of money to an available player — but he won’t do it just so he can make a headline or make up for the miss on Cooper.
“It’s about the position,” he said Thursday on 106.7 The Fan. “If it’s the right position or the right set of circumstances, we could do that.”
Rivera went on to reiterate that his top priority is settling what’s going on at quarterback and then “taking care of our own,” meaning deciding on the future of pieces like Brandon Scherff and Ronald Darby. But he also wasn’t shy when it came to the possibility of improving a weakness on his roster with a sought-after veteran.
“If it’s an elite player that can fit us, we’re most certainly going to try and do something about it,” he said.
So, who could that be?
One of the first places to look is at wide receiver, where the likes of Allen Robinson, Kenny Golladay, Chris Godwin, Will Fuller and Curtis Samuel are all slated to hit the market. Any of those ballers would fit in alongside Terry McLaurin.
Meanwhile, Lavonte David, who’ll be starting at linebacker for the Bucs in Sunday’s Super Bowl, will be without a deal shortly as well. Throughout Washington’s season, Rivera bluntly criticized how his own linebackers performed in multiple press conferences.
Then there are corners like Richard Sherman and William Jackson III who could become enticing if Darby inks a deal with another organization in March.
Under Bruce Allen, the reputation of Washington spending lots of cash every year completely faded away. Sure, there was a Josh Norman here and a Pierre Garcon there, yet for the most part, the club was reluctant to hand out millions upon millions of dollars the way it did earlier in the 2000s.
With Rivera in charge, it sounds like the approach will rebound to somewhere in between: He’ll aggressively chase the targets he identifies but he won’t be desperate to empty his wallet simply to show the league that he can.
Let’s see if, this time around, he swings hard and actually connects.