After winning the NFC East last year at 7-9, Washington upgraded at quarterback by signing veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick to a one-year deal.
As a 38-year-old, Fitzpatrick would not appear to be a long-term option as a starter. But after the Lions quickly agreed to trade Matthew Stafford to the Rams in January, the Football Team concluded Fitzpatrick was one of the best options available.
In an interview with Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post, Rivera said the preference was to get a veteran QB because of what it would’ve cost to move up in the draft.
“I think for right now, the focus has shifted to shoring up the rest of the positions,” Rivera said. “Again, there’s nothing that says Ryan Fitzpatrick can’t be the guy for a while. If this dude continues to play at the level he has and with Brady showing everybody that these veteran guys can do it — just ask Phil Mickelson, he’ll tell you — then why not? Why would we want to move on?
“At the same time, we have a guy we have confidence in in Taylor [Heinicke], we have confidence in Kyle [Allen], and we got a very young player in Steven Montez. So we’re kind of in an interesting position right now.”
Rivera added on the quarterback position that he thinks the Football Team is “in a good spot.”
“[I]f things go well with Ryan, why wouldn’t we want to bring that guy back? Or if Taylor ends up being the guy, why wouldn’t we want that guy to be the guy for a while?
“Do we want a quarterback of the future? Yeah. Oh, absolutely. And ideally, it’d be a guy that could sit back and watch and you could be patient with him.”
Rivera hasn’t officially named Fitzpatrick the starter, noting he wants there to be competition to make the team better. But unless something overwhelming changes, Fitzpatrick will be QB1 and have a chance to take a team to the postseason for the first time.