The Washington Commanders have done plenty of things in recent years that make the team an appropriate target of scrutiny, criticism, and ridicule. The news that the Commanders have called every other NFL team in search of a quarterback should not be one of those things.
Sparked apparently by a paywalled story in the Kansas City Star that collected random tweets, plenty have been dragging the Commanders for calling the Chiefs about Patrick Mahomes. When considering the context, the criticism is badly misplaced.
Although Commanders G.M. Martin Mayhew said Wednesday that they called all teams that may have a quarterback available, John Keim of ESPN.com reported on Tuesday that the Commanders called every team.
So this wasn’t a case of Washington thinking there was a specific reason to call the Chiefs about Mahomes. It was a conscious decision to leave no stone unturned. Not one. Per Keim, Washington called everyone. Which means that the Chiefs got a call about Mahomes, the Bills got a call about Josh Allen, the Chargers got a call about Justin Herbert, and so on.
Big deal. It’s a phone call. It doesn’t even cost anything to make those calls, not like it used to when “long-distance” communications rang up dollars and cents faster than a fuel pump.
It was smart for the Commanders to make the calls. Especially since, as Mayhew mentioned on Wednesday, they didn’t get a fair shot at Matthew Stafford before he was traded from the Lions to the Rams. This year, the Commanders decided there will be no doubt or ambiguity. They won’t miss out on a guy who may be available, and they’ll ensure that by calling everyone.
Yes, the desperation could force them to give up plenty for a new quarterback. But if they get the right quarterback, who cares?
As coach Ron Rivera said Tuesday regarding the cost of securing a veteran franchise quarterback, “Does anybody really care what was traded for Matthew Stafford last year?”
No, they don’t. All that matters is the result. Washington is trying to get to that same result, by getting a great quarterback. Even if the Chiefs, Bills, Chargers, or anyone else laughed and hung up, there’s no cost in trying. There’s no fault in trying. Anyone who would criticize the Commanders for making those calls simply doesn’t understand how things really work.