For those worried about Washington taking a 'shortcut' at QB, read this

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Peter Hailey
·4 min read
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For those worried about WFT taking a 'shortcut' at QB, read this originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Do you know Chase Hughes? He's an excellent employee here at NBC Sports Washington, someone who is just as comfortable discussing Bradley Beal's greatness as he is breaking down the Nationals' bullpen. 

But today, he's going to be the representative for the section of Washington Football Team fans who don't want the franchise to trade for a quarterback like Matt Stafford or Deshaun Watson or make another major play for an answer under center. 

Yes, that section of people does exist (it shouldn't, but it does) and Chase is firmly in it.

Here's what he tweeted this weekend in response to the idea that the Burgundy and Gold's best chance to really contend is right in front of them and, therefore, they must emerge from this offseason with a serious upgrade at QB:

Chase Hughes NBCS

Chase's opinion on Bethesda restaurants > His opinion on this

The most problematic part of that sentiment is the negative way in which he uses "shortcut." Here's the thing about shortcuts: When you take the right one, you can get to your destination wayyyyyyyyyy faster. That's exactly what landing the right passer could do for Ron Rivera's squad.

There are absolutely holes on the roster, which Chase and his comrades will continue to point out. The franchise could use a stud linebacker, another corner, a wide receiver to pair with Terry McLaurin and a few more pieces. And if they A) trade for somebody and send away draft capital in that trade or B) sign a free agent to a fairly-rich deal, they won't have the same amount of resources to take care of those other issues. 

That said, of the many, many benefits that comes with acquiring an established signal caller, one is that the signal caller can singlehandedly overcome and mitigate weaknesses that exist elsewhere. The top options at the position are called many things — a "general", a "CEO", a "point guard", etc. — yet "eraser" might just be the most fitting. 

Being a little thin at LB or lacking in the secondary isn't as much of a detriment when the guy leading your offense is a difference-maker as opposed to a game manager like Alex Smith or an inconsistent player like Kyle Allen. Not everything has to be perfect when the quarterback is a star. 

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As for the "course" that Chase and Co. want to "stay," that point isn't unfounded, either. Rivera is certainly building something in Washington, and he's got four more years on his contract to complete the project. Why rush, right?

Plus, the organization has done this type of thing before to various degrees in giving away everything to snag Robert Griffin III to getting Donovan McNabb from Philly to bringing in Smith from Kansas City. Shouldn't they have learned from those failures?

Let's answer the first question, the one about rushing, first. There are a bunch of reasons to act now, including the fact that the rest of the division is wobbly, much of Washington's young core is still cheap and this could be an unprecedented time for teams who crave a change at the sport's most vital spot. 

Don’t keep coasting along; smash the gas.

As for the second question, there's no such thing as trying too hard to fix QB. Washington can absolutely try smarter if they opt to address it again in the next couple of days, weeks or months, but they should in no way allow their recent whiffs to affect their upcoming swing. 

Lastly, a 7-9 record and a lone, fluky division title shouldn't be confused with legitimate success. Like Chase mentions, Washington isn't "super close" — at least right now. 

But who's to say they wouldn't be with a new shot caller on offense?

Currently, Stafford and Watson are probably the only certified ceiling-raisers that Washington potentially could have, but someone like Matt Ryan, should he be made available, would fit that category as well. Any of those three along with McLaurin, Chase Young, Antonio Gibson, Montez Sweat, Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Kam Curl, Logan Thomas and Kendall Fuller could combine to boost the Football Team into the upper echelon of the league, and that would hold true even if one of those names were sent away.

Overall, it feels like many choose to focus on what would be lost or what could go wrong in any potential move for a quarterback. Stop doing that for a moment, and instead imagine what can be gained and what can go right. Risk is definitely involved, yet so is an enormous upside.