On Saturday, the Redskins filled a hole with a familiar face, by signing Rex Grossman to a one-year deal. Grossman re-joins John Beck and Jonathon Crompton in the Redskins quarterback stable, and all three await the arrival of the young incoming stud, either Robert Griffin III or Andrew Luck.
It isn't exactly surprising that Washington chose to go this route, especially in light of the cap penalty. If $18 Million weren't missing from the Redskins' cap space, Grossman may not have been their first option, and an upgrade may have been sought out. The cap is missing though, and with other holes still to fill, a limited budget, and hopefully the future at the position on the way in April - it was actually a predictable, and smart move.
Grossman may not be a starting quarterback in the NFL, but he certainly can be an excellent back-up. He knows the offense well, and whether or not Rex turns out to be a good mentor to the Redskins' number two pick, is inconsequential to the fact that he can come off the bench and run the offense. Some might even argue that Rex always seems to perform his best when he thinks the least - hurry up offense, two minute drill etc. That's the job description for a back-up quarterback, not 'teaches other quarterbacks well.'
The Redskins will not likely rush Griffin (or Luck) on to the field, but they will be looking to start the young quarterback at the very soonest possible instance. Mike Shanahan may have waited 12 games to start Jay Cutler after drafting him 11th in 2006, but he didn't give up his next two first round picks to move up and get Cutler either. That isn't to say that a rookie is going to be handed the job, but don't expect any quarterback currently on the roster, to be seen as anything more than 'Plan B' for if Griffin (or Luck) isn't quite ready on day one. Beyond that, Grossman's role will be what every other quarterback in the NFL is expected to do - step in, only in case of injury.
Washington gets a cost-effective option and a known commodity. Rex may not be the sexiest of choices, but sometimes re-building an entire franchise, especially one that just lost fifteen percent of it's 2012 cap money, requires cutting smart corners.