Not many expected the Washington Football Team to be in second place in the NFC East at the halfway point of the 2020 season, but here we are. Ron Rivera hasn't already completed his rebuild of this franchise, but a 2-5 record is considered "good" in what is an abysmal division. Both of Washington's wins have come against divisional opponents, and Rivera has made it clear that he intends to compete for a playoff spot. He proved this by benching second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins for Kyle Allen when Haskins' performance was not up to his standards.
So, should Washington be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline? It's possible they could accomplish a little bit of both. Rivera took over this roster just nine months ago, so it's likely there are a few pieces he would be fine parting with while there are others that are available around the league he would like to bring in. It's possible Washington could prepare for its future and also immediately get better in the coming week.
Below, we will break down a few moves Washington should explore before the 2020 trade deadline. There may be a player or two that they should be shopping while there are others that could be looking for a change of scenery.
WR John Ross
Washington should be interested in Ross because he has potential and he should come cheap. The speedster has made it clear that he wants out of Cincinnati, and he is in no way part of the Bengals' offense. In 27 career games, the 5-foot-11, 194-pound Ross has caught 51 passes for 733 yards and 10 touchdowns while averaging 14.4 yards per catch. Last season, he was on pace to eclipse the 1,000-yard barrier before a shoulder injury prematurely ended his campaign.
Washington needs serious help at wide receiver, so I wouldn't have a problem with Rivera sending a very late pick for Ross. We know Terry McLaurin is a star, but the next leading receiver is Dontrelle Inman with 17 receptions for 148 yards and two touchdowns. Kelvin Harmon is out for the year while Steven Sims Jr. and Antonio Gandy-Golden are currently on injured reserve. I get that trading for Ross is a gamble, but why not take a flier on someone who has the kind of speed you can't teach?
TE David Njoku
The Browns and Njoku are in this weird song and dance where he keeps reportedly asking for a trade and then repeatedly denies that he ever did so. Washington should just make an offer for him and end this saga. Cleveland has Austin Hooper and Harrison Bryant so they don't really need Njoku. In four games this year, the former No. 29 overall pick has caught just seven passes for 83 yards and two touchdowns, but he's an athletic specimen who is just 24.
I like Logan Thomas and he has been great as of late, but he is the only tight end on this team who has caught more than one pass this year, and are we sure that he's a legitimate No. 1-on-the-depth-chart type of player? Njoku has that potential, and I think he could come relatively cheap as well.
Shop: Dwayne Haskins
I'm not necessarily advocating for Washington to trade Haskins, but if they are going to do it, now might be the best time. According to CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora, some league executives have already begun watching film of the second-year signal-caller with the expectation that Haskins will be shipped out of D.C. ahead of the trade deadline. Rivera can claim that he hasn't given up on the former No. 15 overall pick, but Haskins was benched the game after throwing for a career-high 314 yards against the Baltimore Ravens.
Rivera didn't draft Haskins, so if he doesn't think he's the future under center, Washington probably should trade him. CBS Sports NFL writer Cody Benjamin identified five potential landing spots for Haskins, and some of them are very intriguing.