As if the Redskins hadn’t made enough quarterback news this week by trying to trade with Denver for Jay Cutler (who wound up in Chicago) and shopping incumbent starter Jason Campbell, Washington brought Byron Leftwich in for a workout on Friday, a team official confirmed to me moments ago.
That same official emphasized that Leftwich’s visit was not a further reflection of the organization’s lack of faith in Campbell and that the Redskins want Leftwich to compete not to start but for the backup job with 37-year-old Todd Collins, who has a $1.9 million base salary and would count just $1 million against the cap if cut, and Colt Brennan, who didn’t play as a rookie in 2008.
However, Leftwich wants to compete for a starting position and has told friends that if that opportinity doesn’t materialize, that he would prefer to remain in Pittsburgh. The Steelers have said they want Leftwich to return but haven’t offered him a contract. Neither have the Redskins, whose current modus operandi is minimum-salary deals.
A star at H.D. Woodson High in the District and then at Marshall University, the 29-year-old Leftwich was Jacksonville’s first-round pick in the 2003 draft. He led the Jaguars to the playoffs in 2005 but injured an ankle in 2006 and never regained his job from David Garrard. Leftwich was a backup with Atlanta in 2007. He joined the Steelers last August after veteran backup Charlie Batch suffered a season-ending broken collarbone. Leftwich’s most extensive action last season came against the Redskins as he replaced the injured Ben Roethlisberger and stretched a 10-6 halftime edge to a 23-6 victory.