For both sides, the decision was all about comfort. The Redskins have invested a lot in McCoy, and McCoy has invested a lot in Washington's system. Don’t take that to mean they settled for one another, though; make no mistake -- McCoy is the guy the Redskins wanted in this role. Washington wasn't interest in trading for a failed starter.
McCoy said via text that his comfort level and confidence in Washington's offense was critical to his decision.
"I felt confident all year that if I was counted on, I’d be able to produce," he said at the end of the season. "That’s a product of [quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh, head coach Jay Gruden, offensive coordinator Sean McVay], the system. I can’t say enough about as a player how confident I am within our scheme and what we do. I trusted the guys on our team, we have great talent all around."
McCoy gets some security by signing a three-year deal that can be voided to two after having signed one-year deals each of the past two offseasons with Washington. Because of him, there is a good chance the Redskins only keep two quarterbacks on the roster this season (with a third perhaps on the practice squad; this, of course, is not definite).
But for a guy who strongly believes in himself, re-signing provides a chance to grow in a system -- last season was the first time McCoy had played in the same offense in consecutive years. That way, when he gets a chance to play, it gives him a much better opportunity to succeed.
I always go back to the Trent Green days. He was in Norv Turner’s offense for five seasons, which made a huge difference when he finally had a chance to play. He was not a big-bodied quarterback with a cannon arm, but he knew where to go with the ball and when. Green cashed in after his one partial season as the Redskins' starter; I don’t know if that will happen with McCoy, but scenarios like that are why he wanted to stay in the same offense.
McCoy called Cavanaugh the MVP of the team for the way he handled the position, allowing McVay to focus on running the offense. But the reason Washington likes McCoy is because of how he handled his role, too. It was a difficult season for him, but it didn’t show -- and he considers both Kirk Cousins and Robert Griffin III friends. One person in the organization termed the quarterback room "awkward," which is probably a kind way of saying "tension-filled." But McCoy navigated it well. He always expressed how happy he was for Cousins while admitting that, as a competitor, "it’s tough."
"I’m happy to be part of a team that won," he said after the season ended. "Obviously you want to play, but you find ways to be part of it behind the scenes. I worked really hard this year, and I still feel I gained a lot of confidence in my ability. Even though I didn’t play much, it was still a good year."