Questions Mounting for Washington Commanders

The past few years have been hectic for the Redskins… then the Washington Football Team… and now the Commanders. While not everyone has submitted their verdict on the name change, it’s clear that the NFL franchise is in for a foundational overhaul on nearly every level. 

Aside from a name change, the Commanders will also be looking to build out their roster from the ground up. Fans are building out wish-lists as the off-season continues, while head coach Ron Rivera is looking for a way to woo top players onto the team… starting with a quarterback.

Meanwhile, owner Dan Snyder will be looking to fly below the radar for the next few years. A winning team would go a long way in boosting Snyder’s reputation… at least, in theory. As top sportsbooks nationwide start releasing their first futures NFL betting odds for next season, Commanders fans will instead be scrambling to follow trade rumors.

For now, the Ravens are favorited above the Commanders for the AFC and the Super Bowl—but this could change. It may seem like Rivera’s to-do list keeps growing, but he still has time to carve out a strong roster. For now, here are the top challenges the Commanders face before the start of the 2022-23 season.

 Finding a Quarterback

Commanders general manager Martin Mayhew has his eye on the prize: a winning quarterback for Rivera’s offense. Recently, the Commanders made headlines for openly canvassing the entire league (all 31 teams) for potential quarterback trades. Early on, what looked to be a promising venture with the Seahawks and Russell Wilson has since fallen through.

However, Wilson wasn’t the only longshot, wish-list caliber selection. Mayhew and Rivera also put the feelers out for Aaron Rodgers—which also seems unlikely to pan out. Taylor Heinicke, on the other hand, may be a more likely outcome for the Commanders.

Regardless, the search for a quarterback remains at the top of Rivera’s list. Last year, the team missed out on Matthew Stafford, who ended up on the Super Bowl-winning Los Angeles Rams squad.

 Running Backs Also on the Table

Not everyone is convinced the Commanders will (or should) opt for a big quarterback trade and, instead, should focus on finding a quality running back (possibly two). So far, the Commanders look on board to resign JD McKissic, but could add another lethal name to that list.

But with McKissic entering free agency, the Commanders will need to decide on their priorities—and quickly. So far, potential running back signings include Jaret Patterson, Rashaad Penny, Chase Edmonds, or even Son Michel.

Once again, the priorities for Washington remain unclear. Though some fans would rather see star-caliber running backs on the roster, it’s undeniable that Super Bowl-winning teams have stalwart and visionary quarterbacks leading the team. In other words, running backs aren’t enough to nab a Lombardi.

Setting Up Shop as the Commanders

The Commanders’ front office will be overwhelmingly concentrated on building and training a championship-winning team… but there are a few other notable topics for the franchise. First, the team’s rebranding to the Commanders will be in full force this season. 

While not everyone has been wowed by the team’s new jersey design, which emphasizes minimal and modern notes, the name selection has at least offered peace to some fans. With a stadium in disrepair and a mediocre record, small victories like finalizing a name mean more to fans than ever before—if anything, it’s a bit of progress.

 NFL Looking into Snyder

One of the only trying aspects for Commanders fans is the ongoing investigation from the NFL into Snyder’s operations. In fact, the NFL recently named an independent investigator who will be looking into Snyder’s executive branch, which has seen multiple allegations of being a hostile work environment.

 Last year, Snyder brought his wife on board to help him manage the franchise and create more meaningful outreach with fans. However, it seems the owner’s future with the team is increasingly unclear, as fans lament the ongoing struggles of the franchise and the NFL continues probing into the team’s operations.

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