Another disappointing season ended Sunday for the Washington Commanders with an 8-8-1 record. Washington was in an excellent position for one of the NFC’s final two playoff spots over the last month of the season, but a struggling offense ended any chance at the postseason for the Commanders.
In the season-ending win over the Dallas Cowboys, rookie quarterback Sam Howell made his first career start and looked outstanding. However, it was one game and not enough to inspire coaches to name Howell the starter heading into the offseason.
That means Washington is likely in the quarterback market again this offseason. Head coach Ron Rivera and general manager Martin Mayhew essentially confirmed this pursuit in Tuesday’s season-ending press conference.
Taylor Heinicke, who started nine games, is a free agent. Carson Wentz started seven games and will be released in the offseason. Howell will be back next season, but will he compete with a veteran for the starting job, or will the Commanders make another bold move to trade for a quarterback?
The first name that comes to mind is Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. Carr is on the trade block and posted a farewell message to Raiders fans on Thursday.
Would Washington make a bold move for Carr?
Carr has a big contract, which would almost have to be restructured if he’s traded. He also has a no-trade clause, meaning he has some control over his next destination. However, Carr could play hardball with the Raiders and force them to cut him.
Whether through trade or free agency, Brad Gagnon of Bleacher Report recently listed eight potential destinations for Carr. Yes, the Commanders made the list.
Here’s what Gagnon had to say:
Carson Wentz, Taylor Heinicke and Sam Howell posted a combined passer rating of just 84.7 this season for a Commanders team that could have done some damage behind a highly skilled defense if the offense wasn’t such a consistent letdown.
Now, because they were still 8-8-1, they’re left with the No. 16 pick. But they should have a decent amount of salary-cap space to upgrade under center.
A top-10 defense and an offense with weapons such as Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson Jr. could also compel Carr to restructure his deal (in the event of a trade) or offer a discount (in the event of a free-agent pact).
This actually makes quite a lot of sense.
The last thing Washington needs to do is acquire another veteran through trade. If Carr is released, that’s a different story. The Commanders need to use their draft picks to shore up the offensive line and add other pieces, such as a cornerback.
If Carr is honest about his future, Washington is one of the more intriguing options available, as are the New York Jets. But if Carr is looking for stability, Washington’s probably not the place you’re looking for.
And as for the Commanders, it’s time to find and develop a young passer. You know, such as Howell.