The Washington Commanders fired offensive coordinator Scott Turner last season after three seasons with the team. Despite Turner having to start eight different quarterbacks in three seasons, Washington’s offensive failures during an 0-3-1 stretch ended its playoff chances.
Speaking of the quarterback position, last offseason, head coach Ron Rivera went all-in on Russell Wilson. Wilson chose the Denver Broncos, and Rivera should thank Wilson every day for not wanting to come to Washington.
There were rumors of the Commanders wanting Jimmy Garoppolo, but his shoulder injury concerned them. Therefore, Washington turned to Carson Wentz. Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay made it clear his team was finished with Wentz — the second team in 12 months to give up on Wentz.
Yet Washington traded two third-round draft picks and traded spots in the second round last year to acquire Wentz. And the Commanders agreed to take on Wentz’s full salary of $28 million.
According to Ben Standig of The Athletic, it’s a move that Turner wasn’t on board with.
One day after losing out on Russell Wilson despite offering multiple first-round picks, Washington sent two third-round choices to Indianapolis for Wentz, a move that offensive coordinator Scott Turner was not on board with, according to a person with knowledge of the team’s discussions who was not authorized to speak publicly.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. As the head of football operations, Rivera makes all the calls. It would be a surprise if he didn’t at least consult with Turner, considering he was his hand-picked offensive coordinator from Carolina.
However, considering Washington’s history under owner Dan Snyder, it wouldn’t be the first time management traded for a veteran quarterback without consulting with the offensive staff. Remember Donovan McNabb and Mike Shanahan? What about Alex Smith and Jay Gruden?
One interesting nugget is that Rivera signed Turner to a contract extension in the offseason. It was believed to be a two-year extension. When we look back at when Turner signed that extension, JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington broke the news on March 13.
The Wentz trade was agreed upon on March 9.
So did Rivera offer Turner an extension to appease him? And why did Turner sign it, considering he didn’t want Wentz? On the last part, we know why Turner signed the extension. He wasn’t in demand around the NFL.
Regardless, the Commanders are looking for a new offensive coordinator in 2023. Whoever Washington hires, the expectation is that Sam Howell will have every opportunity to win the starting quarterback job.