Advertisement

More proof that it’s a new era in Washington

The Josh Harris ownership group officially purchased the Washington Commanders on July 20. Harris immediately went to work, as he and his partners made $40 million in improvements to FedEx Field.

However, that didn’t translate into success on the field. The Commanders won only one home game — in Week 1 — and finished 4-13, with eight consecutive losses to end the season.

While fans were excited about Harris buying the team from Snyder, another lost season had many questioning why Harris wouldn’t fire former head coach Ron Rivera during the season. Patience. Harris took over too late in the year to make wholesale changes, so he stuck to his word and gave Rivera the entire season.

The day after the season, he fired Rivera and immediately began his search for the next general manager and head coach. Four days after firing Rivera, Harris agreed to terms with Adam Peters as Washington’s next general manager. It was considered a coup as Peters was atop the wish lists of every team needing a new GM. Peters had turned down multiple opportunities in recent years, and this time, he picked Washington as much as Harris picked him.

Next up for the Commanders is finding a new head coach.

Washington’s coaching vacancy is an attractive one for multiple reasons. The No. 2 overall pick, a strong quarterback class, tons of cap space and new ownership that is willing to spend are some of the reasons why the Commanders are such an attractive destination in 2024.

Charles Robinson and Jori Epstein of Yahoo Sports recently polled six NFL sources — three on the personnel side and three on the coaching side — to rank the seven open head coaching jobs, and, no surprise, Washington came out on top.

Sentiment surrounding the Commanders illustrates perfectly how wary coaches and executives are about team ownership. A year ago, candidates would avoid Dan Snyder’s team at most costs. The Commanders are now the darling among top candidates, even though they haven’t produced a winning season in eight years. League sources believe Josh Harris’ new team ownership group is committed to investing in winning. They’re eager to come in contemporaneously with a new general manager rather than afterward. Harris gained further clout when he lured San Francisco 49ers assistant general manager Adam Peters to be his general manager. And while some sources favor a Chargers team with a proven top-10 quarterback, the next-best scenario to having a quarterback in place is seeing a clear path to obtaining that quarterback. Drafting No. 2 overall in a QB-rich year is gold. C.J. Stroud in Houston, anyone?

The prospect of a new team owner, general manager, head coach and quarterback all turning over within a year opens possibilities.

“If you’re taking over as the head coach and you want to instill your culture and your belief system, it’s a truly blank slate,” one coach said. “To me, that’s more important to long-term success than anything.”

And one more quote about the Commanders:

Exciting new ownership group, and it speaks volumes the fact that they were able to hire Adam Peters, who could have had any GM job he’s wanted for years now,” a polled coach said. “I think that shows you how attractive this place is.

A new era indeed.

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire