Another offseason, another round of the Washington Commanders looking to find their franchise quarterback. Washington has started at least three quarterbacks in each of the last four seasons, and hasn't had a consistent presence under center since Kirk Cousins in 2017. According to a new report, the Commanders are expected to be aggressive in the quarterback market this time around.
On Tuesday, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported that many around the league expect Washington to "comb the big-ticket quarterback market." Fowler says that the Commanders will look at all options, and not limit themselves.
If we are talking about "big-ticket" quarterbacks this offseason, it's not any of the free agents like Jameis Winston, Teddy Bridgewater or Marcus Mariota. It's the established stars who are potentially looking for changes of scenery. That includes Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson.
It's unknown if Rodgers, who has won the NFL's MVP award two seasons in a row, will leave the Green Bay Packers or if he will even play in 2022. Retirement rumors are swirling after he posted a lengthy post centered around gratitude on Instagram Monday night. Washington could be an option for Rodgers if he wants to leave Green Bay, but it probably wouldn't be top of the list. If Rodgers were to not retire and leave the Packers, the Denver Broncos seem like an ideal landing spot due to their hiring of Rodgers' good friend in Nathaniel Hackett.
When it comes to Watson, there are still too many unknowns at this point. The Houston Texans quarterback wants out, but is facing 22 civil lawsuits and a criminal investigation by the Houston Police Department for alleged sexual misconduct. If his off-field issues are somehow settled this offseason, another obstacle Washington could face in a potential trade is the asking price. Houston has reportedly received trade packages including three first-round picks and two third-round picks. If Watson resolves his off-field issues, that could again be the price tag, and he will have multiple teams bidding on his services.
Russell Wilson may be the top target for the Commanders if they are looking to sign or trade for a top quarterback. CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora reported in December that Wilson was open to being dealt to certain teams last offseason, and nothing has changed to alter that. However, others believe that the Seattle Seahawks don't have interest in trading Wilson. In this case, the obstacle again is going to be the asking price. Are you good with sending multiple first-round picks for a 33-year-old quarterback?
The bottom line for the Commanders is that if they really want to explore the top options on the quarterback carousel, they are going to have to come ready to shell out multiple first-round picks. Maybe "exploring" is all Washington will do. The Commanders have the No. 11 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, which is a great spot to be in if you want a quarterback. CBS Sports NFL Draft expert Ryan Wilson has Washington selecting Ole Miss signal-caller Matt Corral in his most-recent mock draft, while Chris Trapasso and Josh Edwards have the Commanders taking Liberty quarterback Malik Willis.