3 takeaways from Commanders GM Martin Mayhew’s press conference
By Jerry Trotta
The 2022 NFL Combine is currently underway at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis and general managers around the league took to the podium to preview their team’s offseason, including free agency, potential roster cuts and the draft.
Given the Washington Commanders‘ lengthy offseason agenda, you can imagine that second-year GM Martin Mayhew touched on a number of different subjects.
Mayhew doesn’t often step behind the microphone, but his Combine press conference was far more insightful than Ron Rivera’s, whose session mostly comprised of disclosing the team’s far-reaching search for a quarterback.
Mayhew, on the other hand, got into the nitty gritty of the roster. On top of walking back comments he made about Brandon Scherff turning down a record-setting contract offer from Washington, the longtime NFL executive offered up thought-provoking insight into three prominent talking points.
3 takeaways from Commanders GM Martin Mayhew’s presser
3. Respect for Taylor Heinicke, but …
The underlying theme of Washington’s offseason is that the team must upgrade the quarterback position. Ron Rivera has spoken about it numerous times since the season ended and has even expressed a willingness to trade a core player (probably a D-lineman) in the name of making an upgrade.
On Wednesday, we finally got to hear Mayhew’s viewpoint. Like Rivera, the general manager heaped a ton of praise on Taylor Heinicke’s behalf for leading the team to seven wins filling in for the injured Ryan Fitzpatrick.
"First, I want to say how much I appreciate Taylor Heinicke. He had a battlefield promotion. Our starter played 16 snaps last season. He was our backup player for the entire season for us. He did yeoman’s work. One of the hardest working guys that I’ve been around one of the toughest competitors. So I just thank the world of Taylor and really appreciate him. But we are looking to upgrade that position and we’re looking at every angle that’s possible. We’re looking at trade possibilities, draft possibilities, free agents. We’re looking at everybody."
That quote basically encapsulates the fan base’s feeling towards Heinicke. It’s extremely appreciative of the leadership he displayed and the fact he exceeded expectations, but he’s a backup for a reason. At the end of the day, a 4:3 touchdown to interception ratio and 6.9 yards per attempt is nowhere near good enough.
It’s unclear the level of quality Washington’s new QB will be, but you can get your bottom dollar he’ll be better than Heinicke.