4 quarterbacks the Washington Commanders should avoid in 2023

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
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(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Baker Mayfield /

Commanders should avoid Baker Mayfield

To say the 2022 season was a dramatic one for Baker Mayfield would be understating things slightly. The former No. 1 overall selection started the offseason as the Cleveland Browns No. 1 before finishing on the Los Angeles Rams via the Carolina Panthers, who deemed him surplus to requirements when Sam Darnold was healthy enough to return.

Mayfield got himself an instant chance to start again with Matthew Stafford on the sidelines. There were brief glimpses of quality, but nothing to suggest a No. 1 role could be in the offing once the free-agent frenzy begins next spring.

Los Angeles might look to keep Mayfield around depending on how Stafford’s rehabilitation is progressing. His emergence as a leader within the locker room is something that gained praise in Carolina and should see another team sign him as a backup elsewhere if the Rams go in a different direction.

This is a steep fall from grace for Mayfield after guiding the Browns to their first playoff win in almost three decades during the 2020 season. It’s going to be a long road back to prominence, but players drafted this high normally get multiple chances to prove themselves unless there is a dramatic drop-off in production.

The Washington Commanders need a veteran presence capable of stepping in if Sam Howell gets injured or struggles in Year 2. Considering what’s on the line for head coach Ron Rivera in 2023, banking on Mayfield would be a significant gamble.