4 early salary-cap casualties the Commanders should sign in 2023

(George Walker IV/The Tennessean via IMAGN Content Services) Taylor Lewan
(George Walker IV/The Tennessean via IMAGN Content Services) Taylor Lewan /
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(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) Marcus Mariota /

Commanders could sign Marcus Mariota

Sam Howell is going to get his chance to win the starting job next season. The quarterback caught the eye in Week 18 against the Dallas Cowboys and Eric Bieniemy’s arrival should also help his cause, but head coach Ron Rivera was quick to point out that additional competition is arriving before OTAs begin.

Considering how young and inexperienced Howell is, finding a veteran in free agency represents a realistic avenue to pursue. Someone like Marcus Mariota looks like a good scheme fit.

Mariota endured some turbulent times on the Atlanta Falcons last season before making way for Desmond Ridder. However, he’s mobile and has a rapid release – two things that made Patrick Mahomes so successful within Bieniemy and Andy Reid’s system.

While Mariota is not in the same stratosphere as Mahomes, this move does make sense and might not cost the earth. The former No. 2 overall selection also has experience in a backup capacity during his time with the Las Vegas Raiders, which is a role he’ll probably fill again next season.

There’s also the small matter of Mariota’s reported knee surgery that caused significant debate toward the end of the campaign. This is another gamble – but it might be a cheap alternative compared to others such as Derek Carr.

Something to think about, at the very least. Even though the Commanders might want someone that can legitimately compete with Howell to bring the best out of each other.

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