Grading the latest six Commanders moves in 2023 free agency

(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Taylor Heinicke
(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Taylor Heinicke /
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(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) John Matsko /

Commanders fired John Matsko

This isn’t necessarily a free-agent move. But it happened during the legal tampering period and is extremely notable.

According to John Keim of ESPN, the Washington Commanders are moving on from offensive line coach John Matsko, who is a long-time and trusted associate of Ron Rivera from their time together with the Carolina Panthers. This came relatively out of the blue, although the introduction of Eric Bieniemy must have played a significant role in the decision-making process.

Bieniemy has been given full offensive control. That includes molding a staff capable of getting the Commanders out of irrelevancy and into legitimate playoff contention.

It was probably hard for Rivera. However, this was the cost of Bieniemy coming into the fold.

With reinforcements expected across the protection – two have already arrived in the form of Nick Gates and Andrew Wylie – before competitive action begins, there was never a better time to potentially upgrade the coaching aspect, too.

Grade: A

Much will depend on who the Commanders choose as Matsko’s replacement. But the veteran coach wasn’t getting the right tune out of his players and with Bieniemy having an extra sense of urgency to make his own move count, this was the only logical step.